EPICS Scholars Earn Practicum Hours

EPICS Interdisciplinary Pre-Service Preparation
The EPICS Project is a personnel preparation project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and awarded to San José State University (SJSU) in collaboration with Guam CEDDERS. EPICS Scholars are currently focusing on earning practicum hours at various placement sites including the Guam Department of Education’s Extended School Year Program, Guam Regional Medical City, and Guam Memorial Hospital.  A group of nine scholars from Guam are currently completing an externship at various placement sites in the San José State University (SJSU) area.  The seven remaining scholars from Guam are also working on earning hours while on island this summer. 
July 8, 2019: (L-R) Kathy Ruszala, a scholar from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) who is in the Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology (EPICS) Project and Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS EPICS Consultant, met to discuss Kathy’s progress in her practicum experience.
July 8, 2019: (L-R): Ignacio dela Cruz, Tricia Taitano, and Kathy Ruszala, CNMI Scholars are currently in Guam in practicum placements at in the Summer Extended School Year Program at Guam Department of Education. They are also earning practicum hours at Guam Regional Medical Center and Guam Memorial Hospital.

EPICS Scholars Discuss End of Year 4 Activities

EPICS Interdisciplinary Pre-Service Preparation
May 8, 2019: The Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology (EPICS) Project, which allows Guam and CNMI Scholars to be enrolled in San José State University’s (SJSU) graduate program in Speech Language Pathology through online and on-site classes, is ending the fourth year of the project. Gloria Weddington, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, SJSU Professor Emerita and EPICS Project Coordinator, was on Guam from May 7-13 to meet with various stakeholders regarding program and student status in addition to Year 5 plans and activities. Dr. Weddington also met with 15 of the Guam Scholars, nine of which are scheduled to complete an eight-week externship in San José, California starting on June 10. Also attending the meeting were Keokia Mendiola, MA, CCC-SLP, and SJSU Clinical Supervisor and Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS EPICS Consultant/Guam on-site Liaison.
May 9, 2019: EPCIS representatives met with officials from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island (CNMI) Public School System (PSS) Special Education Program to discuss program and scholar status along with events and activities being planned for Year 5 of the project. Attending the meeting were Front Row (L-R): Keokia Mendiola, MA, CCC-SLP, SJSU Clinical Supervisor. Back Row (L-R): Donna Flores, CNMI PSS Special Education Program Personnel and Compliance Monitor Program Manager; Gloria Weddington, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Professor Emerita and EPICS Project Coordinator; Nora Pangelinan, CNMI PSS Special Education Data Management & Compliance Program Manager; Suzanne Lizama, CNMI PSS Special Education Program Director; and Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS EPICS Consultant/On-Site Liaison.
May 9, 2019: The Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology (EPICS) Project, which allows Guam and CNMI Scholars to be enrolled in San José State University’s (SJSU) graduate program in Speech Language Pathology through online and on-site classes, is ending the fourth year of the project. Gloria Weddington, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, SJSU Professor Emerita and EPICS Project Coordinator, met with CNMI scholars on Saipan to discuss current project status, upcoming summer practicum placement, and courses for the final year of the program. Joining Dr. Weddington in the meeting were Keokia Mendiola, MA, CCC-SLP, SJSU Clinical Supervisor and Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS EPICS Consultant/On-site Liaison. Shown in the photo are: (L-R): Keokia Mendiola, Tricia Taitano, Ignacio Dela Cruz, Dr. Weddington, and Cathy Ruszala. Not shown: Terrie Fejarang.
May 10, 2019: (L-R): Sybil Crisostomo, CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist at Guam Regional Medical City and Dr. Weddington, also met to discuss EPICS Project activities and upcoming events. Not Shown: Terrie Fejarang.
May 12, 2019: Dr. Weddington, Keokia Mendiola, and Terrie Fejarang met with Jon Fernandez, Superintendent of the Guam Department of Education. The timeline for the final year of the EPICS Project was discussed, along with some of the challenges encountered by the scholars with regard to earning practicum hours. Superintendent Fernandez expressed his support in exploring possible solutions and is looking forward to graduation and the day the scholars would be available to put their skills directly to work to meet the needs of the children of the school district.
May 8, 2019: (L-R) Robin Malicsi, Guam Department of Education Speech Clinician, met with Dr. Gloria Weddington to discuss her next steps for completing SJSU’s Master’s Degree program requirements.

