The transitional or post-professional Doctor of Audiology degree program primarily is designed as an avenue for graduates from the University of Tennessee to gain the additional knowledge necessary to transition from the MA/MS to the entry-level AuD. Graduates from programs other than UT may also apply to the program. The degree completion program was developed in conjunction with the audiology program’s conversion to the AuD, which requires 112 graduate credit hours.
The philosophy of the AuD program is that the Doctor of Audiology degree is the appropriate first professional degree for audiologists. The program also supports the certification standards of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for the profession. With the implementation of the transitional (post-professional) AuD degree program at UTHSC, the institution and the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology is facilitating the achievement of a common baseline for all audiologists who have graduated from the program at UT in the past. The transitional or post-professional program allows working clinicians to gain the additional knowledge necessary to bring them academically and clinically to the entry-level AuD. The program is designed to add only the essential knowledge and skills needed to practice as a Doctor of Audiology, as the Knowledge and Skills Assessment (KASA) expands the expected outcomes of audiology graduates in the areas of foundations of practice, prevention and identification, evaluation, and treatment.
Prior to the implementation of the AuD as the entry-level degree for certification in audiology, students were required to complete a 2-year graduate program culminating in the Master’s degree. Graduates then completed a 9-month Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) under the supervision of a certified audiologist. Once completed, the graduate became eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from ASHA and for state licensure.
Due to the changes in ASHA certification standards noted earlier, the 2-year Master’s program at UT was expanded to a 4-year program culminating in the AuD degree. The first two years of the AuD program and previous Master of Arts (MA) program are the same with one exception; ASP 584 (Amplification for Children with Hearing Impairment) was added. During the third year of the AuD program, students complete 18 credit hours of coursework, 3 credit hours of directed research, and 6 credit hours of clinical practicum. The fourth year of the AuD program is dedicated to full-time externship (18 credit hours) which is comparable to the CFY completed post-graduation under the old certification standards.
Applicants to the transitional AuD program are required to have earned a Master’s degree in Audiology. Based upon the program requirements outlined below, an individualized graduate program will be designed in accordance with the Audiology Certification Standards (ASHA, 2007).
Applicants to the transitional AuD program who have completed a CFY will be expected to complete 18 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of directed research included in the 3rd year of the AuD program which were not completed during the Master’s program. Applicants who have completed a CFY will be granted a waiver of the 18 credit hours of clinical externship completed in the 4th year of the AuD program; however the applicant must complete a minimum of 3 credit hours of clinical practicum to demonstrate he/she meets the KASA requirements for clinical competence. Clinical competence will be assessed by current clinical faculty or an approved off-campus supervisor using the procedures and metrics used for 4th year externs in the AuD program. The applicant will continue to enroll in clinical practicum until he/she meets the KASA requirements for clinical competence.
Applicants to the transitional AuD program that did not complete a CFY will be expected to complete 18 credit hours coursework, 3 credit hours of directed research, 6 credit hours of clinical practicum, and 18 credit hours of externship included in the 3rd and 4th years of the AuD program that he/she did not complete during their Master’s program. At the completion of the 4th year externship, the applicant must demonstrate he/she meets the KASA requirements for clinical competence. Clinical competence will be assessed by current clinical faculty or an approved off-campus supervisor using the procedures and metrics used for 4th year externs in the AuD Program.
If the audiologist graduated from the 2-year MA/MS program at UT, the AuD degree completion program will require a minimum of 30 credit hours. Graduates from institutions other than UT will have an individualized review of academic coursework and clinical experiences to determine which courses must be taken. Most audiologists will be able to complete the program in approximately 1 - 2 years while employed in a clinical or academic setting.