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Audiology

hearing-test

As an audiology student, you’re not just pursuing your Au.D. degree; you’ll have the chance to grow as an individual and give back to your community. Our program fosters professional and educational development in several ways:

Our expert faculty and clinical staff are enthusiastic about providing quality patient care and mentoring future audiologists. Thanks to our state-of-the-art Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, we are able to offer unparalleled training to our students and optimum services to the community.

The doctor of audiology program at NIU is a four-year full-time program. Students typically complete their required course work on-campus in the first three academic years including two summer semesters and satisfy their clinical requirements working full-time for 12 months at their externship sites.

The NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic offers a wide range of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Our clinical faculty members are dedicated to providing and teaching best practices in hearing healthcare. We adhere to the national guidelines for hearing loss management, including providing devices from several manufacturers, electroacoustic device function verification, real-ear measurement of audibility status, and outcomes assessment pre- and post-fitting.

In addition to comprehensive technology management, students learn post-fitting rehabilitative techniques for children and adults. Our clinic’s adult group audiologic rehabilitation program has helped many patients overcome communicative challenges. This faculty-led, student-facilitated program holds multiple sessions a year.

The Northern Illinois University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic provides cochlear implant candidacy assessment and programming services. We work in cooperation with otologists from the greater Chicago area to provide excellent care for patients in the far west and north central Illinois areas.

Patients are referred to the NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic for evaluation of their central and peripheral vestibular mechanism after experiencing instability, dizziness, head injury or illness. Tests may include:

  • Videonystagmography (VNG);
  • VORTEQ (for high frequency headshake and VOR);
  • vHIT (vestibular head impulse test);
  • oVEMP (ocular vestibular myogenic evoked potentials to assess utriclar function);
  • cVEMP (to evaluate saccular function) and
  • Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) which can determine what part of the balance/vestibular system is compromised

We are pleased to work in close consultation with area physical therapists, otologists and neurologists to provide comprehensive care. Our faculty also provides expertise to the NIU Concussion Management Team.

Tinnitus—or sound heard in the absence of a physical sound source—is experienced by an estimated 30 million U.S. residents. In our clinic, we use best practices in assessment and treatment techniques for patients with bothersome tinnitus. Our model of care is:

  • Holistic — including cooperation with colleagues from otology, neurology and mental/emotional care provision when indicated
  • Patient-centered — not linked to any one manufacturer or treatment technique
  • Financially feasible — with sound therapy plans using existing home technology when possible, and lower-cost options available when needed

Strategic Plan

Our program's strategic plan is in line with our school's strategic plan:

  • Increase number of professional development offerings that generate revenue
  • Highlight faculty research activity
  • Increase advocacy (professional, patient, family) opportunities for students
  • Increase students’ ethical awareness and decision making skills in leadership roles and situations

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