Speech-Language Pathology Program
Sandra L. Hayes, SLPD
The Program in Speech-Language Pathology confers the Master of Communication Disorders (MCD) degree. The Program provides both academic and clinical education in speech-language pathology, and is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA; http://www.asha.org).
The Master’s degree is the entry-level degree for a career in speech-language pathology. Speech-language pathologists identify and treat children and adults with speech and language problems such as delayed language, stuttering, aphasia, voice, and articulation problems, as well as cognitive and swallowing problems. Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, industry, governmental agencies, and private practice.
The Speech-Language Pathology Program occupies the Mollie E. Webb Speech and Hearing Center, which is located at 3735 Blair Street in Shreveport, LA. The Center houses classroom facilities, a computer laboratory, a speech science laboratory, an augmentative and alternative communication laboratory, a reading room, a student study area, and departmental offices. The clinical facilities include six rooms for speech-language assessment and treatment, an audiologic test suite, a hearing aid fitting room, a classroom for young children with communication disorders, a wide range of testing and treatment materials, and clinical office spaces. The faculty consists of five speech-language pathologists and one audiologist. The program has clinical affiliations with numerous hospitals, medical facilities, and educational institutions throughout Louisiana. Students have many educational and clinical opportunities, including some that are available only in medical centers and metropolitan areas.
Qualified applicants, regardless of undergraduate major, begin study during the summer semester. The length of the program varies depending upon the clinical and course load that is carried by the individual student; however, most students complete all requirements for the master’s degree in six - seven semesters, inclusive of summers. Upon graduation, a student will have completed the appropriate academic and clinical practicum requirements for state licensure in the state of Louisiana (http://www.lbespa.org) and certification by ASHA.
The Speech-Language Pathology Program hosts an open house for potential students, typically in mid to late October. For additional information regarding the program, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Boult or Mrs. Anderson at (318) 632-2015 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Please consider a campus visit to meet the faculty and students, and to learn more about our graduate program in speech-language pathology.
Requirements for Admission
The Program in Speech-Language Pathology welcomes applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution is required; however, the undergraduate degree need not be in the communication sciences and disorders. Transcripts must show successful completion of courses in psychology (or another social science), biological science, physical science, and statistics. Course work in these areas is required for ASHA certification and must be completed in order to be eligible to graduate from this program.
Intellectual curiosity, a desire to learn, and strong critical thinking skills are perhaps more important for success in the program than having a COMD-specific undergraduate major. Individuals without an undergraduate degree should be aware that the Program coordinates a 3-2 program in conjunction with the Psychology Department at Centenary College of Louisiana. This program enables highly motivated individuals to complete an undergraduate degree in psychology (through Centenary) and a graduate degree in speech-language pathology (through LSU Health Sciences Center) in five years. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Dr. Amy Hammond at Centenary College (318-841-7267) or Dr. Sandra Hayes at LSU Health Sciences Center (318-632-2015).
To be considered for admission to the graduate program in speech-language pathology, applicants must have an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher; GRE scores are also required. Admission to the program is competitive; meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission. The admissions committees will convert the GRE and GPA to z-scores and the applicant will be rank-ordered based on this conversion. Letters of recommendation and the applicant’s admissions essay will be reviewed by faculty and used to adjust the rank-order as appropriate. The Program in Speech-Language Pathology gives preference to applicants who are residents of Louisiana; however, non-residents are considered in the admissions process. A limited number of non-resident fee waivers are available. Please contact the Office of Admissions for more information. Successful applicants to the program will be required to participate in a mandatory drug screening and criminal history background check.
Types of Admission
Students admitted to the Program in Speech-Language Pathology are granted regular admission. Occasionally, those applicants with a grade point average below a 3.00 may be considered for admission as a special student at the discretion of the SLP admissions committee. However, enrollment in certain courses are restricted to individuals who have been granted regular admission (e.g. clincial practicum).
Method of Application
The Speech-Language Pathology program at LSU Health Shreveport - leading to the Master of Communication Disorders (MCD) degree- utilizes the online application system, Communication Science and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS).
Please refer to the program’s webpage: www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/alliedhealth for more information on this process.
The application deadline is February 1st of each year; the program begins in the summer semester.
Applicants will be notified of acceptance status in a timely manner. The initial set of notification letters are sent as soon as possible following the application deadline and decisions are typically finalized within eight - ten weeks. Registration and payment of all tuition and related fees will be completed at the School of Allied Health Professions at the beginning of each semester or term. Note: See “GENERAL ADMISSION POLICIES ” of the School for further requirements and procedures relating to admissions.
