Saint Xavier University has received a two-year, $256,490 federal grant to support graduate-level academic offerings for Hispanic American students.
The two year-long Bilingual English-Spanish for Speech-Language Pathology (BEST for SLP) project will start in January, 2010, with grant funds covering 100 percent of the project costs.
Professor Michael Flahive, Ph.D., of Saint Xavier’s Communication Sciences and Disorders department, will develop interactive multimedia instructional materials and learning activities to enhance the instruction of graduate-level, bilingual English-Spanish speech-language pathology students.
Students trained with these materials will be linguistically and culturally prepared to work with pre-school and school-aged Hispanic children with speech or language impairments or communication-affecting hearing loss. The materials developed under this grant will be used at Saint Xavier and made available to graduate speech pathology programs across the country to improve the quality and quantity of resources available to these bilingual graduate students.
The growing population of Hispanics in the United States has brought a concurrent increase in the number of Hispanic children who have speech or language impairments, or are hard of hearing. Identification, assessment and treatment of these children can be complicated when they come from homes where Spanish is the primary language spoken and effective treatment requires culturally and linguistically qualified speech-language pathologists. However, there is a serious under-representation of Hispanic SLPs in the United States and few university programs in speech-language pathology offer course work to prepare bilingual (English-Spanish) SLPs.
Saint Xavier received national recognition for its success in attracting, retaining and graduating Hispanic students in a 2005 Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education article.
The grant, which comes from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, was awarded to support projects that propose innovative efforts to expand graduate-level academic offerings at colleges that enroll a significant number of Hispanic American students.