Meeting with EPICS Scholars Focuses on Practicum Preparation

CEDDERS CORE EPICS
February 20, 2019: Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director and EPICS Liaison met with Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Public School System Special Education staff to discuss upcoming practicum options for the Saipan-based scholars. Front Row (L-R): Terrie Fejarang; Suzanne Lizama, CNMI PSS Special Education Director. Back Row (L-R): Nora Pangelinan, Data Management and Compliance Program Manager and Donna Flores, Data Management and Compliance Program Manager.
February 20, 2019: Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director and Guam Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (Guam EHDI) Project Fitme Project Director, met with Angie Mister, CCC-AuD, CNMI EHDI Coordinator at the CNMI Public Health Center, Saipan, to discuss upcoming events within the EHDI Projects.
February 20, 2019: Saipan-based EPICS scholars met with EPICS staff to discuss upcoming practicum activities. EPICS stands for “Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology” a personnel preparation project funded through a U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) grant. The grant supports the delivery of SJSU’s graduate program in Speech Language Pathology to Pacific scholars. (L-R): Catherine Roszala, EPICS Scholar; Ignacio Dela Cruz, EPICS Scholar; Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director and EPICS On-site Liaison; and Keokia Mendiola, CCC-SLP, EPICS/San Jose State University Clinical Practicum Supervisor. Not shown: Tricia Taitano, EPICS Scholar.

EPICS Clinical Practicum in Guam DOE Schools to Start Soon

EPICS Guam Department of Education
February 6, 2019: The Guam-based scholars in the Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology (EPICS) San Jose State University graduate program in Speech Language Pathology will be starting their practicum in Guam Department of Education Schools by the third week of February. Natasha Dela Cruz, Principal at MU Lujan Elementary School in Yona, met with Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director and EPICS on site Liaison, to discuss the latest project updates in preparation for the start of practicum. Ms. Dela Cruz is shown here signing consent forms to be sent to and signed by parents to give permission to the scholars to work with their child under the supervision of the licensed speech pathologist assigned to the school.
February 6, 2019: (L-R): Amalia Badua, Guam DOE Speech Therapist assigned to Agana Heights Elementary School (AHES); Hannah Gutierrez, Principal, AHES; and Meagan Terlaje, AHES Teacher and EPICS Scholar are excited about the anticipated start of student practicum by the end of the month.
February 7, 2019: (L-R): Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director and EPICS Project On-Site Liaison, met with Nancy Diaz, Principal, P.C. Lujan Elementary School, to facilitate the beginning of student practicum for the EPICS scholars.
February 7, 2019: Evangeline Iglesias, Principal, Wettengel Elementary School, signs off on documents to facilitate the student practicum process for EPICS scholars.

EPICS Scholar Picks Up Text for Next Course

EPICS

December 19, 2018: Camille Onglao Gonzales, EPICS Scholar, picked up a hard copy of “Cognitive Communication Disorders,” by Michael L. Kimbarow in preparation for the EDSP 265: “Cognitive Disorders” class which starts on January 7, 2019. Camille is accompanied by Mavi, her two-month old daughter. Both mother and child are clearly excited about the start of the new class. Happy New Year!!!

Guam Regional Medical City Serves as Practicum Site for EPICS Scholar

EPICS
December 13, 2018: Sibyl Crisostomo, CCC-SLP, (right) clinical supervisor at Guam Regional Medical City, explains bolus flow to Joseph Mendiola, during a bedside swallow assessment, as part of his practicum activities. Joseph is a graduate student under the “Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology” (EPICS) Project, a collaborative project facilitated by San Jose State University and Guam CEDDERS.

