West Virginia University (WVU)’s Audiology program was once a 4-year program and is now a 3-year program. I am in the last cohort that is part of the 4-year program. In the 4-year program, the first 3 years are based on learning about the foundation skills needed for the field with clinic experiences starting our 2nd year. The first clinic experience is in our campus clinic where we saw patients of all ages. The 4th year is the year-long externship where the student works full time in preparation to become a full-fledged audiologist. During this externship, students gain more clinical knowledge and become more confident in their skills.
WVU offers a traditional clinical track and a combined AuD/PhD track with research opportunities for all students. The traditional track is the regular 4-year program and in the combined track, the 4th year is replaced by other classes for the PhD requirements.
The clinical outplacements/experiences give students a chance to have a taste in the major sectors audiologists work in. Placements in the local hospital, ENT offices, private practices, and the local Veteran’s Affair hospitals/clinics besides our campus clinic were offered.
During the time I was on campus, a student in the year above would partner with a new student. This allowed peer to peer teaching and made the new student more comfortable in the campus clinic. We were given the opportunity to join and participate in our division of the Student Academy of Audiology. WVU also offered interprofessional practice sessions and are required during the program. This allows students to understand how to work with other professionals in a respectful manner.