The CMSD program is envisioned to be a model training program for developing the highest quality professionals, and to be a model clinical facility, recognized throughout the California North state for high-quality speech-language and hearing services.
From our vision statement, the CMSD program foresees the following to result from strategic planning in the next 10 years:
- A complement of six full time, tenure/tenure track faculty, with at least two PT supervisors, and full time ASA and ASC dedicated to the program
- Increased graduate program size to 48
- Increased research opportunities for graduate students (joining faculty projects, theses, and conducing clinic-based single subject designs)
- State-of-the-art new clinical facility
- State-of-the-art clinical instrumentation, techniques, and specialty clinics/groups
- Increased clinical opportunities and K-12 connections through summer clinic and more varied internships
- Interdisciplinary clinical experiences through participation in university wide Center for Disabilities and through relationships with allied professionals
- Increased multicultural opportunities through participation with the International Student program and community outreach centers
- Opportunities for BA in CMSD through an SLPA program
- Innovative sequenced learning: such as modules
- CEU provider for speech-language pathologists in the North state
The mission of the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CMSD) program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to enter the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology through an enriched, flexible, and innovative learning environment, both academically and clinically, that fosters quality of thought and creative, research-based problem-solving, life-long learning and consummate professionalism. To meet these ends, the program aims to employ expert, student-oriented faculty and staff. We are dedicated to program growth and to the procurement of the necessary supportive resources. We continue to enhance associations with the university and local communities to provide greater interdisciplinary and collaborative research and clinical opportunities for our students, clients, and faculty. The CMSD program is committed to being a model clinical facility, recognized throughout the California North state for both the advancement of student learning and for high quality, state-of-the-art services, outreach, and resources to the community.
Based on the two primary goals of excellence in academic and clinical education and excellence in clinical service in speech-language pathology, the CMSD program is committed to the following seven strategic objectives.
Objective 1: Promote and maintain a student learning environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, creative problem-solving, and use of research and technology in teaching and learning through an innovative, flexible curriculum with service learning and community service opportunities.
Objective 2: Promote the highest standards for academics and clinical training in order to maintain national accreditation through CAA- ASHA, regional accreditation through (WASC, NCATE), and state accreditation through CCTC.
Objective 3: Prepare graduate students for professional licensure, certification, and credentialing, employment in any setting, and when appropriate, doctoral level training.
Objective 4: Promote life-long learning by supporting professional continuing education for faculty, staff, local SLP professionals.
Objective 5: Through the Center for Communication Disorders, provide quality service to the North state-at large, university, and K-12 communities, through the use of technology, research, and excellence in clinical teaching, including currency in clinical knowledge and interdisciplinary approaches, through continued training of faculty and supervisors.
Objective 6: Employ a sufficient number of expert faculty and staff in order to meet mission goals.
Objective 7: Accommodate a growing program by improving, strategically managing, and systematically evaluating adequacy of resources for faculty, staff, and facilities.
Focus Areas/Issues (3-year plan)
The following areas were identified as barriers to attaining our vision and mission and meeting our long-term goals and strategic objectives, and are based on CAA site visit team observations, employer surveys, internship supervisor feedback, Advisory Council feedback, PRAXIS results, student and alumni report, exit interviews, and faculty report. Detailed below are strategies for attaining our objectives, the baselines for each strategy, indicators of success, and timelines.
(1) Sufficiency in faculty and staff resources, both in number & time, in order to carry out required activities and plan for future program growth, innovations, and additional program activities
Strategy (1.1): Increase faculty size by 2 over the next two years (6 FT T/TT faculty)
- Baseline: 4 FT T/TT faculty, with appointments reflecting fewer than .5 commitment to grad program. We are currently interviewing a pool of candidates for one FT TT. We have one half time tenured faculty member in his first year of FERP; 3 PT supervisors, and currently 1 PT instructor.
- Indicators of Success: Two new FT TT faculty
- Time schedule: First faculty member to begin fall 2011; Second to begin fall 2012
- Results as of spring 2012: Jessika Lawrence came on in fall 2011, and David McCoy will be joining the faculty in fall 2013.
Strategy (1.2): Increase staff assistance by adding an additional FT/PT ASA, or FT student assistance
- Baseline: 1 FT ASC, one ASC with 20% dedication to our grad program, 2 student assistants (totaling 36 hours/week), 1 temporary ASA (3 month FT position).
