H.S. students participate in Misericordia University Career Exploration Summer Camp for SLP


Twenty-seven high school students from six states gained valuable insights into a specialized health care field at the Misericordia University Career Exploration Summer Camp for Speech-Language Pathology in June.

The four-day, three-night residential camp allows students to become familiar with the many career options in the growing field of speech-language pathology (SLP). Participants tour the department’s state-of-the-art facilities in the new College of Health Sciences building and tour local health care facilities, such as the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association, John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and Life Geisinger to learn about the various settings where SLPs are employed and the populations they serve.

The importance of career exploration camps for high school students is demonstrated in the exit survey the students completed at the conclusion of the SLP camp. Students are introduced to academic majors and also learn about job opportunities. For example, SLPs are employed in schools, hospitals, nursing care facilities, home health care settings, outpatient care centers, child day care centers and institutions of higher education.

Each of the students — from Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina — said they were likely to pursue a career in SLP and most said they would attend a five-year program, like Misericordia’s. Each of the 27 attendees also said they would apply to the Misericordia program.

Students who participated in the camp this summer found it to be both informative and challenging. The best features of the camp were “the presentations and speakers,’’ Chenango Forks High School student Melissa Belanger of Chengo Forks, N.Y., wrote in her exit survey. “It was very inspiring to see how much of an impact was made on them (the patients).’’

Stephanie LaManna of Hillsborough High School in New Jersey rated her experience at MU as superior and wrote in her exit survey that, “We were shown many different aspects of speech pathology that I knew existed, but did not know much about,’’ LaMann wrote, adding that the site visits showed how SLP can have a positive impact over many age groups.

“I loved the site visits and clinic videos (from sessions in the Misericordia University Speech-Language and Hearing Center),’’ added Kate Serravalle of Woxall, Pa., a Souderton Area High School student. “I learned more about the profession and speech disorders. The client speakers were great and inspirational.’’

Misericordia University offers a five-year Master of Science degree in SLP. The program features the Speech-Language and Hearing Center on campus in which graduate students evaluate and treat clients of all ages while under the direct supervision of faculty specialists and clinical staff who are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The center offers an innovative approach to therapeutic intervention that combines professional expertise with advanced technology to effectively assess and treat children, adolescents, adults and the elderly with speech and language impairments. Hearing screenings and audiological rehabilitation services are also available. Appointments are offered to clients who may not be able to afford or obtain services elsewhere.

For more information about the program or to register for next year’s speech-language pathology camp, please contact Donna DiBlasi at (570) 674-6724 or ddiblasi@misericordiaa.edu. Space for the camp is limited.     For more information about Misericordia University, please log on to www.misericordia.edu or call (570) 674-6400.

Misericordia University offers rising high school juniors and seniors the unique opportunity for hands-on academic learning at eight Misericordia University Career Exploration Summer Camps every June. MU offers three- and four-day residential camps in biology, business, communications, English, nursing, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and teacher education so students can gain a firsthand look into a particular career field through a mixture of clinical, laboratory, classroom and field experiences. Students also experience what it is like to live on a college campus during their overnight stay.

Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 32 bachelor, master’s and doctoral academic programs in three colleges in full and part-time formats.

Photo Caption: Speech-Language Pathology summer camp participants, from left, Morristown High School student Victoria Mosuriak of Morris Plains, N.J.; Pittston Area High School student Alyssa Russick of Duryea, Pa., and Pascack Valley High School student Kayla Darcey of Hillsdale, N.J., work with an assistive and augmentative communication device at the Misericordia University Speech-Language and Hearing Center.