Communication Sciences and Disorders students conducted 633 hearing screenings for Clyde ISD as a departmental service project.
Both undergraduate and graduate students clocked in required clinical hours by participating and were able to get hands-on experience relevant to their field of study. The screenings were supervised by licensed speech-language pathologists who are also a part of ACU’s CSD faculty.
The exams are composed of playing sounds at three different Hertz levels in each ear until the participant raises their hand, indicating they hear the sound. Senior CSD major from Whitehouse, Allison Zitek, reflected on the challenges associated with administering the tests to children.
“[Working with young kids] was a bit harder because sometimes we can fully explain the directions to them and they still don’t follow them,” Zitek said. “Sometimes the kids understood and sometimes they didn’t.”
The students were also able to experiment with the audiometers traditionally used in hearing screenings and practice operating the machinery before actually conducting the tests under administrative guidance. Lory Chrane, instructor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, was one of the licensed clinicians who supervised the screenings.
“The students were not only able to experience conducting the screenings with a variety of students, but also experienced organizing the paperwork and classroom management across grade levels and campus locations,” Chrane said.
The clinical hours count as part of the student’s education and allow them to apply techniques they’ve learned in the classroom to real life situations. Once they graduate out of the program, many of them will begin accruing more considerable hours in higher-level positions.
“Our professors are constantly looking for ways to help us gain real life experience,” Zitek said. “We always feel supported and fully prepared to go into the community and participate in activities like this.”