- Indicators of Success: One FT ASA
- Time schedule: Fall 2011
- Results: Linda Farrell was hired as retired annuitant on a part-time basis for approximately 160 hours/year for AY 11-12. We have 3 student assistants totaling 40 hours per week. Our long-time (33+ years) Administrative Support Coordinator is retiring December 31, 2013. We currently have a search for a new ASC and plan to have a highly qualified person in that position by January 31, 2014.
Strategy (1.3): Increase Clinic Director to half time position beginning AY 11-12
- Baseline: Current CD is a 2 unit release position
- Indicators of Success: Allocation increased to .4 WTU
- Time schedule: Spring 2012
- Results: The CD position remains at a 2 unit release, however we have created an Associate Clinic Director assignment for 4 units of release. The ASD oversees the day-to-day issues of the clinicians and clients and is responsible for general organization of the clinic in conjunction with the ASC, Linda Shaver. Amy Lee was ASD from fall 2011- spring 2013. We planned to have a new ASD by fall 2014.
Strategy (1.4): Advertise in local and extended areas for PT positions
- Baseline: Building our PT pool up to this point has consisted of the CMSD program informally contacting members of the SLP community to solicit their application to our PT supervisor pool. Formal advertising began in fall 2010 through local media.
- Indicators of Success: Increased PT pool
- Time schedule: Place ads once at the end of each semester until a pool of qualified supervisors has been established
- Results: Advertisement for PT supervisor positions was not successful. Word of mouth and invitation to apply by faculty and staff has proved to be most effective.
(2) Resources to support ongoing clinical activities
Strategy (2.1): Evaluate income and expenses related to clinic operations (outside of staffing of supervisor positions); prioritize expenditures and items we wish to purchase on both a one-time basis and continuing basis. Develop a clinic funds budget to support ongoing education of faculty and supervisors, technology and diagnostic/treatment materials.
- Baseline: No baseline data. Items were ordered from the clinic funds on an as-needed basis. No formal analysis of incoming and outgoing monies has been conducted.
- Indicators of Success: Development of a formal clinic budget with a schedule for expenditures.
- Time schedule: Fall 2011
- Results: An effective schedule for purchasing items has been developed. Approximately $5000 per year is allotted to the purchase of clinic materials.
Strategy (2.2): Determine feasibility of providing travel stipends to students in internships during the AY that are of significant distance from the university.
- Baseline: No baseline data.
- Indicators of Success: Ability to provide several travel stipends each semester to those students traveling to Redding, Red Bluff, Yuba City, Marysville, and other like distant sites.
- Time schedule: Fall 2015
(3) Data collection methodology and use of data for program improvement
Strategy (3.1): Create electronic/online data collection systems
- Baseline: We have been using hard copy data, standard mailing, clinical logs, etc., which has been difficult for clerical staff to maintain and for faculty to interpret in a timely manner and use for program improvement on a consistent basis.
- Indicators of Success: Increased return rate of the various survey instruments; Consistent use of data for program improvement
- Time schedule: Initiation in spring 2011 with all documents completed and used by spring 2014
- Results: A project manager was hired to develop a web-based system. This system was launched in fall 2012, well ahead of schedule. Phase 2 and 3 will add new functions to the system, particularly external access for internship supervisor evaluations and surveys from employers, alumni, and clients, and will be launched between spring 2014 and fall 2015.
Strategy (3.2): Train faculty, staff and students in the use of the electronic data systems
- Baseline: No systems currently in place
- Indicators of Success: Electronic systems are used appropriately
- Time schedule: Initiation in spring 2011 with all documents used by spring 2014
- Results: Training began summer and fall 2012 and continues with each new cohort.
Strategy (3.3): Create a schedule for regularly evaluating the data and detail how it will be used for program improvement.
- Baseline: The program has been reactive in its use of data as problems arise
- Indicators of Success: Program will develop a schedule in order to be proactive
- Time schedule: Spring 2011
- Results: Not yet met. As soon as the data management system is utilized fully, we will determine an appropriate schedule and procedure for evaluating program data.
(4) Research experience for graduate students
Strategy (4.1): Increase clinical research into curriculum
- Baseline: Currently students take a course in research at the undergraduate level only. While it’s true that research is infused in all graduate coursework, there is currently no specific graduate class dedicated to more advance research methodology.
- Indicators of Success: Restructure CMSD 632 with a new title and description that will focus on EBP and clinical research; EBP will be required in clinical practicum and included in therapy plans and reports.
