January 25, 2023

White Coat Ceremony: WCU Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Students to Earn & Wear ‘Cloaks of Compassion’

Mayor of West Chester to Present Special Proclamation in Honor of 100th Anniversary of WCU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Professor Sojung Kim (center), chairperson of West Chester University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, speaks with WCU speech-language pathology students who have since graduated from the College of Health Sciences.A formal White Coat Ceremony, as a rite of passage marking the end of coursework and the beginning of hands-on clinical work with patients, will be held on Friday, January 27, 2-4 p.m., for WCU speech-language pathology graduate students in West Chester University’s new Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons, Room 108, located on campus at 155 University Avenue in West Chester. During the ceremony, white coats will be placed upon the shoulders of each graduate student by the faculty who have helped guide them to this next critical phase of professional development. Wearing their new white coats, which represent ‘cloaks of compassion,’ the graduate students will join in the recitation of the Code of Ethics of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; this will signify the graduate students’ official entrance into clinical practice. The White Coat Ceremony is the Centennial Celebration Kick-off for the University’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Delivering opening remarks will be West Chester University President Chris Fiorentino and West Chester Mayor Lillian DeBaptiste, who will present the Department with a special proclamation honoring its 100th anniversary and many years of dedicated service to the community through its Speech and Hearing Clinic. Founded in 1923, the Clinic was one of the first in the U.S. Today, it offers free, full diagnostic evaluations for children and adults suspected of having speech, language or hearing disorders. Treatment is offered in both individual and group settings and bilingual Spanish-English evaluations and treatment are available.

Prior to the White Coat Ceremony at 2 p.m., a tour of the new Immersive Learning Center will take place from 1-2 p.m. The innovative and impressive Center features the following:

  • Twelve-bed assessment lab for practicing clinical skills in a professional setting
  • Four full-sized patient rooms for simulations in realistic hospital settings
  • Four exam rooms and a home health suite to provide immersive experiences in a variety of professional settings
  • Two debriefing rooms that allow for livestreaming of simultaneous simulation experiences in addition to use of video recordings in debriefing
  • Video Recording Platform that allows for creation, storage, marking, and sharing of educational videos
  • A family of high-fidelity manikins, in addition to a variety of low and mid-fidelity manikins
  • The facilities to provide a Standardized Patient experience
  • A low student to faculty ratio in skills and simulations

“The history and work of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is inspiring and impressive,” says Dean of the College of Health Sciences Scott Heinerichs. “The commitment of our faculty to providing access to all students, while making a significant difference in the Commonwealth, is unparalleled. At this critical juncture in its centennial celebration, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is applauded and celebrated not only by the College of Health Sciences and the West Chester University community, but by the numerous citizens who live in the areas that we proudly serve.”

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders’ Centennial Celebration will continue throughout 2023 with numerous events, including World Voice Day, Speech and Hearing Clinic Tours, faculty and student presentations at the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conference, and much more.



Back to top of page.