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3 year vs. 4 year AuD programs?

Discussion in 'Audiology [ Au.D ]' started by BrianaGrace17, 06.26.11.

  1. BrianaGrace17

    BrianaGrace17

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    I'm curious about the pros/cons of doing a 3 year AuD program instead of a traditional 4 year program. Pacific University in Oregon is working on creating an accelerated audiology program, and since I love the area so much I'm very interested.

    Any thoughts on what you like and what you don't?
     
  2. rEliseMe

    rEliseMe

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    I think a 3-year program somewhat devalues the AuD. We already have enough trouble lobbying for proper compensation and due respect. I understand that it may be valuable for non-traditional students, but I can see it negatively impacting the field and even undoing the progress thus far.

    This is, however, my opinion.
     
  3. Dustbug10

    Dustbug10 Year IV Moderator Emeritus

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    I see the reasonining behind it, at least from experience in my own program. We have a lot of what I would call "filler courses".
     
  4. spring88

    spring88

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    Well, I can understand the pro of being done in three years :).

    However, I've heard certain rumblings about a program whose AuD students aren't trained enough by the time their externships roll around and externship supervisors are taking issue with this. I've heard this from a faculty member and a friend who was considering the school... because it is just talk, I'm not going to mention the school on here. I was really interested in a program that was three years but I was a bit wary of the accelerated part and my wariness was confirmed with this.

    I didn't realize this until recently but the amount of clinical hours you have in your AuD program matter ALOT when you start to pursue externships because these places want you to be well trained and knowledgeable once you start working with them. They don't want to have to teach you the basics, that's what your program is and should be for.
     
  5. SoCalAud

    SoCalAud

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    Also, don't you guys think 3 years will make you feel burnt out? I can't imagine cramming all the necessary courses, plus clinical rotations within the first two years. I'd rather get the best training I can get in 4 years.
     
  6. BigAl

    BigAl Year III... Still Lost

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    Totally agree, I have a friend that graduated from Syracuse. They had a 3 yr program and have moved to a 4 yr program. Only good thing I see about a 3 yr program is that you pay for 1 yr less. Other than that I don't see much positive about it.
     
  7. cidanu

    cidanu

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    i think burn out is inevitable no matter what! after two years completed i am wishing i only had one more. heck i'm wishing i was already done!
     
  8. BrianaGrace17

    BrianaGrace17

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    The challenge of Audiology programs in general kind of scares me! They all seem so intense... =P
     
  9. SoCalAud

    SoCalAud

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    Good point!
     
  10. AUDball2012

    AUDball2012

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    I think it totally depends on how they do it. Pharmacists and Physical therapist are able to be trained in programs where they get their doctorates but only spend 3 years doing it as well. I think it would greatly up the intensity of the program but I think for some people where time is an issue then it is probably a good option. I know almost all of our course work is done by the end of our 2nd year and I think we could have fit all the course work we had in our 3rd year into the summers and made it into 3 years for courses + clinic + externship. It also depends on the number of credits you are comfortable taking. All but 1 semester I was taking 18+ credits.
     
  11. cmc271

    cmc271

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    What do you feel are filler courses?
     
  12. ccAuD

    ccAuD

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    I'm new to this site but thought I would give some input on this. Coming from a 3-year program, I'm a little biased, but I would say for the most part I think this is just talk. I don't know exactly how all other programs work, but I do know many that don't even have their students step foot into the clinic until second year. I just finished my first year and feel that I am (and my classmates are) exactly where I/we need to be with clinical skills. Based on feedback that we've been given by older students and alumni, this seems to be the case overall. Many of our alums say they felt nervous at their externships at first, and then ended running circles around other externs from 4-year programs. Obviously that could be a just a few individual cases, but I haven't heard anyone say they didn't feel ready or felt ill-prepared.

    I do know that there are audiologists out there that do think we can't cover what we need to in 3 years, however, so that perception does exist and is something I've been thinking about as I start to apply to externships. There are pros and cons to everything and this isn't an exception. I am looking forward to being done in only 2 more years and it has definitely been worth the jam-packed schedule (jam-packed is an extreme understatement). This type of program wouldn't be for everyone, but I do think it made sense for me and I think very highly of my program (go figure!).
     
  13. spring88

    spring88

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    Welcome, ccAuD! I think this forum will greatly benefit hearing the side of someone who is from a three year program. I have heard both good and not so good things about the three year programs but then again, I hear both good and not so good things about EVERY program, including my own. At the end of the day, however, one's AuD program is what they choose to make of it :).
     
