Speech Language Pathology students provide therapy to Tahlequah community
TNE Editor
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Speech Language Pathology students provide therapy to Tahlequah community

Published 11/01/18

Jordan Gogo


TNE Writer


NSU offers 57 degree programs to undergraduate students. One program that may be unfamiliar to the majority of the student body is speech pathology.


The Speech Language Pathology building is located on the edge of campus on Vinita Avenue. Inside this building, students are trained to interact with patients, first through classes and observation and through direct interaction and therapy sessions.


“Our program prepares individuals to evaluate the speaking, language interpretation and related physiological and cognitive capabilities of children and adults and develop treatment and rehabilitative solutions in consultation with clinicians and educators,” said Brook Klintworth, Speech Language Pathology assistant professor.


The pathology building serves as both a learning center for NSU students and as a clinic for the Tahlequah community. Clinics are also located on NSU Muskogee and Broken Arrow campuses to serve their communities.


“The graduate students conduct the evaluations and implement therapy in the clinics,” said Klintworth. “They are supervised by certified faculty members. During their first year of graduate school, the students complete internships. They serve local schools within the NSU community under the supervision of faculty members. During their second year of graduate school, they complete externships at pediatric and adult sites under the supervision of licensed speech language pathologists.”


SLP students must complete 500 combined hours of observation, evaluation and treatment of speech and language related difficulties before they complete their graduate program. Before students enter this program, they must complete their undergraduate degree to prepare for internship.


“As an undergrad, I observe the graduate students interacting with patients twice a week,” said Kenley Weston, Tahlequah junior. “We learn about language, everything that deals with the throat and mouth, speaking and accent modification. There’s also a lot of hard science that we have to study like anatomy and now chemistry.”


This is Weston’s first semester as a declared speech pathology major. Even though she has just begun the four year program, she is already fully committed.


“My goal is to ultimately get my Ph.D and work in a children's hospital,” said Weston. “My brother is a speech pathologist and he recommended that I try job shadowing. I shadowed at Tahlequah City Hospital and really liked it, so I ended up switching my major.”


NSU clinics provide free therapy services to their respective communities. Patients provide invaluable training and observation to NSU students during therapy sessions. Kathryn Wade, Speech Language Pathology administrative secretary, is an NSU employee who also enjoys the benefits of free therapy.


“I’ve had therapy in the past, and I knew that I had some lingering speech issues from my childhood,” said Wade. “I was paired with a student clinician who has been working with me on my issues.”


Wade has weekly therapy sessions as part of a twelve week program. She is currently on her fifth week of therapy and claims to already see a large improvement.


“I didn’t think therapy would be a necessity, but I really did need it,” said Wade. “Even if you don’t think your speech problem is very important to have fixed, it could have significant repercussions in the long run. If you think you have a problem, there’s no reason not to give speech therapy a try when it’s free.”


The Speech Language Pathology building is located at 800 N. Vinita Ave. and is open to both NSU and non-NSU community members.


For more information about speech language services, appointments and evaluations, call their office at 918-444-3775.

 

For more information about the Speech Language Pathology degree program, visit their website at https://academics.nsuok.edu/healthprofessions/DegreePrograms/Speech-LangPath.aspx.


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