The project's goal was to attract more Native American students into the professions of speech- language pathology, audiology, and speech and hearing sciences. Strategies included the creation of a brochure on the Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic at Minnesota State University (MSUM); the development of a course entitled "Introduction to Communication Disorders" which was offered on the campus of the Tribal College, and the development of a student/faculty mentoring program. Potential obstacles for the recruitment of Native American students are identified and suggestion offered. In addition, plans for formalizing the relationship between the tribal college and the four-year institution and for placing courses on-line so that they are accessible by students at the Community College were developed.
The objective of this project was to increase the skills of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in Minnesota related to assessment and intervention with children who speak languages other than, or in addition to, English. Training was provided to "local experts" who could begin to mentor their respective professional communities. The project provided over 18 hours of free continuing education via a 3-part workshop series combined with free text materials, a Web site of resource links, and an on-line threaded discussion group for case based cross-mentoring from clinicians and trainers across the state. Over 130 school-based clinicians, representing over 83 districts across Minnesota registered for the program. Workshops included "Assessment and Intervention in Linguistically Diverse Learners", "Applying Techniques to Clinical Case Studies: Yours and Ours", and "Future Directions: Making Decisions with Experience and Data". All statewide trainees gathered for a centralized group conference with the theme of sharing "lessons learned" from the six regional working groups.
Detailed information about the program design and implementation are provided., including recruitment of participants, resources disseminated, curricula for field training workshops, and development of the Web site. Project results are posted on the university's Web site and were presented at the 2004 annual ASHA Convention.
The two primary goals of this pilot program were to increase the knowledge base of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in literacy development and intervention, and to promote implementation of that knowledge base when providing intervention to kindergarten English Language Learners with language impairment.
The pilot project was conducted in the San Diego Unified School District, the second largest school district in California. The focus was on children in the kindergarten year since it is considered as a critical year of transition for young children. The SLPs who participated in this project worked with students who:(1) had an IEP stipulating services for language impairment, (2) were designated as an English Language Learner by the district, spoke Spanish as the native language, and resided in a home environment in which Spanish is dominant; (3) were judged by their classroom teacher as having difficulty developing competence in English literacy compared to classroom peers and local expectations.
A survey of participating SLPs suggested high rates of practices that integrated literacy objectives into their interventions. Classroom teachers were surveyed to quantify the amount of professional collaboration before and after the project commenced and to characterize teacher perceptions on both the value of the collaboration and the contributions of the SLP to the teacher's knowledge base about language and literacy. SLP-teacher collaboration was reported as either "frequent" or "constant" during the duration of the program. The teachers overwhelmingly viewed the professional relationship as "important" or "very important". Although improvements in literacy skills were noted overall when considering the students as a group, the variability among students remained considerable at the end of the year. "Best practice" guidelines for building comprehension and decoding abilities in English Language Learners with language impairments within the context of speech-language intervention are provided.
2003-2004 Review Panel: Hortencia G. Kayser, James H.we Lee, Shuba Kashinath, Stephanie Marshall, and Corey J. Mitchell.