The Audiology Clinical Education Network (ACEN): Creating Positive Change in the Final-Year Externship
Erin L. Miller, AuD
Ian Windmill, PhD
CEUs: 0.1 AAA CEUs
Duration: 60 minutes
Instructional Level: Beginner
Program Focus: Knowledge
The purpose of the doctor of audiology final-year externship is to provide an opportunity for doctoral students to gain hands-on skills through guided practice, experience, and mentorship. This final clinical experience provides students with an opportunity to encounter the demands that exist in a full-time clinical position where the primary focus is the patient. The desired outcome of the final- year externship is for the doctoral student to achieve the necessary skills to be an independent practitioner. As such, the facility and preceptors in these facilities are an integral part of the clinical education provided by academic programs.
The Audiology Clinical Education Network (ACEN) grew organically because of a desire to improve student outcomes and has resulted in a collaborative effort to standardize elements of the audiology externship process across institutions. While prior attempts have been made to standardize the final-year externship process, none of these efforts resulted in a consistent approach, leaving both facilities and academic programs to manage the process in their own way.
The ACEN, led by audiology preceptors at facilities who offer final year externships, recognized the need for a consistent approach to externship applications, interviews, offers, and acceptances. This resulted in the networks first outcome, a standardized timeline. While a standardized timeline was the ACEN’s initial effort, their purpose extends beyond this with members sharing best practices across institutions to further improve student outcomes. This session will explore the history of the final-year AuD externship, rationale for creation of the ACEN, and the networks current and ongoing efforts to share best practices in clinical education to create a positive change in the final-year externship.
1. Participants will be able to discuss the history of the final-year externship process.
2. Participants will be able to identify the benefits of standardizing the final-year externship application, interviews, offers, and acceptance timeline.
3. Participants will be able to analyze the value of a more consistent institution approach to the final-year externship.
Erin L. Miller, AuD
Dr. Miller is a Professor of Instruction at the University of Akron and is the Coordinator of the Northeast Ohio Au.D. Consortium (NOAC). She is a past president of the American Academy of Audiology, the Ohio Academy of Audiology, and the Northern Ohio Academy of Audiology and has served on numerous committees at the state and national level. Currently she serves on the Practice Policy Advisory Council for the American Academy of Audiology, on the program committee for the 2023 AAA Conference in Seattle, WA, is the University liaison to the Audiology Clinical Education Network and is a member of the Hearing Health Collaborative. She is the co-author of the “Diagnostic Audiology Pocket Guide: Evaluation of Hearing, Tinnitus and Middle Ear Function” with her colleague Dr. Jim Steiger.
Ian M. Windmill, PhD
Dr. Windmill received his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Audiology from the Florida State University. He currently serves as the Clinical Director of Audiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. From 1983 until 2008, he was director of academic, clinical and research programs of the Division of Audiology in the Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine where he developed and implemented the third Doctor of Audiology degree program in the country. While there he was also partner in University Surgical Associates, a 50-doctor multi-specialty surgical group, where he was elected both secretary and treasurer. From 2009 through 2014, he served as Chief of the Division of Communicative Sciences in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he oversaw the clinical and research programs for both audiology and speech-language pathology services. Dr. Windmill is a past-President of the American Academy of Audiology. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the American Board of Audiology, and is past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education. In 2006, Dr. Windmill won the Larry Mauldin Award for Excellence in Education in the Hearing Healthcare Professions.
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