Over the course of the program, students will participate in five clinical placements:
- Year 1, December: 2 weeks, observation only
- Year 1, March-April: 5 weeks
- Year 2, September-October: 6 weeks
- Year 2, January-February: 6 weeks
- Year 2, May-July: 10 weeks
Students are expected to travel outside of Hamilton, Ontario for clinical placements. Common placement regions outside of Hamilton include, but are not limited to Niagara, Brant, Haldimand-Norfolk, Waterloo, Wellington and Halton. Some placements may be located in rural, under-serviced and remote areas. Students are responsible for their own transportation and associated costs in order to complete program requirements.
All placements are full-time (typically an average of 35-40 hours per week, recognizing that there will be week-to-week variations based on client and facility need), but the particular days and times of day worked will vary according to each individual site.
Over the course of the program, students will gain clinical experience across a wide variety of organizations, including but not limited to hospitals, schools, preschool programs, children’s treatment centres, home care programs, day programs, and private practices. Students will typically have one or two primary placement supervisors (called Clinical Instructors), but may be given opportunities to participate with other personnel at the facility, including both Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants.
Experiences while on placement are vital to the development of effective practicing clinicians. Students have the opportunity to transfer knowledge gained during in-class and self-directed learning into real world environments under the guidance of their Clinical Instructors.
Over the course of the 29 weeks of clinical placement experience, students are required to obtain a minimum number of specified practice hours in order to apply for registration or licensing in the chosen jurisdiction. Only hours obtained in placements where a passing grade was obtained are counted toward registration/licensing requirements. Students who fail a placement must complete an additional placement of the same duration, which may extend the length of their program.
Students are required to maintain current non-academic requirements for the duration of their registration in the MSc(SLP) program. Failure to maintain current requirements may result in the student being withdrawn from the program and/or clinical placement. Non-academic requirements can be found here:
Year 1 students: http://srs-mcmaster.ca/slp-year-one-requirements/
Students must be prepared to supply confirmation of meeting the Health Screen, Vulnerable Sector Screen, CPR Training, Mask Fit, and Health & Safety Training requirements either prior to or on the first day of each placement.
Some placement sites have additional requirements (e.g., site-specific health and safety training, more frequent police checks, additional paperwork, etc.) and these should be identified in the in the initial placement offer. It is the student’s responsibility to inquire about additional requirements and then ensure they have met the additional requirements prior to the start of placement.