The Au.D. is quickly changing the profession of audiology, the fund of knowledge and the day-to-day practice patterns of clinical audiologists in the USA. This brief article will outline the status of the Au.D. as it continues to expand and encompass the profession.
As of May 15, 2000, there were 8894 full-time audiologists practicing in the USA (ASHA Omnibus Survey, 1999). Of those, only 172 Au.D. graduates existed in the USA and only 31 had their Au.D. degree prior to May 15th. Another interesting fact about those who graduated in May was that 124 graduated from distance education programs, while 17 graduated from traditional 4-year residential graduate programs.
As of May 15th, 646 additional Au.D. students were enrolled in regionally accredited university programs. Of those 646, 136 were enrolled in traditional 4-year programs and 510 were enrolled in distance education programs.
The Au.D. (as of May 15th) was available at nine universities utilizing the traditional 4 year, residential model. The nine schools were; Ball State (Indiana), State University of NY at Buffalo, Central Michigan University, University of Florida (Gainesville), Gallaudet University (Washington DC), University of Louisville School of Medicine, Towson University (Maryland), University of South Florida and Nova Southeastern University (Florida).
The Au.D. degree can also be earned (as of May 15th) via ''distance education programs'' at five schools. The five schools are; Arizona State Health Sciences (Phoenix), Central Michigan University/Vanderbilt (Tennessee), University of Florida (Gainesville) and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. (Note: The Pennsylvania and Arizona programs will soon be initiating their 4-year residential programs).
Additionally, there are 12 new programs in various stages of development across the USA.
PROJECTIONS (based on the 2-2000 NAFDA ''Enrollment and Projections Study'')
Based on the resources available, I feel reasonably confident relaying the following projections:
By the end of August, 2000 there will be an additional 61 graduates of Doctors of Audiology programs. These 61will graduate from distance education programs.
Importantly, thirteen percent of all full-time audiologists in the USA will be Au.D. students or graduates by September, 2000.
Specifically, by September, 2000, there will be at least 198 residential 4-year students and 722 distance education Au.D. students enrolled across the nation. In total, there will be 920 Au.D. students attending classes. By September, 2000, there will be 247 practicing Doctors of Audiology in the USA and the total number of Au.D. students and graduates will be 1153.
Additionally, if the trend continues, I anticipate that by Fall, 2002, roughly one-fourth of all audiologists in the USA will be Doctors of Audiology. By Fall, 2004, approximately one-third of all audiologists in the USA will be Doctors of Audiology.
AuD Update: Stats and FactsAuD Update: Stats and Facts