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Communication Sciences and Disorders

The ability to communicate effectively using language systems distinguishes human beings from other forms of life. Disabilities that interfere with communication skills prohibit a large number of people from realizing their full potential in modern society. Study in the fields 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. Graduate coursework is supplemented by practica that give students first-hand experiences in generating intervention programs for with disorders of language, voice and resonance, phonology/articulation, fluency, hearing, swallowing, cognitive and social aspects of communication, and problems that necessitate the use of oral, manual, augmentative, and alternative communication techniques and technologies. These experiences are carried out in the University's Center for Communication Disorders and in off-campus internships.

Master's degree recipients are eligible to receive the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services from the California (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 Department of Consumer Affairs.

PRAXIS score passing rate was 100% for the last two years. For our Master's graduates, the two-year completion rate is approximately 95% and employment rates are 100%. Our program is accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

Faculty and Facilities

The faculty consists of five full-time professors as well as part-time instructors and clinical supervisors. Faculty have varied research interests and clinical expertise, which include child language acquisition, acquired adult neurogenic disorders, normal aging, voice disorders, auditory disorders, and language disorders.

The program maintains an on-campus clinic and a speech-language-hearing science laboratory. Graduate students receive supervised practica in prevention, evaluation and treatment for persons across the life span who have a wide range of communicative disorders. The clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video monitored therapy rooms and observations facilities.

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.

Career Outlook

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. Entry into the profession requires a Master's degree. Over 98% who complete the master's program have many and varied employment opportunities.

Catalog Cycle:17