Hearing Instrument Specialist
- Ontario College Diploma
- College Code:
- Health & Life Sciences and Community Services
- Program Code:
- Accelerated Delivery:
- Academic Year:
- 2015 / 2016
About the Program
The Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) program prepares students to test hearing, select and fit hearing aids, counsel hearing aid patients, and recommend the use of other assistive listening devices when appropriate.
The program curriculum includes courses in: acoustics and perception of sound, anatomy and physiology of the ear, measurement of hearing sensitivity, digital and analog hearing-aid electronics, acoustic signal processing, hearing-aid programming and fitting, manufacturer fitting software, counselling and professional ethics. A clinical field placement will enable students to apply knowledge and skills to the reality of the work environment.
After successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to write national examinations and are required to complete 1,000 hours of supervised practice prior to achieving full HIS membership with the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners (AHIP). In order to complete the 1,000 hours of supervised practice the student must pay their AHIP membership dues in full and provide proof of professional liability insurance.
Length: Two-year Ontario College Diploma program
Delivery Sequence: Doon (Kitchener) - September/2015 (Open) - Fall | Winter | Fall | Winter
Location: Doon (Kitchener)
First-Year Capacity: 40
- Admission requirements for this program may be met by completing Conestoga's Health Science Foundations - General Arts and Science Health Option program. However, students wishing to pursue a degree after graduation from this diploma program should consider enrolling in a pre-health sciences program to meet admission requirements.
- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or 19 years of age or older with mature student status (See Mature Student definition for details.)
- Grade 12 compulsory English, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications (COMM1270)
- Grade 11 or 12 Mathematics, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Mathematics (MATH1420)
- Grade 11 or 12 Biology, C or U, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Biology (SCIE1010)
- For more information on preparatory programs, visit Academic Upgrading
- An academic strength is calculated by averaging the submitted marks of required subjects. If more than one mark is received for a required subject, the highest mark will be used in the calculation.
- Ten (10) additional marks are added to each Advanced level, OAC, U, U/C, and post-secondary course used in the calculation of academic strength.
- A sound mathematical and English background is important for success in this program and is considered during the admission selection process. Minimum cutoffs apply.
- Applicants should display integrity, reliability, maturity, self-direction, discipline and determination, and excellent communications and interpersonal skills.
- As hearing instrument specialists work in a communication disorders field, strong English oral and written communication skills are important for success in this program.
- Practicum health and/or safety requirements must be completed in order for students to attend the practicum experience. This placement is mandatory for the completion of the program. Students who do not attend field/clinical placement will not be promoted to the next semester, which will ultimately result in non-completion of the program.
To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information which will be provided by the College:
- a clear (no criminal offences) Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS), completed in year two only
- Criminal Screening: To be eligible for practicum, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which they have not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record will result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical and will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability. Offences under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada:
Tuition & Fees
Tuition: Please refer to the previous academic year program fee chart for an approximation as fees for the next academic year are unavailable at this time.
*Fees are higher for international students on a Student Visa. Please refer to the international program fee chart for an approximation as fees for the next academic year are unavailable at this time.
*Books and supplies are additional.
Financial AssistanceThe Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a needs-based program designed to help Ontario students cover the cost of post-secondary education. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, OSAP is intended to promote equality of opportunity for post-secondary studies through direct financial assistance for educational costs and living expenses. These interest-free loans are intended to supplement your financial resources and those of your family. The majority of students apply for loan assistance via the OSAP website. Students can also print the application booklet through the OSAP website.
For more information, please visit Financial Services/Awards.
Graduate OpportunitiesGraduates of this program will test hearing, select and fit hearing aids, and recommend the use of other assistive listening devices when appropriate. The scope of practice for the HIS is confined to the adult population, whose members present with no medical reason to counter-indicate the use of hearing aids. The HIS typically finds employment in private practice, in the hearing-aid manufacturing sector, or in the hospital setting.
80% of 2012-2013 graduates found employment within 6 months of graduation. Their average starting salary was $43,850.
For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca
Pathways & Credit Transfer
Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions. View the transfer agreement opportunities for this program.
Often applicants have earned credits from another college or university that may allow a student to be granted advanced standing or exemption. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities at Conestoga.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement for current courses. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. Successful completion of the assessment results in an official course credit that will be recorded on the student's Conestoga transcript. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.
For more information on the PLAR process, please visit the testing website.
|COMM1085||College Reading & Writing Skills|
|HEAL1020||Wellness: The Better You|
|HEAR1100||Professional Ethics for the HIS|
|HEAR1165||Acoustics and Psychoacoustics|
|HEAR1175||Anatomy/Physiology of the Ear|
|HEAR1110||Hearing Aid Components, ANSI Testing and Assistive Listening Devices|
|HEAR1130||Introduction to Audiometry|
|HEAR1140||Counselling Techniques for the HIS|
|HEAR1155||HIS Field Orientation|
|PSYC1111||Life Span Development|
|HEAR2100||Hearing Aid Compression and Digital Features|
|HEAR2170||Hearing Aid Fitting Methods|
|HEAR2180||Probe Tube Measures and Manufacturer Software|
|Electives: General Education||Student must complete a minimum of 42 Hours|
|HEAR2160||Clinical Pre-Graduate Consolidation for HIS|
- Assess the hearing levels of the client and fit hearing aids using an understanding of sound, the sense of hearing and the causes of hearing loss from an anatomical/physiological standpoint
- Act as an integral member of the hearing health care team that includes audiologists, primary care physicians and ear, nose and throat physicians
- Administer and interpret appropriate tests of hearing, known as "audiometry"
- Integrate audiometric test findings in order to determine optimal hearing aid fittings
- Select appropriate hearing aids from specific manufacturers for subsequent fittings of specific degrees and frequency configurations of hearing loss
- Measure and interpret electro-acoustic hearing aid function, according to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) test procedures
- Refer clients who require audiological or medical intervention to appropriate specialists.
- Apply the knowledge of Ontario's Assistive Devices Program, and of other hearing aid financial assistance services when required in order to meet the needs of the hearing loss client.
- Articulate the challenges facing hearing instrument specialists who wish to establish a private practice
- Assess the psycho-social implications of hearing loss on the hearing impaired and apply appropriate counsel and instruction of hearing aids
- Practice in a competent manner the theory and skills requisite to function as a Hearing Instrument Specialist
- Demonstrate the knowledge and skills related to essential employability skills including numeracy, literacy, critical thinking, problem solving, learning how to learn, team work and communication.
Program Advisory CommitteesThe College appoints Program Advisory Committee members for diploma, degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs. Committees are composed of employers, practitioners and recent program graduates. College representatives (students, faculty, and administrators) are resource persons. Each committee advises the Board on the development of new programs, the monitoring of existing programs and community acceptance of programs.
For a list of the current members, please visit our Program Advisory Committees.
Apply NowDomestic students should apply online at www.ontariocolleges.ca or by phone at 1-888-892-2228.
60 Corporate Court
Canada N1G 5J3
Detailed steps on the application process may help you to apply.
International students should apply online using a Conestoga College International Application Form. Please note: not all programs are open to international students. Interested students should check the listing of open programs on our international students web page before applying.
For program information, call the Information Centre at 519-748-5220 ext 3656.