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Recruitment of diverse students in speech-language pathology programs

Stanton, Suzanne Thompson
Scope and Method of Study:
The population in the United States continues to become more racially diverse. The field of speech-language pathology must diversify as well. A diverse professional pool will better serve the needs of the diverse clients speech-language pathologists serve in all educational and clinical settings. This study attempts to identify recruitment practices and strategies that increase the enrollment of students from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds in speech-language pathology programs. A survey instrument was utilized to determine specific recruitment practices utilized by all accredited graduate programs. A comparison was made between programs with high and low diversity in student enrollment. Chi-square analysis was utilized to identify significant differences in the recruitment practices of both groups.
Findings and Conclusions:
Four practices or strategies were found to be significant at the .05 level. These key strategies included having diverse faculty, talking to parent groups, disseminating financial aid information and offering specific scholarships or teaching assistantships to students from minority or culturally diverse backgrounds. This comparison of the high and low diversity groups on a large scale is unique and may offer insight into methods to better recruit students from diverse backgrounds to the field of speech-language pathology.