Transfer of Credit
Up to nine hours of graduate credit earned at another accredited institution may be transferred. There is no automatic transfer of credit towards a graduate degree; transfer credit is subject to the approval of the department head/program director, with input from faculty. Graduate work completed at another school may be accepted for not more than nine semester hours of credit toward the minimum requirement of 36 semester credit hours. Transfer credit will not be approved for any course with a grade of C or lower. Graduate credit is never accepted for courses taken on a pass/fail basis.
Academic Progression Requirements
See standards for the SAHP graduate professional scholastic requirements listed elsewhere in this catalogue. In addition to these general requirements, the Program in Speech-Language Pathology has the following requirements.
- The student must satisfactorily complete all requirements for graduation in not more than four calendar years. This requirement may be waived only under extreme circumstances. A written request must be made through the Department Head/Program Director, for approval by the Dean.
- The student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 each semester. A student whose cumlative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation may not be allowed to enroll in clinical practicum. According to academic policy, a student will be dismissed from the program if a student cumulatively earns 9 hours of ‘C’ or if the student’s GPA falls below a 3.0 for two semesters (consecutive or non-consecutive). Additionally, a student cannot graduate while on probation, nor can the student graduate with a cumulative grade point average below a 3.0.
- A grade of C or lower in clinical practicum (SPATH 6701 , SPATH 6702 , SPATH 6703 , SPATH 6704 , or SPATH 6705 ) is considered unsatisfactory and will result in clinical probation. A student who receives a grade of C or lower will be allowed to enroll in clinical practicum for one semester during which the student may be required to follow specialized remedial procedures. Continuation in the program following an additional C in clinical practicum (consecutive or non consecutive) must be approved by the Department Head/ Program Director. If the student’s clinical practicum grade falls below C, clinic hours accumulated for that semester will not be counted toward the clinic hours required for ASHA certification.
- Students’ academic progress will be reviewed by the academic advisors. Appeals may be made in accordance with procedures set forth in the section of this catalog/bulletin entitled, “Student Academic Appeals .”
Academic and Employment Workloads
The usual full-time academic load in the Program is 9 to 15 semester hours during fall and spring semesters; and 6 to 9 during the summer semester. Students with outside commitments may not be able to enroll full-time. It is the responsibility of the student to be available for classes, clinical practicum, and other scheduled activities that may occur anytime from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday and, occasionally, on the weekend or during semester breaks. Activities may include attendance at professional conferences or seminars.
In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Program in Speech-Language Pathology, applicants must be able to demonstrate the skills, attributes, and qualities set forth below, without unreasonable dependence on technology or intermediaries. Effective use of assistive technology may be used to meet these standards. If you are uncertain about your abilities to meet these technical standards, consult the admissions comittee (Dr. Boult or Ms. Anderson; 318-632-2015) for further information and to discuss your individual situation.
A student in the SLP program must possess sufficient visual and auditory skills - as well as skills of observation to evaluate, interpret, and treat communication deficits effectively. These skills include the ability to:
- Identify deviant articulation.
- Recognize abnormal voice characteristics.
- Identify characteristics of dysfluency.
- Recognize oral and written language disorders in the areas of semantics, pragmatics, syntax, morphology, and phonology.
- Read and comprehend text, numbers, tables, and graphs.
Motor and Mobility Skills:
A student must possess adequate motor and mobility skills to:
- Manipulate testing and treatment materials.
- Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work. This work may require prolonged sitting and/or standing.
- Use a computer keyboard and mouse to operate laboratory instruments.
- Access transportation to all clinical and academic placements.
A student must possess adequate communication skills to:
- Communicate professionally and effectively with individuals and groups (i.e., faculty members, fellow students, staff, clients, and other health care professionals).
- Communicate professionally and effectively in recorded format (writing [e.g., SOAP notes, diagnostic and treatment reports], typing, graphics, and/or telecommunication).
- Demonstrate proficiency in English for both oral and written communication.
A student must possess adequate behavioral skills to:
- Manage the use of time effectively and systematize actions to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.
- Demonstrate the emotional health necessary to apply knowledge effectively and to exercise appropriate judgment.
- Be flexible and creative in order to adapt to professional and technical change and function in new and stressful environments (e.g., provide co-treatment in noisy areas, conduct testing or treatment in a hospital ward, deal with client temper tantrums, and provide rapid turn-around for diagnostic results).
- Recognize potentially hazardous situations and proceed safely to minimize risk of injury to clients, self, and nearby individuals.
- Support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals in an effort to facilitate a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and client/patient care.
- Demonstrate honesty, compassion, ethics, and responsibility, upholding the ASHA Code of Ethics, and the LSUHSC School of Allied Health Professions’ Policy and Procedures Relating to Student Conduct, Dismissals and Appeals.
- Show respect for individuals with disabilities and for individuals regardless of: age, ethnic background, nationality, race, religion, gender and/or sexual orientation/identity.