Student experiences and training

The Unified Clinics at Western Michigan University provide a unique opportunity for students to experience patient service and care under the guidance of full-time faculty members, while also providing the surrounding community with quality care. Below is a list of our clinics and descriptions of what responsibilities students clinicians have with each clinic.

Student experiences

Behavioral Health Services:

Graduate students from social work and counselor education and counseling psychology have the opportunity to intern with Behavioral Health Services. Interns gain experience and understanding in all areas of provision of mental health and substance abuse counseling services; observe, co-facilitate, and actively provide assessment services, group counseling, and individual therapy while completing their internship hours at BHS.  Additionally, interns participate in service provision in our collaborations with WMU's Homer Stryker School of Medicine and the Kalamazoo County jail populations.

Children's Trauma Assessment Center:

Graduate students from social work, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, nursing and medical students from Western's School of Medicine gain experience by interning, observing and volunteering at the Children's Trauma Assessment Center. Student clinicians have the opportunity to engage in caregiver interviews, assist and observe during child assessments and write recommendation reports for caregivers and case managers.

Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic:

Audiology students
The audiology clinic accepts five doctoral interns each fall who are in their first year of the four year program.

Speech students
Undergraduate students in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology are required to complete 25 observation hours before their one semester of clinical experience during their senior year. They are assigned one client, and may be the sole clinician or an assistant to a graduate student clinician.

Graduate students in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology are required to complete six semesters of clinical experience. The first four semesters take place in the on-campus clinic while the last two semesters are completed off campus. During the on-campus clinical experiences, graduate students are assigned three therapy assignments and one diagnostic team each semester.

Clinical experiences help students to develop competencies that prepare them for professional work as an SLP.

All students are supervised by a faculty member who has the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed in Michigan as an SLP.

Western Michigan University undergraduate students interested in volunteering with the Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic, please view the list of current opportunities and requirements on the application form. If you are interested in any of the opportunities and can meet the requirements, please complete the application below.

WMU undergraduate volunteer application

Occupational Therapy Clinic:

Under faculty supervision, students in the Occupational Therapy master's program experience the occupational therapy process in their Unified Clinics rotation. Students perform evaluations and create and implement intervention plans. These extensive clinical experiences provide preparation for their six-month field work experiences, national boards and entry level practice.

Psychology Clinic:

The psychology clinic provides doctoral students in clinical psychology with opportunities for practicum and specialized training in clinical and research skills. Student clinicians provide services under direct supervision of licensed clinical psychologists.

Vision Clinic:

The vision clinic at WMU provides graduate students in the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies with valuable learning experiences. All students have the opportunity to observe a low vision clinical examination and work with equipment and devices for the visually impaired. In addition, all first year medical students meet with Optometrists and observe eye examinations. The vision clinic typically has one graduate assistant on staff responsible for administering visual field and visual acuity tests, demonstrating low vision devices for patients and assist with day to day operation of the clinic.

Western Evaluation Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental disorders (WECAN):

Each semester, WECAN chooses three undergraduate student clinical assistants from psychology, occupational therapy and speech pathology. This student make-up mirrors the WECAN’s interprofessional clinical team. The students’ primary roles are to assist the clinicians during evaluations and general operations. They also observe sessions and provide feedback, which enhances their educational experiences.


Welcome Western Michigan University student clinicians to the Unified Clinics! The student orientation training has moved to Elearning. When you log into Elearning through GoWMU, you should see an ongoing course titled Unified Clinics Training - uct_2014. From there you will see instructions for completing the student orientation module. All materials must be completed prior to your entrance to the Unified Clinics or your designated fieldwork requirements. If you do not see this course in Elearning or you have specific questions, please contact the orientation coordinator Laura Hoskins.