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Students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for certification by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), licensure and school certification in Speech-Language Pathology, and will qualify for a clinical fellowship position in a school, hospital, private practice, or rehabilitation/residential settings.
Master’s students who successfully complete the program will demonstrate:
- Knowledge of basic human communication and swallowing processes, including the appropriate biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental and linguistic and cultural bases. The applicant must have demonstrated the ability to integrate information pertaining to normal and abnormal human development across the life span.
- Knowledge of communication and swallowing disorders and differences, including the appropriate etiologies, characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental and linguistic and cultural correlates in the following areas:
- speech sound production, to encompass articulation, motor planning and execution, phonology, and accent modification.
- fluency and fluency disorders.
- voice and resonance, including respiration and phonation
- receptive and expressive language to include phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics (language use and social aspects of communication), prelinguistic communication, paralinguistic communication (e.g., gestures, signs, body language), and literacy in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
- hearing, including the impact on speech and language
- swallowing/feeding, including structure and function of orofacial myology, oral, pharyngeal, of orofacial myology, oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, pulmonary, esophageal, gastrointestinal, and related functions across the life span.
- cognitive aspects of communication (attention, memory, sequencing, problem-solving and executive functioning)
- social aspects of communication (including challenging behavior, ineffective social skills and lack of communication opportunities)
- augmentative and alternative communication modalities
- For each of the areas specified above, students must demonstrate current knowledge of the principles and methods of prevention, assessment and intervention for people with communication and swallowing disorders, including consideration of anatomical/physiological, psychological, developmental and linguistic and cultural correlates.
- The student must demonstrate knowledge of standards of ethical conduct.
- The student must demonstrate knowledge of processes used in research and of the integration of research principles into evidence-based clinical practice.
- The student must demonstrate knowledge of contemporary professional issues.
- The student must demonstrate knowledge of entry level and advanced certifications, licensure and other relevant professional credentials, as well as local, state and national regulations and policies relevant to professional practice.
- The student must demonstrate skills in oral and written or other forms of communication sufficient for entry into professional practice.
- The student must demonstrate the following skills outcomes:
- Conduct screening and prevention procedures (including prevention activities).
- Collect case history information and integrate information from clients/patients, family, caregivers, teachers and relevant others, including other professionals.
- Select and administer appropriate evaluation procedures, such as behavioral observations, nonstandardized and standardized tests and instrumental procedures.
- Adapt evaluation procedures to meet client/patient needs.
- Interpret, integrate and synthesize all information to develop diagnoses and make appropriate recommendations for intervention.
- Complete administrative and reporting functions necessary to support evaluation.
- Refer clients/patients for appropriate services.
- Develop setting-appropriate intervention plans with measurable and achievable goals that meet clients’/patients’ needs. Collaborate with clients/patients and relevant others in the planning process.
- Implement intervention plans (involve clients/patients and relevant others in the intervention process).
- Select or develop and use appropriate materials and instrumentation for prevention and intervention.
- Measure and evaluate clients’/patients’ performance and progress.
- Modify intervention plans, strategies, materials or instrumentation as appropriate to meet the needs of clients/patients.
- Complete administrative and reporting functions necessary to support intervention.
- Identify and refer clients/patients for services as appropriate.
- Interaction and Personal Qualities
- Communicate effectively, recognizing the needs, values, preferred mode of communication and cultural/linguistic background of the client/patient, family, caregivers and relevant others.
- Collaborate with other professionals in case management.
- Provide counseling regarding communication and swallowing disorders to clients/patients, family, caregivers and relevant others.
- Adhere to the ASHA Code of Ethics and behave professionally.
Admission requirements for graduate study in speech-language pathology include:
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited university;
- An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0;
- An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.5 in courses in communication disorders;
- An official copy of scores from the GRE General Test submitted to the Graduate School;
- Two letters of recommendation;
- Admission to the Graduate School; and
- Be able to provide current vaccination records and pass a criminal background check.
Students who do not meet these requirements may be considered for provisional or probationary admissions at the discretion of the graduate program advisor and faculty of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Students lacking a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology must complete undergraduate leveling courses in the discipline before being considered for admission to the graduate program.
The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in speech-language pathology requires 40 credit hours consisting of 34 coursework credit hours and 6 clinical practicum credit hours. Students begin their supervised clinical work in the University’s speech and hearing clinic with subsequent practica at various off-campus facilities. Speech-language pathology graduate students are assigned two offsite practicum placements during the last semester of their master’s program – one in a hospital and/or rehabilitation setting and one in a public school setting. All coursework, with the exception of the research paper and/or thesis, must be completed prior to beginning the offsite practicum.
Prospective speech-language pathology graduate students are required to begin the master’s program in the fall semester because coursework is sequential and comprehensive. Students are required to purchase and participate in an electronic portfolio system in order to help document competencies related to standards outlined by ASHA and an electronic system to track client contact hours and Simucase, which consists of virtual case studies in speech-language pathology. In addition, students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination to qualify for graduation with an M.S. in speech-language pathology.