Curricular Design

We have created an innovative, responsive, flexible, evidence-based, seven-quarter curriculum focused on active development of student acumen in the following areas:

  • Scientific approach to decision making
  • Critical consumption and application of research
  • Comprehension of and engagement in the research process
  • Self-supervision
  • Professional leadership
  • Engagement in intellectual dialogue that contributes to the learning community within and beyond the field

Our curriculum is enhanced with the following elements:

  1. Modified Concept-Based Curriculum
    • Underlying concepts differ based on term in a whole-part-whole progression:
      • Quarters 1 and 4 address concepts reaching across the field (Q1 - fundamentals, Q4 - synthesis)
      • Quarters 2 and 3 address client context (pediatric versus adults)
        • Pediatric and adult curriculum are offered twice, allowing for division of class and coordination with clinical team
  2. Immersive Curriculum
    • Students are immersed in course content and clinical practice.
    • Clinical experiences allow for immediate application of didactic material.
    • Clinical methods courses are directly related to course and clinical concepts.
  3. Integrated Clinical Teaming
    • Team meetings capitalize on opportunities for team-based learning (TBL).
    • Though not interdisciplinary, these teams provide practice for eventual professional team behaviors.
    • Advanced students have opportunities to take leadership roles within the team.
  4. Summative Assessment of Synthesis within and across Concepts
    • Simulated assessments with clinical competency requirements are incorporated during the winter and spring terms.
  5. Support and Development of Clinical Skill
    • Students have familiarity with basic clinical methods prior to providing service.
    • The clinical curriculum allows for continuum of supervision, including:
      • Support from novice to intermediate student.
      • Side-by-side service provision (1:1:1) for many treatment sessions.
  6. Support and Development of Self-Supervision, Leadership, & Contribution to the Learning Community
    • Direct instruction and class discussion regarding these topics begins during orientation and extends throughout the program.
    • Opportunities for practice and skill development are embedded throughout the duration of the program.
  7. Embedded Experiences in Self-Assessment
    • Self-assessment across different domains begins during orientation.
    • Quarterly and weekly self-assessments regarding clinic services are completed during all clinical placements (on and off campus).
    • Generic Abilities and the Emotional Intelligent Leadership Inventory are completed three times during program (start, mid, and end).

MS in Speech, Language, and Learning
Frances Searle Building
2240 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
ms-sll@northwestern.edu
847-491-5073