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Gold Standards Summit 2009: Interview with the Conference Chair

Gold Standards Summit 2009: Interview with the Conference Chair

August 08, 2008 In the News

Interview with Therese Walden, AuD, Conference Chair, Gold Standards Summit 2009: Transforming Clinical Education in Audiology

By Douglas L. Beck, AuD
Board Certified in Audiology
Web Content Editor
American Academy of Audiology

August 8, 2008

Academy/Beck: Hi, Therese. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me.

Walden: Hi, Doug. Thanks for the invitation.

Academy/Beck: My pleasure. Let's start with the basics. What can you tell me about the upcoming Gold Standards Summit 2009?

Walden: The Academy’s Gold Standards Summit 2009: Transforming Clinical Education in Audiology is the result of a significant amount of committee work within (and tangential to) the Academy. We're collecting survey data from interested stakeholders, including each of the AuD training programs and other national organizations to research areas relating to contemporary adult learning in the digital era and underlying issues relating to our transition to a doctoral-level profession. Hence, our goal is to define processes to improve and transform the effectiveness, efficiency, and consistency of clinical education in audiology. However, the task is enormous, so we're admittedly looking at this summit as the “first” summit, with at least one more to follow.

Academy/Beck: Okay, well, that is quite a challenge. Who else is involved in the planning and implementation of the summit, and who are the intended participants?

Walden: We have a planning task force that includes: Ian Windmill, Christie Yoshinaga-Itano, Maureen Valente, Loretta Nunez, Todd Ricketts, Jack Roush, Mikael Kimelman, Pat Feeney, Kris English, and Alison Grimes. From the Academy, we have Meggan Olek and Victoria Keetay, both serving as co-staff liaisons.

We hope the summit will bring together audiology academicians, educators, clinical educators, education specialists, extern preceptors, regulatory officials, and more. This is really the stakeholders’ opportunity to share their experiences and voice their recommendations as we facilitate a systematic, collegial, and dynamic look at audiology clinical education.

Academy/Beck: Can you further explain the purpose of the summit?

Walden: Sure, the purpose is to help determine where we are with regard to our professional clinical educational model, and to offer an in-depth analysis to suggest where we ought to go.

As a group, the planners and participants will review the current clinical education training model to learn which components and processes work best for the students, and then once we better understand the status quo, we can determine where we want to go and how to get there.

Academy/Beck: Therese, I've read about other conferences this fall and winter that appear to be covering some of the same topics?

Walden: Yes, there are others. This topic is so huge that no single conference has a monopoly on this. In fact, we will be inviting all the key stakeholders to participate in our summit, including other critical national organizations and stakeholders and accrediting organizations and bodies, too. We believe there'll be lots of collaboration and there's a terrific opportunity for all of us to provide educational benefits to the students and the profession.

Academy/Beck: What’s the role of the Academy in this summit?

Walden: The Academy's role is to simply facilitate excellence.

Academy/Beck: Very good. How far along are you in the planning stages?

Walden: We're in good shape. We're about to complete the comprehensive survey that we'll be sending to all the AuD training programs across the United States. We're seeking their up-to-date input about their current educational model. So the survey results are very important, as they'll provide much of the current status and information. We're also seeking input on contemporary clinical experiences—as far as what's working and what's not working. Ideally, we'd like to keep the things that are working well, but we want to have all options on the table to identify positive changes in the educational process, to benefit the students, and of course over time, the profession.

Academy/Beck: This sounds very exciting, Therese. Will the AuD programs be able to offer constructive feedback, too?

Walden: Yes. That's an important point because they are the ones on the front line. They're the ones that have to ultimately incorporate any suggested programmatic changes, to maximize effectiveness and efficiency, and so of course, their input from the very beginning is critical, starting with the upcoming survey. This is so important because we're taking the discussion out of the theoretical realm and applying real-world analysis, constraints, options, and protocols to ultimately transform and define the best educational system.

Academy/Beck: And when it's all said and done, will there be a compilation of the summit? Sort of a “proceedings” publication?

Walden: Yes, that's something we've already started to discuss. We want to make sure the outcomes of the summit are published, available and are used to help employ changes. Further, the “proceedings” will likely serve as the foundation for the next summit.

Academy/Beck: Thank you, Therese. I am very appreciative of your time and energy.

Walden: My pleasure, Doug.

For More Information, References and Recommendations:
Click hereto review the tentative agenda and continue to visit for updates and more information about the summit.

If you are interested in underwriting opportunities for the summit, contact Kathleen Devlin Culver at or 703-226-1049.

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