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Students training for clinical careers must acquire skills for teaching clients, their families, and fellow professionals. Guidelines for training programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology), however, do not currently include standards for pedagogy. The aim of this study was to measure changes in undergraduate students' perceptions of teaching and learning following an Instructional Internship experience, where they served as teaching assistants for foundational knowledge courses in the major. Using a qualitative research design, we coded 31 participants' statements from pre- and post-internship essays and identified major themes and sub-themes.
Our results indicate that by participating in a teaching experience, students develop a deeper appreciation for the relationships between classroom pedagogy, their own learning, and clinical practice. While this study focuses on a pedagogical experience for undergraduate students in a Communication Sciences and Disorders program, the principles and results are generalizable to other professions that train students to provide clinical and educational services.
Keywords: teaching assistants, instructional interns, mentoring, doctoral shortage, undergraduates