Audiology Student Driven by Personal Reasons
Feb. 19, 2010
College students pick their degree programs for a variety of reasons. For Jessica DeLaRosa, a first-year doctor of audiology student (Au.D.) in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, it was the birth of her first son.
“My oldest son was born deaf, so I immediately became interested in audiology in order to better understand his treatment and therapy options,” said DeLaRosa. “I often met with his audiologist to discuss the benefits of cochlear implants, which he received at 2 years of age, and discovered that I had a strong interest in learning more about the field.”
At the time, DeLaRosa was pursuing a bachelor’s in nursing at another university. She decided to change her major and began pursuing a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and audiology at UT Dallas.
“Because of my son, I felt a strong desire to choose a profession where I could help others with hearing impairment,” said DeLaRosa. “The bachelor’s and doctoral degree programs offered at UT Dallas provided the best opportunity for me to accomplish that goal.”
As part of the Au.D. program, DeLaRosa and her classmates attend classes at the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders. The students also participate in a weekly practicum in which they work alongside Callier Center audiologists as well as audiologists in hospitals, clinics and private practices throughout North Texas.
“Working with the patients in various clinical settings and learning from the audiologists are invaluable parts of the program,” DeLaRosa said. “Having the opportunity to see and experience everything the audiologists do on a daily basis is helping to prepare me for life after graduation.”
In addition to offering hands-on clinical experience, the Callier Center also affords Au.D. students exciting opportunities to become involved in basic and applied research in communication sciences and disorders. The center’s Dallas location is home to the Callier Advanced Hearing Research Center, which houses state-of-the-art equipment for assessing auditory capabilities of children and adults.
“Jessica is an example of the dedication and talent our students add to the program as well as to the profession of audiology,” said Dr. Ross Roeser, head of the Au.D. program and executive director emeritus at the Callier Center. “She is one of the reasons the Au.D. program is one of the best in the nation.”
For many students, including DeLaRosa, the program’s outstanding reputation was a major factor in deciding to attend UT Dallas. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Au.D. graduate program No. 4 in the country.