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Posted: 7/13/21

New TAMIU, Webb County Agreement Paves Way for Speech-Language, Hearing and Literacy Development Services

 

Dr. Marivic Torregosa
Dr. Marivic Torregosa, Dean, College of Nursing and Health Sciences  

Webb County Commissioners Court took action on Monday to enter into an agreement with Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) College of Nursing and Health Science’s Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDO) program to provide a broad range of special services to the citizens of Webb County communities.

In the agreement, TAMIU CSDO students will provide these services as part of their clinical learning experience under the direct supervision of clinical supervisors certified by the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association and licensed by the State of Texas.

TAMIU president, Dr. Pablo Arenaz, said outreach initiatives like this are mutually beneficial and applauded the support provided by Webb County Judge Tano Tijerina (’02) and members of Commissioners Court.

“Consistent with our mission, we are able to provide our students with remarkable learning, research and service opportunities of mutual benefit to those receiving the services. It’s a tremendous opportunity to expand the classroom to real-world dimensions with real-world implications.  We are honored to partner with Judge Tijerina and our honorable County Commissioners Jesse González, Rosaura Tijerina, John Galo and Cindy Liendo in making this possible,” he observed.

County Judge Tijerina echoed Dr. Arenaz’ comments and affirmed the County’s support and vision for the program.

“This partnership could not have come at a better time. COVID-19 exacerbated having access to these much-needed services. I want to thank our partners at TAMIU for bringing these services to the citizens of Webb County, these tools will propel them to have a stronger future,” Judge Tijerina noted.

TAMIU Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Dr. Marivic Torregosa, explained the range of services to be provided.

“The pediatric services will include speech-language and hearing screenings, parent and teacher education on speech-language and literacy development, and activities targeting the development of speech and language skills, early literacy, and cognitive stimulation. Adult services will include speech-language, cognitive, and hearing screenings, provided activities targeting memory, problem-solving, reasoning, functional fine and gross motor skills,” Dr. Torregosa said. 

TAMIU clinical associate professor Dr.  Melissa P. García, CSDO program coordinator and director of Clinical Education, said current research shows that there is a definite need for these services in Webb County. 

“Current research from the CDC shows that there are disparities among racial, ethnic, geographic, and socio-economic groups. This program aims to fulfill the gaps in the needs of Webb County citizens. Our students will benefit from clinical services rendered as they learn about evidence-based assessment and intervention practices, working with bilingual individuals, and racially and ethnically diverse populations here. This aligns with our University’s  mission to prepare students to work with and provide leadership in an increasingly complex culturally diverse state, national, and global society,” Dr. García explained. 

Various Webb County Community Centers, selected based on their location and proximity to the University, have been identified as hubs for the program this Fall Semester.  Services would begin the week of September 6 and continue through the week of November 8, including La Presa, Larga Vista, Santa Teresita and Fernando A. Salinas centers. 

TAMIU’s CSDO program has a history of working with various community partners including Regent Care Center, the City of Laredo Health Department, Dr. Eric Sloman-Moll, Doctors Hospital of Laredo, Casa Misericordia, Smiles from Heaven, Lollipop Preschool, and Kristi-Lin’s Academy.

The CSDO program also has a student organization, the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association-TAMIU Chapter, that provides ongoing community engagement opportunities.

For additional information on TAMIU’s CSDO program and the Webb County outreach initiative, please contact Dr. Garcíaby email at mpgarcia@tamiu.edu 

TAMIU’s Fall 2021 plans are focused on a return to a full and vibrant on-campus experience for all students, faculty and staff at its 300-acre northeast Laredo campus. Classes begin Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

For registration information, contact the Office of the University Registrar at 326.2250, email registrar@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the University Success Center, suite 121.

 

Webb County Commissioners Court
County Commissioner John Galo views TAMIU's  presentation on the new agreement by, left to right, Dr. Melissa P. Garcia, clinical associate professor and CSDO program coordinator; Dr. Marivic Torregosa, dean, College of Nuring and Health Sciences, and Rosa Robledo, CSDO clinical assistant professional. (Courtesy Photo: Webb County)