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 the Communication Sciences and Disorders program take courses that address normal human growth, development of the communicative processes, detailed consideration of disorders that arise in these processes, and their assessment and treatment. Coursework is supplemented by practica that give students first-hand experiences in dealing with disorders in the areas of language impairment, voice and resonance problems, phonology/articulation disorders, fluency problems, swallowing problems, disorders with the cognitive and/or social aspects of communication, problems that necessitate the use of oral, manual, augmentative, and alternative communication techniques and technologies, and/or hearing impairment. These experiences are carried out in the University speech and language clinic and in off-campus internships.
Master’s degree recipients are eligible to receive the Clinical Rehabilitative Services (CRS) Credential in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services from the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing. This credential authorizes the holder to serve in the public schools as a Language, Speech, and Hearing Specialist. Graduates are also qualified to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology (SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the license in SLP from the CA Board of Consumer Affairs.
Faculty and Facilities
The program maintains an on-campus clinic and a speech-language-hearing science laboratory. Students receive supervised practicum experience in prevention, evaluation and treatment for persons across the life span who have a wide range of communicative disorders. The clinic is equipped with audio and video monitored therapy rooms and observations facilities.
The faculty consists of five full-time members as well as part-time instructors and clinical supervisors. Faculty have varied research interests and clinical expertise. These include child language acquisition, acquired adult neurogenic disorders, supervision, normal aging, voice disorders, language disorders and multicultural issues.
Services for University Students
University students are encouraged to consult the Center for Communication Disorders if they have concerns about their speech, language, or hearing. There is no charge for evaluation or treatment service for University students.
Speech-language pathology is a stimulating, challenging, and rewarding profession. It demands a high level of skill as well as an affinity for helping and an ability to work effectively with people. Basic entry into the profession requires a master’s degree. Students completing the bachelor’s degree may be employed as a speech therapy aides in schools and other settings. Those who complete the master’s program look forward to many and varied employment opportunities.