Audiologists serve a noble, essential role in the healthcare fabric, helping patients of all ages address and prevent hearing-related issues. However, good intentions do not protect audiology students from the potential consequences of academic hardship or allegations of academic misconduct, behavioral misconduct, or sexual misconduct.
If you've had academic problems or faced credible or false allegations of misconduct, your degree in audiology, fellowship, accreditation, or certification may be at risk. There is almost always a solution that eliminates or mitigates potential harm to your reputation and goals in audiology, and the Lento Law Firm team will seek that solution for you.
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento represents students and postgraduates who risk losing the rewards of their hard work. We will represent you and seek the best possible outcome for the challenging circumstances ahead of you.
The Cost of Losing Your Chance at an Audiology Degree
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explains that the median compensation for an audiologist is nearly $80,000. That is, the middle-of-the-pack salary for an audiologist constitutes a comfortable living for most—a potential income that you may lose because of an audiologist student issue.
However, a competitive salary is only one benefit of a career in audiology. Many audiologists choose this specific field of allied medicine because:
- They want to help the deaf, a community that UT Health-San Antonio explains is medically underserved
- They want to help hearing-impaired patients retain their sense of hearing and quality of life
- They find audiology to be a challenging, stimulating, and fulfilling career
Whatever your motivations for entering audiology are, those motivations may be dashed if you fail to defend yourself from a degree-threatening student issue.
Challenges to Receiving an Audiology Degree, Including Accreditation Concerns
Most allied medicine degrees require students to master complex medical concepts and then prove their ability to apply those concepts. Audiology students must display aptitude before receiving their degree, which is a challenging mandate.
Furthermore, Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that to practice audiology without restriction, you must:
- Earn a Master's degree in audiology from an accredited university, though Johns Hopkins notes that "today many audiologists have a doctorate in audiology (AuD)
- Complete one year in a fellowship or externship related to audiology
- Pass board exams
- Complete continuing education credits, which may be part of licensing requirements
- Achieve national certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- Achieve licensing in the state where you intend to practice audiology
This is a rigorous gauntlet, and issues during your time as an audiology student may compromise one or more of these steps toward a career in audiology.
Even if academic progression issues or alleged misconduct do not prevent you from graduating or receiving all necessary licenses and accreditations, they may diminish your reputation in the field of audiology. If your record and reputation suffer, your career opportunities and earning power may be limited.
Academic Misconduct Allegations Threaten Your Degree
Audiology students should expect to face sanctions if found responsible for academic misconduct. The adjudication procedures for alleged academic misconduct will vary from school to school, though most schools will take disciplinary measures if you're accused of:
- Forging data
- Using unauthorized testing materials
- Providing test answers to other students
- Engaging in any other behavior that violates your school's academic integrity guidelines
The student handbook for Audiology students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln explains that audiology students "are expected to know, understand, and comply with the Code and the university's policies on academic integrity, and act at all times with unwavering integrity."
This school notes that the Dean for Graduate Studies oversees academic misconduct issues and that students have the right to due process and appeals. However, if school officials determine that you're responsible for academic misconduct, you may face suspension, expulsion, and other harmful consequences should you fail to clear your name.
Experienced Education Attorney-Advisor will review your case and put forth a detailed, impassioned defense against accusations of academic misconduct.
How to Contest or Mitigate Allegations of Academic Misconduct
Your attorney-advisor will review the allegations against you, listen to your account of events, and research how your school handles allegations of academic misconduct. Our Student Defense Team may:
- Utilize your school's disciplinary processes to seek a dismissal of the allegations against you
- Accompany you to any hearings and interviews that occur during the disciplinary process
- Secure and present evidence that suggests you have not committed the alleged academic misconduct
- Negotiate with your school's Office of General Counsel (OGC) to resolve your case
The OGC is the school's attorney, and they may be willing to resolve your case without risking a potential lawsuit. Negotiating directly with other attorneys is one of our firm's value propositions to you.
Behavioral and Professional Misconduct Allegations May Also Jeopardize Your Audiology Degree
An allegation of behavioral or professional misconduct may be just as damaging as an allegation of academic misconduct. At Pacifica University Oregon School of Audiology (p.16), a violation of behavioral (including professional) standards "can result in the dismissal of the student from the AuD program at any time in the student's academic career."
From the possession of illicit drugs to intoxication on campus grounds, dangerous actions toward patients, and disrespect toward university employees, there is a wide range of activities that violate the behavioral rules of audiology programs nationwide. If you find yourself in violation of your program's behavioral integrity guidelines, our team will work to resolve the problem with minimal harm to you.
How to Contest or Mitigate Allegations of Behavioral Misconduct
Every program handles allegations of unprofessionalism or behavioral misconduct differently, though there m