Communication Takes Care: In recognition of the 2016 Master’s graduates!

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It is with full hearts that we congratulate the 2016 Master’s students!  

We’re taking a moment to reflect on how from their first introductions , through a lot of engaged learning experiences, to packing up to move around the country:  the participants of the Children’s Communicative Competence grant have brought heart, good humor, and outstanding commitment to the PSU AAC Community.

In the photo, clockwise from the top:  Dr. Janice Light and Victoria Ortega, Courtney Thomas, Elija Buenviaje, Jamie Ragsdale, and Merissa Ekman.

The goal of the Penn State Children’s Communicative Competence project is to respond to the urgent need for fully credentialed speech language pathologists who are prepared to provide evidence-based services to improve results for high need children who have complex communication needs and require AAC.

Here are just a few of the many accomplishments to date:

– Since 2011, a total of 23 MS students have been funded through the Children’s Communicative Competence grant – an amazing group of incredibly smart, caring, and dedicated individuals who are committed to making a difference in the lives of children who require AAC and their families.
– They have completed extensive course work in addition to the required curriculum that focus on areas critical to build their competencies in AAC.
– They are not only talented in their academic course work but they also do an incredible job translating research and theory to evidence-based practice to improve outcomes for individuals who require AAC.  100% of the individuals and families served in the clinical practicum experiences expressed high levels of satisfaction with the services provided.
– In addition to academic coursework and practicum experiences, 100% of the MS scholars were /are also involved in important research on a wide range of topics – language & communication development for beginning communicators, literacy learning, peer interactions, AAC system design, independent living, sexuality, multimodal access, AAC technologies that support just in time programming, other innovative technology applications, and more.  This research is serving to advance our understanding and improve outcomes for individuals with CCN who require AAC.
– Furthermore, 100% of the scholars who received funding on the grant were involved in community education activities, trainings of families and/or educational professionals, research presentations, and/or other educational activities to increase public awareness of the project and improve outcomes for children with complex communication needs.

This is an incredible list of accomplishments – thanks to an incredible group of MS scholars!

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