General Program Information
and Hearing Sciences
Speech and Hearing Sciences
The mission of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology is to provide undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs that challenge the student to achieve the highest standards of academic learning, scientific inquiry and clinical excellence. The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology seeks to deliver a comprehensive program of academic, research and clinical training in the area of speech, language and hearing development and disorders. The Department offers the Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences, the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, the Doctor of Audiology and the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Our graduate clinical training programs (MSSLP in Speech-Language Pathology and AuD) are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Students completing the prescribed graduate courses for the MSSLP in Speech-Language Pathology meet the academic and clinical requirements needed to initiate a Clinical Fellowship (CF). The CF is the last requirement that leads to national certification (CCC/SLP) by ASHA and eligibility for Alabama state licensure. Students completing the prescribed doctoral courses for the AuD. meet the academic, clinical, and practicum requirements for national certification (CCC/A) by ASHA and eligibility for Alabama state licensure.
The MSSLP in Speech-Language Pathology and the AuD are the "entry-level" degrees for
each profession, and are included in the requirements for ASHA certification. Students
must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical and
academic situations, and to render a wide spectrum of speech-language-hearing services.
Therefore, the abilities and expectations listed below are needed for successful completion
of the requirements leading to the MSSLP or AuD.
The culminating activity in the preparation of an audiologist or speech-language pathologist
is clinical reasoning. Therefore, a student must be able to make correct observations,
and have the skills of measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis.
The student will be expected to demonstrate judgment in the classroom laboratory and clinic which shows an ability to make mature, sensitive, and effective decisions in the following areas:
- Relationships with professors, supervisors, peers, and patients/clients
- Professional behavior
- The effectiveness of diagnostic, assessment, and intervention strategies.
A. Written Communication: The student must be able to assimilate information from written sources (text, journals,
medical/school records, etc.). The student must be able to attain, comprehend, retain,
and utilize new information presented in written formats. The profession not only
calls for the initial learning of a new body of knowledge, but also the continual
updating from current sources. Students are required not only to utilize information
from written sources, but must be able to produce appropriate written documentation.
B. Verbal and nonverbal communication: A student must be able to produce the spoken word and to elicit information from patients/clients, supervisors, and peers with skills in not only describing factual information, but the subtle cues of moods, temperament, and social responses. Communication with patients/clients and all members of the intervention team must be accurate, sensitive, effective, and efficient. Response time to emergencies/crisis situations, as well as more routine communication, must be situationally appropriate.
Students must have gross motor, fine motor, and equilibrium functions reasonably required
to carry out speech-language-hearing assessment and intervention strategies/techniques.
Task requirements may range, for example, from operating complex, electronic instrumentation
to palpating certain areas of a patient's head and neck. Quick reactions may be necessary
in some clinical situations, not only for safety, but to observe a patient accurately
close at hand (e.g., from within a distance of 10 feet or less). Diagnosis, assessment,
and intervention of communication problems necessitates the functional use of the
senses of vision, hearing, and touch.
Students are expected to exhibit professional behaviors and attitudes during their
participation in classroom, laboratory, and clinical activities. This includes, but
is not limited to, flexibility toward change and acceptance of responsibility for
one's own conduct. Students are expected to avoid any behavior disruptive to quality
classroom teaching, research, and patient care.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to this program. However, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology if there is any reason why the abilities/expectations described above cannot be met. Students who indicate that they cannot meet one or more of these and who request a review in writing will be reviewed by the Departmental Faculty Committee and the Coordinator of Special Student Services to determine what, if any, reasonable accommodations might be possible to facilitate successful completion of the degree requirements.