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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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University partners with hearing and speech school

The Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech helps children who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate with their peers. PHOTO: SAHR KARIMU ’26/THE HAWK

St. Joe’s announced on Jan. 3 a partnership with Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech Philadelphia, which involves its relocation near the Hawk Hill campus to offer university students opportunities for clinical experience and experiential learning.

Clarke, which is currently located on La Salle University’s campus, offers assistance to children who are deaf or hard of hearing and who range from infant to preschool age. Children begin to learn spoken language strategies and are provided education and expert coaching.

Judy Sexton, head of programs and schools and interim president of Clarke, said St. Joe’s and Clarke have been planning this partnership since 2017, but the process was stalled because of covid-19. With the partnership now instated, students will have the opportunity to make meaningful connections, Sexton said.

“By coming together and having these beginning discussions, it was creating an infrastructure to foster creation and growth of new and emerging relationships,” Sexton said. “So, we just established this relationship for students to observe and do internships in different departments.”

Clarke will be relocated to 5414 Overbrook Ave., which is an eight-minute walk from the Hawk Hill campus.

“We knew as part of a partnership, we wanted to relocate our primary preschool program,” said Clarke Director Ashley Mahlstedt Weaver. “A lot of the work that we did with St. Joe’s was identifying a space within the vicinity of the campus so that we’d be more accessible to students and staff.”

Joshua Power ’05, ’16 Ed.D, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, said renovations will take place over the next couple months in preparation for the new location to open.

Power said this partnership is an opportunity for students in the communication sciences and disorders major to get hands-on experience during their time at the university.

“Those students will be able to benefit from spending time on a clock doing observations and field experiences,” Power said. “That will be good preparation for future careers in schools for language pathology.”

Jennifer Kleinow, Ph.D., clinical associate professor and program director of speech language pathology, said the partnership gives her a lot to look forward to in the future, especially as a new member of faculty. Kleinow’s first semester at St. Joe’s was fall 2023.

“To have your surroundings actually changing while you’re here with these new opportunities being created has become so exciting,” Kleinow said.

Weaver said the ultimate goal going forward is to attract more students to the field of speech pathology and the opportunities it presents, as there has been a shortage of medical professionals in that area over the past few years.

“Our hope is to reach as many different students with different interests as we can,” Weaver said. “I think the exciting part for St. Joe’s was bringing our campus there gave the students more access.”

Sexton said students will reap the benefits of the connection as it builds.

“We continue to be catalysts for excellence within our own respective programs, providing this infrastructure to foster creation and growth of a new and emerging relationship,” Sexton said. “And it’s only going to get better for the St. Joe’s students.”

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Kiley O'Brien
Kiley O'Brien, Assistant Features Editor
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