The Hello Foundation University Partnership Program

September 22, 2021 BY Jenny Peddicord, CCC-SLP

The backbone of any clinical graduate program is the internship. It is where future clinicians have their first experiences in what will hopefully become their career, and it is where they begin to learn the realities of life outside the halls of academia. There’s an understanding among practicing clinical professionals that, at some point in your career, you will give back to students in the form of clinical training. It’s never about money (supervising students is glorious and unpaid) but provides us the reward of getting better at what we do by explaining and thinking deeply about what we do clinically. We also learn from student clinicians who have the advantage of being knee-deep in current research and trends. At The Hello Foundation, we take this responsibility to our professions seriously and enjoy working with SLP and OT graduate students. We have even hired some of them after graduation.

We made the difficult decision when the pandemic struck to close our internship opportunities for a year, and it has been a priority to get our internships back online ever since. We took the year away from students as an opportunity to rethink the training we provide and the relationship that we have with the university programs that send us their students. We quantified what we could offer new students and highlighted what we want from programs. We knew that we wanted to continue to offer internships and we knew that we had more to offer than just clinical hours. We also knew that we wanted a reciprocal relationship with graduate programs so that our staff could learn from and share directly with students and faculty. We were mindful of our role as a relatively large employer of SLPs, OTs, and schools psychs in the Portland metro area and our responsibility to support a more diverse workforce in the years to come. Out of all of this came our new University Partnership Program.

We launched this program this fall and are actively looking for university partners who are interested in building relationships that move beyond the traditional boundaries of a clinical internship. In this program, 


  • Clinical clock hours online, in-person, and/or hybrid
  • Year-long access to company-sponsored continuing education
  • Clinical training in relevant areas (i.e., articulation, language, oromyofunctional, AAC, occupational therapy, feeding, etc.)
  • Exposure to the business side of private practice and school-based settings
  • Networking opportunities with a multitude of specialists (school psychs, OTs, and SLPs)
  • Potential future employment opportunities
  • Experience developing content for social media



  • Holistic and equitable admissions, ensuring diverse graduate student cohorts
  • High-caliber student clinicians prepared to learn and work in private practice and public settings
  • An opportunity each university term for THF staff to speak with graduate/undergraduate students, such as employment panels, guest lectures on clinical topics, clinical forums, business Q&A panels, etc.


To us, this seems an easy sell. It’s an opportunity to provide students with unique experiences and to collaborate on research, professional panels, and discussions about holistic admissions. In speaking with faculty about this new program, we are learning who shares our vision in a dynamic partnership that benefits students, faculty, and staff. And, we’re learning about programs that don’t get it, those that wonder why we would want to do things differently and partner with them on more than just clinical clock hours. Fortunately for us, we are finding plenty of programs that are excited about doing things just a bit differently and who are looking forward to a solid partnership for years to come. Download our informational flyer by clicking on the image below and if this program is of interest to you, email me and let’s chat. You can also click on the image below to download our flyer. Together, we can change the future of our helping professions for clinicians and the people they serve. 

Partnership Opportunities image