San Jose University Scholars Participate in GRMC Swallow Therapy

EPICS OSEP
November 1, 2018: The Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC) welcomed sixteen scholars from the “Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology” (EPICS) Project. The scholars visited the Rehabilitation Department to participate in “swallow therapy” classes. The visiting scholars are graduate students in the Speech Pathology Program at San Jose State University (SJSU) through the EPICS Project, a personnel preparation grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), in partnership with the University of Guam When the scholars graduate, the new Speech Language Pathologists will fill much-needed positions in Guam schools and hospitals.
Participating in the classes were (Seated L-R): Cassandra Dimla; Aileen Serrano; Meagan Terlaje; Tatiana Perez; and Liahlanni Cruz. (Standing L-R): Sybil Crisostomo, CCC-SLP, GRMC Speech Therapist; Gabriella Duenas; Bobbie Obillo; John Payne; Lisa Eclavea; Jasmin Advani; Christina Coles; Dianne Sapida.

EPICS Scholars Celebrate Completion of Two On-Site Classes

EPICS
After spending an intense 10 days taking two on-site classes, the scholars in the Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology (EPICS) Program had a small celebration on August 3 to commemorate the last day of class. Dr. Carol Zepecki, (front, center) San Jose State University faculty, who taught the on-site classes on Assessment and Research Methods, is shown here with a carved latte stone as small token of appreciation from students. EPICS scholars are graduate students in the Speech Pathology Program at San Jose State University.
(Front Row L-R) EPICS scholars pose with Keokia Mendiola, CCC-SLP, EPICS Clinical Practicum Supervisor, and Dr. Carol Zepecki, CCC-SLP, San Jose State University faculty, pose with the EPICS scholars during the end of the classes celebration on August 3.
(Second Row L-R) Camille Onglao, Bobbie Obillo, Dianne Sapida, Tricia Taitano, Liahlanni Cruz, Megan Merfalen, Lisa Eclavea, Jasmin Advani.
(Back Row L-R) Aileen Serrano, Catherine Ruszala, Lillian Reyes, Cassandra Dimla, Christina Cole, Gabriella Duenas, Ignacio Dela Cruz, Tatiana Perez, Meagan Terlaje, John Payne, JJ Mendiola.
On August 3, Lillian Reyes, EPICS Scholar, presented a wooden carving of a latte stone to Dr. Carol Zepecki, as a small token of appreciation from the EPICS scholars.
Dr. Carol Zepecki, expresses her thanks after receiving a carved wooden latte stone from students in the EPICS Project.

EPICS Summer On-site Courses Focus on Language Assessment and Research

EPICS Interdisciplinary Pre-Service Preparation

On-site summer courses for the Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech Pathology (EPICS) Project began on July 23 and will go until August 3.  Dr. Carol Zepecki, CCC-SLP, faculty from San Jose State University, is the instructor for the two classes, EDSP 221- Research Methods and EDSP 276 – Clinical Practicum Assessments.

EPICS is a collaborative project between San Jose State University and Guam CEDDERS which brings SJSU’s graduate program in Speech Pathology to our region.  There are currently 16 scholars from Guam and 3 scholars from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands enrolled in the program.

EPICS scholar Camille Gonzales takes the lead in facilitating this language assessment session on July 25.

Scholar Lily Reyes (left) records data while Camille Gonzales (center) leads the session.

EPICS Accreditation Site Visit Call

Continuing Education EPICS
Educating Pacific Islanders Clinicians in Speech Pathology (EPICS) Scholars participated in a “Site Visit Call” on March 16 conducted by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) Team reviewing the San Jose State University graduate program in Speech Language Pathology. The CAA Team included (shown on the screen, L-R) Donald Fuller, chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Vicki Hammen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor and Program Director of the Communication Disorders Programs at Indiana State University; and Kira Wright, MS, CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist and resource specialist for The Hello Foundation. EPICS scholars who attended the meeting were (clockwise, starting at right) John Payne, Megan Merfalen, Lillian Reyes, and Christina Coles. Not shown: Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director, and EPICS Liaison for Guam and the CNMI.