Speech pathologists work with clients, families, other professionals and community organisations to evaluate communication and swallowing needs, and to deliver intervention and education programs to address and/or support those needs. Speech pathologists work with people across the lifespan and can be employed in a range of settings including schools, early childhood intervention services, and hospitals. They are specialists in speech, voice, language, fluency, multi-modal communication and swallowing, and aim to promote the development of effective communication skills and prevent/manage communication or swallowing difficulties.
Charles Sturt University offers two programs in speech pathology, an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology) and a postgraduate coursework degree (Master of Speech Pathology). At Charles Sturt University, students undertaking studies in speech pathology gain knowledge and skills in traditional areas of practice but also undertake a range of workplace learning experiences that give them a holistic appreciation of health and wellbeing. There is a strong emphasis on developing students' awareness and skills in working with other health and education professionals, and with communities. There is also a commitment to rural and remote health, social justice, cultural safety, and issues of access and equity.
Within the speech pathology program, blended learning is utilised to address the diverse learning needs of students and to offer flexibility in study experiences. This involves providing course content in more than one modality (e.g., online and face-to-face) to enable deeper learning and understanding. Students develop their speech pathology knowledge and skills through the use of tools such as virtual clinics and blogs, as well as lectures and workshops. They are supported on placement by chat rooms and online tutorials as well as phone calls and emails. The use of online learning and teaching strategies is a unique, innovative and evolving feature of both programs.