Mega Doctor News
Austin, Texas – The University of Texas System Board of Regents has approved the planning process for a new graduate degree program, a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
The approval came during a regular meeting of the Board of Regents on Thursday, May 23. The next step in the approval process is for UTRGV to submit the full degree program proposal to the UT System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for final approval.
A health-related profession, audiology requires a clinical doctorate and subsequent licensing and certification to provide patient services to persons who exhibit hearing loss, tinnitus, and/or disturbances in balance due to inner ear dysfunction.
Under the guidance of the College of Health Professions, the Au.D. program at UTRGV is expected to build on the strength of the existing speech-language disorders program and respond to the shortage of clinical audiologists in the Rio Grande Valley and Texas.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national employment rate of audiologists is expected to grow much faster than average. Between 2016-2026, an additional 3,000 audiologists will be needed to fill the demand nationwide, which represents a 20% increase in job openings. There are approximately 14,800 audiologists nationwide with a projected need of 17,800 audiologists by 2026.
The four-year full-time curriculum that will consist of 119 hours of course, laboratory, and clinical work will be based on the guidelines of the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.