Giving and receiving individual attention

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Graduate student Melanie Derry of Baton Rouge works with five-year-old Cameron Juno of Mandeville during one of the summer sessions of the Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic. The Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic isconducted by Southeastern's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders; Dr. Paula S. Currie, Department Head.

Melanie Derry, Communication Sciences and Disorders major, Graduate Program

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Dr. Paula S. Currie, Department Head



Having earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Virginia Tech, Melanie Derry of Baton Rouge is generous with her praise for the personal attention she receives as a graduate student in Southeastern’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders’ speech-language pathology program.

“It was a big switch from a large to a smaller program, but I love it,” said Derry, who is the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship from the Woman’s Hospital Auxiliary. “I love the individual attention here at Southeastern. Everyone is so approachable, so helpful. The faculty is just great.”


Southeastern communication sciences and disorders
majors help youngsters create "fireflies" outof flashlights, construction paper and other art supplies during the

annual summer camp for clients of Southeastern

Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic.

As a graduate student, Derry is on the giving as well as receiving end of individual attention. During three-week summer “camps,” CSD students work one-on-one with young clients of the department’s Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic. The long-standing clinic provides services to community members of all ages with a spectrum of communication disorders. At the summer sessions, CSD student clinicians use arts and crafts, games and other fun strategies to help children meet individualized goals -- from producing a certain sound to increasing their overall language skills.

“What separates Southeastern’s program from others in the state and even in the nation is the opportunity for undergraduate students to gain clinical experience,” said Dr. Paula S. Currie, head of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She said Southeastern's CSD program is addressing the national shortage of certified speech-language pathologists.


"Graduates from the undergraduate program are eligible to be licensed as speech-language assistants and can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, or private practices," Currie said. "Students who graduate from Southeastern’s graduate program are sought after by employers because of their knowledge and skills in a variety of communication disorders such as autism, stuttering, swallowing, stroke, hearing impairments.

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