- Time schedule: This plan has been implemented for AY 11-12
- Results: Since fall 2010, the fall section of CMSD 632 has focused on evidence-based practice and single subject design. In fact, three students presented their SSD research at CSHA in 2011. The new title Evidence-Based Practice and Experimental Design in Communication Sciences and Disorders
and new description will appear in the catalog starting fall 2014.
(5) Grad student preparation prior to clinical experiences
Strategy (5.1): Revamp CMSD 632 to address difficult disorder areas or those not comprehensively dealt with in the student’s program to date, and offer a new 681 course to better prepare first year students for diagnostics in internship placements; continual analysis of course sequencing
- Baseline: When assigned their first clients, students meet with their supervisor to review the file and develop an appropriate assessment and therapy plan. There are instances when clients present with a disorder area in which the assigned clinician has minimal background.
- Indicators of Success: Student feedback via course evaluation
- Time schedule: Fall 2011
- Results: Not directly met. We have completed an in depth analysis of undergraduate and graduate courses and sequencing. Some changes have been made with course content, such as including a section on Autism in the graduate level fluency course prior to offering a new course in Autism. Additionally, Dr. Shelley Von Berg has been offering “boot camps” to better prepare students for their internships. Curriculum changes made in AY 13-14 and 14-15 will more directly address this focus area.
Strategy (5.2): Require supervisors to change their level of direct training dependent upon the student’s level of experience
- Baseline: In the instances when students are assigned a client with a disorder area in which they lack academic background, some supervisors provide additional materials, reading, tutorials, and videos, but this has been applied inconsistently.
- Indicators of Success: Questions regarding this will be included on the newly revised student evaluation of supervisor form
- Time Schedule: Revision of clinical supervisor evaluation form in fall 2011, with implementation in spring 2012
- Results: Significant revision has been made to the policies, procedures, and expectations of clinical faculty. An orientation is given to supervisors at the beginning of the fall semester. The evaluation form has not yet been revised, but will be worked on in AY 13-14.
(6) Uniformity and quality of clinical supervision
Strategy (6.1) Improve clinical supervision at CCD through the implementation of a standardized procedures
- Baseline: In the previous semester, the CMSD program established informal requirements and procedures regarding supervision.
- Indicators of Success: Supervisor have been provided with the following: Standardized clinical syllabus for supervisors; Supervisor’s Handbook with detailed expectations, policies and procedures; standardized feedback reporting forms; mandatory supervisor orientation; Student Evaluation of clinical supervisor
- Time schedule: Initiation in spring 2011 as a pilot; full implementation in fall 2012
- Results: As mentioned above-- Significant revision has been made to the policies, procedures, and expectations of clinical faculty. An orientation is given to supervisors at the beginning of the fall semester. A supervisor’s handbook should be completed by summer 2014.
Strategy (6.2): Support supervisor’s continuing education
- Baseline: NSSLHA hosts a free annual continuing education event.
- Indicators of Success: Appropriate funding for a registration fee for one local continuing education workshop
- Time schedule: Spring 2012
- Results: The CMSD program continues to support NSSLHA in their annual CEU conference. Spring 2013 conference showed our largest attendance yet at 100.
(7) Audio-visual equipment for clinical supervision
Strategy (7.1): Obtain new lighting
- Baseline: Current lighting is inadequate in the clinical suites
- Indicators of Success: Obtain approval for funding, purchase, and installation of adequate lighting
- Time schedule: Spring 2012
- Results: Not yet met. We are currently in the processing of learning what lighting will be acceptable by Facilities Management, and should have at least some good portable lighting by spring 2014.
Strategy (7.2): Obtain new audio/visual recording equipment
- Baseline: Our current closed circuit monitoring equipment does not provide for clarity, either visually or auditorially, to allow for quality supervision, teaching, and research.
- Indicators of Success: New equipment is purchased, installed, and utilized
- Time schedule: Spring 2014
- Results: After three bids, we selected a company to install a state-of-the-art AV system. The system was installed Summer 2012, well ahead of schedule and is working well according to clinical educators, students and faculty.
Evaluating the Strategic Plan
Progress in meeting focus area strategies will be evaluated each semester by the faculty as a whole. Progress in meeting the plans’ objectives will be evaluated annually by the faculty as a whole and the advisory council each spring. Results of the evaluation will be posted on the CMSD program Web site. The Strategic Plan in its entirety will be evaluated every three years by the faculty as a whole and Advisory Council, or sooner based on any potential changes in the institution’s goals and strategic plan, in order to ensure congruence.