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2017 Funded Projects on Multicultural Activities

Addressing Health and Educational Inequities in Tribal Communities Through Targeted Recruitment of American Indian and Alaska Native Early College Students: A Pilot Project

Joshua Allison-Burbank, University of Kansas Medical Center 

This project was created in order to increase the number of American Indian/Alaska Native individuals in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology through targeted recruitment. Targeted recruitment involves creating culturally salient recruitment materials that resonate with a targeted audience. The universities that participated in this project include the University of South Dakota, University of New Mexico, Northern Arizona University, Washington State University, and the University of Oregon.

The objectives of this project were:

1. Highlight the specific speech-language pathology and audiology needs of AI/AN communities throughout the country

2. Address the low numbers of AI/AN speech-language pathologists

3. Develop a short video that discusses the disability service needs of AI/AN tribal communities

4. Partner with guidance counselors and academic advisors in an identified number of junior/undergraduate college settings and connect interested students with Mentors associated with ASHA’s Native American Caucus

5. Foster AI/AN college students’ interest in the discipline and connect them with resources

6. Partner with CSD programs and AI/AN student resource centers in states with high numbers of AI/AN populations.

Products Developed

The following products can be used in a replicable recruitment project that targets a historically underrepresented or unrepresented community within the ASHA membership:

  • 12-minute Recruitment Video (Google Drive link)
  • Pre- and Post-Viewing Surveys
  • Flyers
  • Memorandum of Agreement between Native American Caucus and CSD Program

BiTech: A Bilingual Academic Vocabulary Approach for Latino Preschoolers

Lucia Méndez, East Carolina University

The purpose of this research study was to investigate the acquisition of academic vocabulary by Spanish/English speaking preschool dual language learners (DLLs) under two experimental conditions: technology assisted bilingual storybook shared e-reading (BiTech) vs. Bilingual - No Tech (BNT) storybook shared reading in print format.

A single-case repeated acquisition research design was used in this study and the participants served as their own controls. Fifteen typically developing Spanish-speaking preschool DLLs with minimal English language skills attending English-only classrooms at preschools serving low-income families were recruited. The preliminary findings from this study suggest that technology assisted bilingual instruction (BiTech) has the potential to be an instructional tool that can complement the instructional resources of monolingual clinicians and support bilingual academic vocabulary instruction and acquisition in Latino preschool DLLs from low-income households.

Each child participated in two storybook shared readings using the print book (BNT) and the e-book formats (BiTech), each using a different book. No child received the same storybook shared reading in both formats. Findings from the study reveal that the children as a group learned academic vocabulary at a similar rate regardless of the instructional format, with slightly larger gains in the print format in L2 and for the multimedia enhanced format in L1.

Háblame Bebé (Talk to me Baby): Reducing the Word Gap and Promoting Bilingualism in Low-Income Hispanic Children

Anne Larson, Utah State University  

Millions of low-income children have delays in language, whose roots can be traced back to a disruption in the relationship between infants and their surrounding social environment. How much Language Nutrition- the rich, back-and-forth conversational interaction that is critical for infant language and brain development (Head Zauche, Thul, Darcy Mahoney, & Stapel-Wax, 2016)—babies are exposed to is significantly mediated by poverty. By age three, children from low-income families hear 30 million fewer words than children from middle-income families. This “Word Gap” is the due to significantly lower quality and quantity of adult-child interaction.

Baralt, Darcy, Mahoney, & Brito created a Language Nutrition intervention for Hispanic parents titled Hablame Bebe Háblame Bebé (Talk to Me Baby), a coaching program with a phone app based on evidence-based recommendations and tailored for Spanish-speakers. The text-based coaching program and app teaches parents how and why to give Language Nutrition within simple, everyday routines using video examples, text message tips, and reminders.

The objectives of this project were to investigate

(a) mothers’ access and use of the app;

(b) mothers’ use of Language Nutrition—frequent, responsive and naturalistic language interactions—with their young child;

(c) mothers’ level of bilingual pride; and

(d) child language skills (in English and Spanish).

Data was collected from 37 mother-child dyads across two states (Utah and New York). During recruitment of families with Mexican heritage, several Spanish-speaking families with heritage from other Latino countries in Central and South America expressed interest in the study. Since the app has only previously been tested with families who had Caribbean heritage, the research team felt the data collected from a more diverse group would still be beneficial. We had also hoped that by expanding the participant pool, we could increase recruitment success.

Professional Diversity Starts with a Diverse Student Body: Social and Institutional Barriers to Recruitment

Erin Lundblom, University of Pittsburgh

The overarching objectives of this project were to investigate current barriers faced by minority students applying to graduate programs and identify factors that attract minority students to graduate programs. Proposed aims included: 

Aim 1: Create or revise current methods to collect information about student-level variables (personal and environmental) at the undergraduate and graduate level.

A questionnaire was developed to capture information.

Aim 2: Collect and compile data from assorted sources (e.g. undergraduate and graduate surveys, University admissions data, and graduate school applications) including multiple higher education institutions.

Existing data from the University of Pittsburgh’s CSDCAS system was accessed and compared to questionnaire data obtained from undergraduate and graduate students.  

Aim 3: Perform descriptive statistical analysis and logistic regression modelling for undergraduate survey and graduate applicant data, to quantify impact of student and institutional factors on applications and admissions.

Aim 4: Create a project report describing the methods and data analysis procedures used, critical project findings, and a review of the available literature on the recruitment and retention of students from diverse backgrounds, identifying specific suggestions for policy and procedural changes at the institutional level based on the analyzed data.

Aim 5: Recruit and support an undergraduate and a graduate student from diverse backgrounds through this project, providing an opportunity for mentored research experience and training.

Aim 6: Develop future research capacity.

Aim 7: Disseminate methods and results through national forums.

Information was presented at the 2018 annual ASHA Convention in Boston (MA), a manuscript was submitted to several journals within the field, a summary article was prepared for the ASHA Leader, and an ASHA Special Interest Group expressed interest in supporting a webinar/web chat. Presentations were also submitted to the Council of Academic Programs for the 2019 annual convention.

2017 Review Panel

Mark Guiberson
Alicia Hamilton
Soren Lowell
Diane Scott
Debra Vigil

ASHA Corporate Partners