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Communication Sciences and Disorders

The ability to communicate effectively using language systems distinguishes human beings from other forms of life. Disabilities which interfere with communication skills prohibit a large number of people from realizing their full potential in modern society. Study in the field of speech-language pathology and audiology prepares one to appreciate the impact of such impairments and to assist individuals in overcoming them.

Students in speech-language pathology and audiology participate in course work which covers normal human growth, development of the communicative processes, detailed consideration of disorders which arise in these processes, and their assessment and treatment. Course work is supplemented by practica which give students first-hand experiences in dealing with disorders in the area of language impairment, vocal disturbance, articulation disorders, fluency problems, and/or hearing impairment. These experiences are carried out in the University Speech and Hearing Clinic and in off-campus internship and externship placements.

The Clinical Rehabilitative Services (CRS) Credential in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services is offered. The credential pattern requires successful completion of 42 units in the generic component, which is interdisciplinary, and 35-49 units in the advanced specialization component. This credential authorizes the holder to serve in the public schools as a Language, Speech, and Hearing Specialist.

The graduate program is speech-language pathology is accredtied by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language pathology (CAA).

Faculty and Facilities

The program maintains a Speech and Hearing Clinic and a computer and speech-language-hearing science laboratory. Students receive supervised practical experience in evaluation and therapy for persons with a wide range of communicative disorders. The clinic is equipped with audio and video monitored therapy rooms and observation facilities.

The faculty consists of six full-time members as well as part-time clinical supervisors. All faculty supervising clinical practica are appropriately certified, licensed, or credentialed.

Services for University Students

University students are encouraged to consult the Speech and Hearing Clinic if they have concerns about their speech, language, or hearing. There is no charge for evaluation or therapy services for university students.

Career Outlook

Speech-language pathology is a stimulating, challenging, and rewarding profession. It demands a high level of skill as well as an affinity for working effectively with people. Basic entry into the profession is at the master’s level. Students completing the bachelor’s degree may be employed as speech therapy aides in schools and other settings. Those who complete the master’s program look forward to many and varied employment opportunities. In addition to the schools, speech-language pathologists work in hospitals; in university speech and hearing clinics; in rehabilitation centers; in research programs; in otolaryngologists’ offices; and in private practice. Some of the work settings stress specific communicative disorders. For example, in the schools, speech-language pathologists work mostly with children having a wide range of problems; in hospitals they work with aphasia (stroke) and laryngectomy; and in speech and hearing clinics in other hospitals and universities, they work with a variety of communicative disorders. Work in physicians’ offices involves hearing testing, aural rehabilitation, and hearing aid application. In private practice, speech-language pathologists may specialize in specific speech/language/hearing problems or in all types of communicative disorders. Currently employment opportunities abound and prospects are excellent in this area in the foreseeable future.