Speech-language pathologist working with a young patient.

Making strides

Speech-language pathologist working with a young patient.

The School of Health Professions will launch a new master’s degree program in speech-language pathology in the spring.

The School of Health Professions is expanding its reach in South Texas, as well as in new disciplines.

In September, the school announced a memorandum of understanding with Texas A&M International University in Laredo for an early acceptance program beginning this fall. This comes on the heels of approval to launch a new master’s degree program in speech-language pathology.

Through the agreement, first-time TAMIU freshmen will be guided through courses and other requirements needed to earn a Bachelor of Science degree at TAMIU. Eligible students can then enter one of four master’s degree programs or a doctoral degree program in the School of Health Professions at UT Health San Antonio.

The programs include master’s degrees in physician assistant studies, respiratory care, medical laboratory sciences and occupational therapy, and the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

“This agreement will provide a roadmap for successful entry into our health professions programs through TAMIU,” said UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP. “Students will know which courses, volunteer work, applications and grade point averages are needed to meet the requirements, providing cost savings to students and their families. The best part is that each student’s success will translate into better health care for every patient they serve in the future.”

In August, the School of Health Professions received an award of candidacy from the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for its Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.

The first cohort will begin this spring.

“Our program will be unique in Texas in that we will have a medical focus designed to prepare speech-language pathologists to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, other acute-care facilities and rehabilitation centers,” said David C. Shelledy, Ph.D., RRT, FAARC, FASAHP, dean of the School of Health Professions.

The program is two years, or five semesters, of graduate study and community-based clinical training with a medical focus.

“Training [these] students at a health science campus is a perfect educational model to offer graduates a robust scientific education and community-based clinical training for work as medical speech-language pathologists in diverse health care settings,” said Fang-Ling Lu, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, associate professor and director of the speech-language pathology program.

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