Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences clinics allow for opportunity to students and outside community

The Lamar University Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences is home to two areas of study: speech-language pathology and audiology. The areas of study are not simply a lecture-based programs. Rather, there is a component that allows for hands-on learning, experience and opportunity to provide services to the community of Southeast Texas. That component is the two state-of-the-art clinics housed in the Speech and Hearing building on the campus of Lamar University.

Alyssa Scales, director of speech-language pathology clinical services, has been with the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences for six years and she oversees the clinical operations for the SLP community resource clinic. Scales detailed the wide range of services that they have to offer.

“In our speech clinic we see a wide range of children and adults,” said Scales. “We have speciality clinics where we specialize in certain areas. So, professors and supervisors have their main areas of focus.”

Some of the speciality clinic groups include the areas of aphasia, voice and accent modification, social cognition and early childhood language.

Outside of campus, the department is involved with the Beaumont Independent School District where they work with pre-K groups and offer screenings and evaluations.

sphs-clinics.jpgOn the audiology side, their clinic is open to the public, and they offer a wide number of services to assist individuals with hearing aid selection and use, assistive listening devices and learning how to use technology to their advantage.

Erin Burns, director of the audiology clinic, emphasized the signifance of their services and that they exist to simply help people.

“We help people advocate for themselves and about what they need,” said Burns. “We have a partnership with Texas Workforce who help meet the needs of people with disabilities and can help provide with audiology devices. We also work with a program called Starkey Cares which is an income-based hearing aid resource.”

As both clinics offer a wide range of services to the community, they also aim to include their students and to provide them with hands-on experience through the clinics.

Through the SLP program, students are trained during the first half of the semester and then treat clients for the second half.  Due to the number of speciality clinics, students are able to gain experience in a number of areas supervised by licensed professionals.

Through the audiology program, first-year students are provided with a two-week orientation. Once they complete that and become certified in hearing and vision screening, they are taught skills such as otoscopy and tympanometry. Once they have demonstrated the skill, they can then treat clients while being supervised.

Both clinics continue to grow and add more to each in order to increase the learning opportunities and to be able to provide more to the community.

To learn more about the clinics and the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, visit