Doctor of audiology meets standard

8:29:35 AM CDT - Thursday, February 12, 2004

By Shannon Littlejohn

As the demand for audiologists grows in an increasingly populated and noisy society, Wichita State's department of communicative disorders and sciences is well-positioned to meet the need.
CDS will begin offering a new doctor of audiology degree program, effective fall 2004. The program was recently approved by the Kansas Board of Regents.

The clinical doctoral program was proposed to the regents by CDS in order to meet new professional standards mandated by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

"Our national organization set the standards that one must have a doctoral degree to practice in the field after 2007," says Kenn Apel, chair and professor of communicative disorders and sciences. The doctor of audiology (Au.D.) will replace the existing two-year master's degree for clinical audiology as the entry-level degree for clinical practice in that field. The master's will be phased out by 2005.
The Au.D. program has an extensive academic and clinical curriculum and includes the addition of a residency year.

At this time, Wichita State's Au.D. is the only clinical doctoral program in the state of Kansas, said Apel. Audiology also offers a Ph.D. program, but it is a research degree.
"We are very lucky," said Apel. "Our graduate program for audiology goes from a two-year master's to a four-year doctorate. And, because of a lot of grant writing by our faculty, we also have very current equipment and facilities."

As a result of the new doctoral program, CDS has been approved to bring in another faculty member for audiology. Apel said the department is currently in the interview process and is hoping to have someone hired in time for the fall session.

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