Each student must demonstrate knowledge of the nature of speech, language, hearing, communication disorders and differences, and swallowing disorders including etiologies, characteristics, and correlates. Specific knowledge must be demonstrated in the areas of articulation, fluency, voice, language, hearing, swallowing, cognitive, social aspects, and communication modalities.
Each student must accrue at least 400 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in the practice of speech-language pathology (25 hours of directed observation; 375 hours of direct client/patient contact). Prevention, assessment, and treatment services are provided to a diverse clientele. Skills must be demonstrated in the domains listed above under the heading of “knowledge.”
The Program’s assessment plan is consistent with ASHA certification requirements. At the end of the first year, students submit a portfolio documenting attainment of specified knowledge and skills and take a written examination “mini comps” which covers all courses taken during the first three semesters. At the conclusion of the program, students must pass a comprehensive examination.
The typical plan of study for an individual without previous coursework in the communication sciences and disorders (CSD) is outlined below. Individuals with an undergraduate degree in CSD may substitute certain courses, if compliance with ASHA standards is documented. A personalized knowledge and skills acquisition (KASA) form is used to track each student’s progress.
Speech-Language Pathology is a complex and rapidly changing field. As such, there is a great need for a strong basic research foundation upon which clinical practice can be established. In addition, applied research is needed to evaluate and improve clinical practices.
The Program in Speech-Language Pathology offers a thesis option to help address this need for basic and applied research. The thesis option allows interested students to develop their research skills through a project that culminates in an original contribution to the scientific literature that is of publishable quality. Students who plan to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) should consider the thesis option as doctoral programs may require a thesis or its equivalent. Interested students are encouraged to contact the Department Head/Program Director early in their course of study to discuss the possibility of pursuing the thesis option.