  14. cidanu

    cidanu

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    hallelujah. no program is perfect. each one is faced with its own challenges. i think a lot of the "talk" comes from an inevitable competitiveness and also "it's always greener on the other side of the fence" kind of criticism when we look at our own programs.

    when i was applying for programs i interviewed at one school where everyone i met would cavalierly say "oh you know we're a better program than ________ right?" and they really and truly believed it. i thought it was kind of shocking and nonprofessional. granted they were trying to lure me to attend there

    i heard a lot of flack about the school i'm at now even though it's a prestigious university, and during the first 2 years i had a lot of criticism of the program myself. now that i have experience on the "outside" (yes it feels like prison sometimes) i can really appreciate its uniqueness and everything it has offered me and don't think i'm at any disadvantage in the long run.

    one of my teachers attended a school that didn't even make it onto the list of the US NEWS top whatever AUD programs. she LOVED it though and thought it was an amazing program and now she has a PhD and is a director at a prestigious hospital clinic.

    it really is all about personal fit and what you make of it.
     
  15. DrAudio

    DrAudio

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    I will preface my short answers with please see response at the end....

    This. I think 3 year programs are garbage based on political reasons. One of my best friends went to a 3 year program however and is a much better audiologist than most people I know who went to 4 year programs.

    You'll get burned out no matter what you do IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

    Audiology is easy enough.

    I'd like to know this as well.

    All that said, audiology as it's taught is very easy. If you're smarter than a monkey, you can be taught everything you need to know in 3 years or less. BUT... If you want to practice well and actually act the part of your degree title you will need to bust ass in school and push the field in the doctorate level direction. This is definately NOT something that many people with online degrees are doing.

    I think it boils down to the student and how that person wants to learn and practice.

    -D
     
  16. EitherWise

    EitherWise

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    print this out in gold and frame it on your mirror that you use every morning.
     
  17. rhombacube

    rhombacube

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    I think all graduate programs are really. I feel comforted by the fact an audiologist I interviewed said she didn''t like grad school much, but loves actually being an audiologist. The one thing that scares me is no summers off. I think it is the only professional program I've run into where you don't have even 1 summer off.
     
  18. rEliseMe

    rEliseMe

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    You don't get summers off in life, either, unless you work in the schools.
     
  19. rhombacube

    rhombacube

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    No, I was just commenting though that it is a difference.
     
  20. rEliseMe

    rEliseMe

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    You said that it scares you.
     
  21. AuD Doc

    AuD Doc

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    Recently, students from the AAA Student Academy of Audiology have been discussing the differences among programs. We are shocked that many programs do not offer the full scope of professional practice or prepare graduating students to be ready to enter practice. Some programs seem to be glorified master's programs that really never changed when audiology started requiring the AuD. Examples: some programs seem to be pretty focused on making sure graduates have the ASHA CCC-A. This certificate has not had value for more than a decade but because speech students have to earn the CCC, apparently there is a belief that audiol students also must earn it. Some programs have no courses in practice management, genetics, pharmacology, vestibular, etc. All of these are supposed to be required by accreditation but somehow the programs manage to ignore the requirements and still remain accredited. Also, if you were to rank order programs, don't go by US News, etc. That's a good-ole boy approach that really doesn't look at the AuD requirements--it's mostly on which program does the most research or has research funding. Instead, take a look at a program that is accredited or applying for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE--www.acaeaccred.org) This accreditation body was set up independently to accredit AuD programs. Only a select number of programs have met their criteria and those are the cream of the crop of programs.
    So, it's not 3 year vs. 4 years--it's who is offering the education that prepares us to enter the profession and practice as independent practitioners.
     
  22. BrianaGrace17

    BrianaGrace17

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    Thanks AuD Doc! That is really true.
     
  23. BrianaGrace17

    BrianaGrace17

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    Just looked at the website...are there really only 4 programs that are accredited?
     
  24. SoCalAud

    SoCalAud

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    Is ACAE still working on the list? As far as I know, most of the schools I'm applying to meet ACAE's criteria.
     
