Communication Disorders, M.S. - Speech Language Pathology

Vision Statement

To advance our status as an outstanding leader in educating, training and inspiring future speech-language pathologists to serve and advocate for individuals with communication disorders and differences.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Communication Disorders is to prepare graduate students for careers as speech-language pathologists.  Upon graduation, students will possess the knowledge and skills required to pursue the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

To accomplish this mission, the Department will provide an exemplary curriculum that prepares graduates to:

  • Provide current, responsive, and ethical assessment and intervention services for varied communication disorders across the life span;
  • Work with culturally and linguistically diverse populations;
  • Engage in interprofessional collaboration;
  • Be life-long learners, critical consumers, and evidence-based practitioners;
  • Support, conduct, and disseminate research;
  • Advance our discipline by educating the general public about our mission and available services; and
  • Become advocates and leaders in the field.

The Department of Communication Disorders offers a Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology through the College of Health and Human Services. Matriculated students come from a variety of undergraduate degree programs. Their differing preparations provide a welcome diversity which enriches the program's educational offerings. The program is designed to prepare students to practice as speech-language pathologists in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, public and private schools and private practice. The educational program includes instruction in a broad array of diagnostic and treatment paradigms as well as supervised hands-on experience in the department's unique Center for Communication Disorders and at selected off-campus sites including schools and hospitals.

The curriculum prepares students to serve as effective professionals in speech-language pathology. All students acquire a core of knowledge in normal developmental processes, language development, anatomy and neuroanatomy related to speech, language, hearing, and swallowing, as well as, speech and hearing science.  Students learn the requisite skills to diagnose and treat children and adults with disorders in language, articulation, phonology, fluency, swallowing, voice and velopharyngeal function, as well as neurophysiologically-based speech and language, and cognitive disorders.  Students also become proficient in the use and application of augmentative and alternative forms of communication and in the implementation of collaborative service delivery models. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge in the following areas: normal developmental processes; hearing science; speech science; diagnostic audiology; rehabilitative audiology; research in the field of communication disorders; diagnostic and remedial principles in communication disorders; learning theory; cognitive development; dysphagia; literacy. This professional competence is demonstrated through successful completion of the ASHA Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) requirements.

  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of research findings and an interest in continuing education in order to develop and maintain clinical competencies to meet the needs of the speech-language-hearing impaired individual.  This is demonstrated through completion of the Competency-Based Evaluation for Clinical Practicum and successful completion of the 605 capstone project or a thesis.

  3. Students will demonstrate skills in goal setting, evaluation, interpersonal management, counseling, and professional report writing.  This is demonstrated through the successful generalization of knowledge and skills as assessed by clinical instructors incidentally and through completion of the Competency-Based Evaluation for Clinical Practicum.