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:
- Full in-house scope of clinical practice with active involvement right away
- Excellent research opportunities
- Humanitarian research and services around the world
- Active local chapter of the national Student Academy of Audiology
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 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
We recommend baseline hearing evaluations for all adults, and regular reassessments to monitor for early changes for those with noise exposure or medical conditions. A comprehensive hearing evaluation is the first step in understanding listening difficulties, or to evaluate for potential changes in hearing related to noise exposure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or chemical exposure.
Comprehensive evaluations of hearing are available to persons of all ages and stages of development. Our audiologists and supervised doctoral students will perform a number of thorough diagnostic tests to identify the source of your hearing problems. We are pleased to meet the needs of even the youngest patients, with family-friendly audiologists and play-based testing.
Before hearing is evaluated, we carefully examine the external ear, and are able to complete removal of cerumen (earwax) if needed to ensure an accurate evaluation.
The evaluation may include a combination of audiometry, tympanometry, measures of listening to speech with or without background noise, and checks of the hearing nerve's function. These evaluations help us determine from which part of the ear your difficulties might arise. Following the evaluation, we will help you determine the best course of action.
The mission of the Audiology Program is to train highly competent Doctor of Audiology graduates that contribute to the hearing health and well-being of individuals with and without hearing and balance disorders. This mission is accomplished through:
- Education of future audiologists and the provision of continuing professional development opportunities
- Research that enhances knowledge and clinical skills that serve as the foundation for quality hearing health care and education
- Service to audiologists, organizations and communities concerned with the promotion of optimal hearing health and the prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation of hearing and balance conditions that negatively affect health or quality of life
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
NIU has recently eliminated the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate for both undergraduate and graduate students, making it financially easier for you to take advantage of our excellent programs.
Accelerated Doctor of Audiology Program
NIU will be moving exclusively to a three-year Doctor of Audiology program beginning in summer 2023. The four-year Doctor of Audiology program is no longer an option for newly admitted students. The last cohort of the four-year program began in fall 2022.
The three-year program is an accelerated version of the curriculum which consists of two full years of academic coursework and integrated clinical experiences followed by an external clinical practicum year.
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