Clinical Training


The clinical training component of the M.A. Program is unique and is consistently cited as a strength of the program by outside reviewers. The Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) serves as the initial training site for the Program of Communication Sciences. Students are supervised by practicing speech-language pathologists and audiologists at the CHSC for part of their practicum experience. The clinical staff provides beginning graduate students with one-on-one supervision to help develop clinical skills through a variety of specialized CHSC programs. Students also participate in an externship program that includes medical and clinical placements at sites throughout the Greater Cleveland area. Students are assigned to at least two different externship sites. COSI is affiliated with the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC), the oldest free-standing speech and hearing clinic in the United States. The CHSC is the only non-profit community-based organization in Cleveland that is devoted solely to treating communication disorders in adults and children. Approximately 25,000 clients, exhibiting a range of communication impairments, are served at the CHSC each year

Our students also participate in initial training experiences through the CWRU PSSC Clinic in the Speakeasy program.

For over 30 years, SpeakEasy has supported the needs of adults who are living with acquired neurogenic communication disorders (ANCD) by offering education, support, and treatment at no charge. The Department of Psychological Sciences, Communication Sciences Program at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) provides the faculty and graduate students to design and run the program and when the group meets in person the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center provides the space.

Designed and led by faculty member and speech-language pathologist Jean Nisenboum, with the assistance of graduate students working to gain clinical training experience, SpeakEasy welcomes nearly 35 people a week. The program brings together adults with ANCD’s in a space where they are supported and can express themselves by whatever means possible.  Individuals living with ANCD’s are isolated due to their communication challenges and a group like SpeakEasy fills an incredibly important need.

SpeakEasy members refer to their peers as their family. These “family” members ranged in age from 35-100! Their communications challenges may be due to strokes, head injuries, or diseases but one thing they all have in common is that they have fun working with the graduate students and forming bonds with their peers.

Training Sites

Our clinical affiliations include:

  • Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism
  • Cleveland Clinic Hospitals
  • Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation
  • Cleveland VA Medical Center
  • Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Genesis Rehabilitation Services
  • Legacy Health Services
  • MetroHealth Medical Center
  • Monarch Center for Autism
  • Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
  • Southwest General Hospital
  • University Hospitals

Spotlight on Our Students

“I am glad I chose Case. I feel the smaller program makes it easy to contact professors, ask questions and learn much more during class and clinic. I also have enjoyed all of my placements that I have been assigned so far; it has been a great experience and the variety has shown me the different populations that I can work with as a future speech-language pathologist.” Second-Year Graduate Student, Clinical Extern at Monarch of Bellefaire and ALS Association “Throughout my application and decision-making process I felt that the faculty really cared and was there to help me (which hasn’t changed throughout my time in the program). Case has a great reputation for being an academically challenging school with high expectations. I knew that coming here, I would get a good education and really be pushed to do my best and become a competent SLP. I really liked the resources available to us as student clinicians. We get the opportunity to work with diverse populations. I am glad I chose Case because I really like how small the program is. I feel I get a lot of individual attention and if I have a difficult time with something, the faculty is not too busy to really try to help me understand the concepts I need to know to be a good clinician.” Second-Year Graduate Student, Clinical Extern at The Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism

“I chose Case because I was interested in specializing in medical speech pathology. I knew that the location of the program offered a lot of medical externship opportunities. Additionally, the size of the program was really attractive because it allows for students to form relationships with one another and with faculty. Cleveland is also a great city to live in. There are a lot of places to go and see no matter what kinds of activities you like. The faculty members are really engaged with students and are very accessible to them. The clinical opportunities at the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center are wonderful for students just starting practicum and then there are a lot of great externship sites that allow students to try out their particular interests. The small classes allow for a lot of flexibility, discussion and interactive projects. All of my clinic experiences have had really supportive supervisors who have worked hard to both teach me about the profession and guide me in establishing my personal skills.” Second-Year Graduate Student, Clinical Extern at Metro Health Medical Center



“I chose Case for its medical focus, dedicated faculty, and variety of research. In my two years at Case, I have grown to really appreciate the size of the program. The smaller class size allows students to integrate their personal clinical experiences with classroom learning, and promotes an environment where students learn as a team and build off each other’s experiences.” Second-Year Graduate Student, Clinical Extern at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center






Case Western Reserve University and the CWRU PSSC Clinic/SpeakEasy program are inclusive of people of all racial, ethnic,cultural, socioeconomic, national and international backgrounds, welcoming diversity of thought, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, political affiliation and disability. We believe in a culture of inclusion that encourages relationships and interactions among people of different backgrounds, a culture that enhances human dignity, actively diminishes prejudice and discrimination and improves the quality of life for everyone in our community.

For more information about the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, including its Core Values of Justice, Accessibility, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity (JAIDE), please visit

The Master of Arts  (M.A.) education program in speech-language pathology {residential} at Case Western Reserve University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.