Speech Pathology Scores at the Top Nationally

National test results released this month by the Educational Testing Service show that California State University, Chico graduate students in speech pathology performed better over the past two years than students from the largest and most prestigious U.S. universities.

Over the two-year period of 1995-97, CSU, Chico graduate students taking the national speech pathology certification exam had an average passage rate of 92 percent. Students attending schools classified as Research University I and II—generally the nation's largest and best known—passed at a rate of 87 percent.

CSU, Chico is classified as a Master's or Comprehensive University, which has undergraduate and master's degree programs but does not have Ph.D. programs or a major emphasis on research. College and university classifications are established by the Carnegie Foundation.

Students at schools classified as Doctoral University I and II—universities that grant Ph.D.s but with less research emphasis—had an average passage rate of 84 percent. Students at other comprehensive universities other than CSU, Chico had an average passage rate of 79 percent.

CSU, Chico students scored on average 668 on the exam, which is scored between 200 and 800 points, similar to the SAT. By comparison, Doctoral University I and II students on average scored 663, and other Comprehensive University students on average 650. Research University students scored on average 680.

The test, the National Examination in Speech Pathology and Audiology, is taken by graduate students in order to receive a Certificate of Clinical Competence by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and be licensed to practice by the state of California.

Professor Patrick McCaffrey, director of the Speech Pathology graduate program, said it was the first time he knew of that the Educational Testing Service had released test results comparing different universities.

"The results confirm what we have thought for some time about our graduate students," said McCaffrey. "We have an excellent program that emphasizes student-centered learning. We respect our students and we challenge them."

McCaffrey said high passage rates on the national exam for CSU, Chico speech pathology students are not new. Over the past ten years, CSU, Chico students have passed the exam on average at a rate above 90 percent, he said.


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