Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Special Education

First Advisor

Tamara B. Cranfill

Department Affiliation

Special Education

Abstract

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has mandated that all speech-language pathologists (SLPs) competently assess and serve children from diverse cultural backgrounds (ASHA, 2010). In Kentucky, there has been a 121% increase in the Hispanic population in the last ten years (O'Neill, 2011). As the population of Kentucky becomes more diverse, it is essential that SLPs have cultural competence and confidence in serving clients with culturally-linguistically diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to compare the amount of multicultural pre- service training and continuing education Kentucky SLPs have received to the amount received by the SLPs surveyed in the larger studies by Hammer, Detwiler, Detwiler, Blood, and Qualls (2004) and Roseberry-McKibbin, Brice, and O'Hanlon (2005). Ninety SLPs employed by public schools in Kentucky were selected using a stratified random sample with proportional allocations. Forty-six SLPs responded to a questionnaire that examined their competence and confidence serving Spanish-English bilingual students. Questionnaire items were selected from previous research studies by Hammer et al. (2004) and Roseberry-McKibbin et al. (2005). Results from this study suggested more pre-service training and continuing education are warranted when serving Spanish- English bilingual students. Additional research was suggested to determine the manner in which pre-service training should be provided and what competencies should be addressed.

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