Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Special Education

Committee Member

Sarah M. Ginsberg, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, Chair

Committee Member

Jeffrey L. Bernstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Claudia J. Galli, M.A., CCC-SLP


This qualitative research study investigated the transition between academic and clinical coursework during the graduate education of speech-language pathologists (SLPs). During this transition period, graduate students experience stress and anxiety (Chan, et al., 1994; Lincoln, et al., 2004). This study examined what aspects of the transition are responsible for these feelings. Through interviews with graduate students who recently experienced this transition, data was collected to make sense of the feelings and experiences that the graduate students endured and what aspects of the transition were responsible for their cause. The results of this study revealed multiple factors that increased anxiety before and during the transition into the clinical practicum. Students also offered preliminary suggestions for faculty and their peers of ways to make the transition more manageable. Finally, the results of the study suggested directions for further research in the area of clinical experiences during the graduate education of SLPs.