  25. cidanu

    cidanu

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    one of the problems is that programs are already paying thousands of dollars to have ASHA accreditation. to have ACAE accreditation they would have to pay additional thousands of dollars. for most programs that offer both speech and audiology graduate degrees, it's easier to maintain accreditation through the same organization. i think with time more programs will move to the ACAE but at the moment there are large financial and bureaucratic hurdles to overcome. if a program has ACAE accreditation already that is a great sign that they are a progressive and rigorous program, but i wouldn't discriminate against any programs that don't have the ACAE.
     
  26. SoCalAud

    SoCalAud

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    Good point, Cidanu!
     
  27. audprofess

    audprofess

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    Yes, cidanu is correct on the reason why many programs don't currently have ACAE accreditation. I hope that more and more AuD programs will continue to move in that direction, but it will take awhile. Just like everyone else these days, university programs are not exactly swimming in thousands of dollars of extra money. Oh, and the ACAE and ASHA audiology accreditation standards are actually extremely similar, so university admins may see them as redundant, and therefore not support a department in getting ACAE when they already have ASHA, especially given all the extra expense.

    Also, course titles don't tell the whole story. For example, genetics and pharmacology are often integrated into a number of other courses. Sometimes it's logistically simpler to, say, integrate 1 credit of genetics into "auditory anatomy and physiology" and another credit of genetics into "auditory disorders" than to create a standalone 2-credit genetics course.

    As another example, I'm also looking at Wash. U.'s (an excellent AuD program with both ACAE and ASHA accreditation) 2012 AuD curriculum online, and there is no standalone pharmacology course. I'm assuming the info is covered in other courses.

    So, don't draw conclusions about programs based only on where the accreditation is from, and/or course titles. Check with the program director if you have questions about coverage of particular topics. Some programs do skimp on some topics, but other programs have great coverage that is just hidden in other courses.



     
  28. AuD Doc

    AuD Doc

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    AudProfess and others make some valid points about accreditation. However, my observation is that there definitely are differences across programs. When looking at programs, you should talk with students who currently are enrolled or are alumni. Ask if they feel prepared to practice. Talk with preceptors and employers--see if students coming to their practices are prepared to practice. Also, remember, the AuD is a clinical training program. Is the focus of the program more on research than clinical preparation? Do you have to write a thesis or prepare a capstone for medical, dental, pharmacy, etc.? Why do many audiology programs require students to spend so much time on research projects rather than focusing on clinical preparation. Don't misunderstand my comments...being a consumer of the literature is very important. But do clinical practitioners have to be original contributors by actually doing a research project as compared to taking a research methods course. So, ACAE focuses on assuring that students are graduating prepared to practice the full scope of audiology practice today and in the future.
     
  29. audprofess

    audprofess

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    I agree with Aud Doc that you should ask current students (preferably 4th years or advanced 3rd years; 1st, 2nd, and early 3rd year students won't know yet) and recent alumni about how well prepared they were.

    Also, some programs do seem to substitute comprehensive clinical preparation with a lot of capstone/research credits. Again, though, capstone/research projects are not a bad thing, as long as they don't take too much time or credits away from clinical preparation. In fact, capstone/research projects can help prepare you for things like being a clinical preceptor at a university, or being the clinical audiology representative on a research team at a medical center or in industry.
     
  30. chicoborja

    chicoborja Clinical Audiologist

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    WSU AuD program moves to a 3-year curriculum

    Posted: Friday, January 06, 2012 Posted: 2:38:50 PM CT

    Announcing Modifications To The Wichita State University Doctor of Audiology (Aud) Program

    The faculty, clinical educators and administrators of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Wichita State University (WSU) have, over the past year, systematically reviewed the Doctor of Audiology Program with the intent to evaluate the curriculum to insure students engage in an academic and clinically rigorous graduate experience. Further, it is our intention to support students to complete their graduate degree in the most time efficient manner. We have found that by increasing summer offerings, adjusting some of the course offerings during the academic year, and beginning the clinical experiences earlier in our student’s program, that the four year (11 semester) AuD program could be offered during three years over 9 semesters (6 academic year semesters and 3 summers) including the year of residency and maintain the quality education students are seeking. These modifications have been made while adhering to all accreditation standards of the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) and the graduate standards of WSU and CSD.

    Therefore, we are pleased to announce that those program modifications have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate councils and administration of this University, and will be implemented beginning Fall, 2012.

    AuD program information can be found at http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=csd&p=/_AuD/curriculum.

    URL: http://webs.wichita.edu/dt/newsletter/show/printthis/index.asp?NID=9783&AID=21100
     

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