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According to Dominique, "The CITI training provides research education for individuals from academic institutions. This certification verifies that research investigators have the professionalism and research education in order to conduct effective and ethical research.

"At the end of the training, a certification is awarded to the individual. Research investigators must complete a CITI certification before completing research activities. I am now prepared to complete research with an ENMU assistant professor of special education, Dr. Singh."

By Dominique completing her CITI certification, she now has the necessary tools to conduct effective research for individuals with speech-related disorders.

Obtaining a CITI certification was a timely and lengthy process, but the outcome was worth it in the end, according to Dominique. "In order to receive a CITI certification, I was required to complete three different courses regarding social and behavioral research. These courses addressed human subject protections, current research information, and ethical issues that may arise during the research process.

"I reviewed all course content for each section, and then took quizzes prior to proceeding to the next course. After receiving an 80 percent or higher for all courses, I was provided with three different certificates. I can now say that I have a CITI certification that is good through the year 2020," said Dominique.

"I wasn’t quite sure exactly what my aunt’s job entailed, but I chose to shadow her because I knew it would be an enjoyable day with someone I admire.

"For my assignment, I observed multiple speech therapy sessions. As she masterfully guided the children through games that would address their language problems, I could see the children’s confidence grow. In a short time, I had seen huge progress. I could only imagine what would happen over a school year. It was at this point that I was immediately hooked," said Dominique.

After graduation, she will complete an externship in Northern California for eight weeks.

"I will be completing an externship at a speech pathology practice in Northern California. I will be treating children and adults with varying disorders. After completing an eight-week externship, I will be working for a school district for nine months as my Clinical Fellowship Year. While completing my CFY, I will be supervised by an experienced speech language pathologist. Following the completion of my CFY, I will become a licensed, full-time SLP," Dominique said.

According to Dominique, "Although I feel so lucky to have been exposed to numerous clients and disorders across four clinical practicum rotations, it was challenging to balance four classes on top of practicum each semester. I found myself stressed for time to complete the required readings for class, take quizzes, and study for midterms and finals.

"As a result, I learned to take on these challenges by prioritizing my responsibilities. I made sure to document all unfinished tasks in my planner in order to complete all assignments on time. I felt a little overwhelmed at first, due to the rigorous coursework in each class. As I became more accustomed to graduate school life and the professors’ way of teaching, I was able to deal with the challenges that came my way."

Dominique feels that, thanks to ENMU, she can conduct safe and ethical research due to her CITI certification and is well on her way to becoming a licensed speech language pathologist.

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