CSD Undergraduate Program Assessment Plan
Note: Most of the CSD Program Assessment Plan regarding standards and implementation is adapted, or directly quoted, from certification standards of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Our department is required to provide a graduate program that allows our graduate students to meet ASHA certification standards. We developed learning objectives and formative assessment procedures in accordance with those standards, and implemented the graduate program plan beginning Fall, 2005. We also adapted the assessment plan to our undergraduate program. We are in the process of implementing the following plan. The ASHA standards and numbering have been maintained to allow us to seamlessly and efficiently track undergraduate and graduate learning outcomes. See specific course syllabi for learning indicators (objectives) that link to these standards.
The student must complete an undergraduate program of study that includes academic course work sufficient in depth and breadth to achieve the specified knowledge and skill outcomes that are linked to the standards (“goals”) listed below. This program of study will prepare a student for advanced study leading to professional certification in the disciplines of speech-language pathology or audiology.
Standard III Program of Study—Knowledge Outcomes
Standard III-A: The student must demonstrate knowledge of the principles of biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and the social/behavioral sciences.
The student must have transcript credit (which could include course work, advanced placement, CLEP, or examination of equivalency) for each of the following areas: biological sciences, physical sciences, social/behavioral sciences, and mathematics. Appropriate course work may include human anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, genetics, physics, inorganic and organic chemistry, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and non-remedial mathematics. The intent of this standard is to require students to have a broad liberal arts and science background. Courses in biological and physical sciences specifically related to communication sciences and disorders (CSD) may not be applied for meeting this requirement.
Standard III-B: The student must demonstrate knowledge of basic human communication processes, including their biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural bases.
This standard emphasizes the basic human communication processes. The student must demonstrate the ability to integrate information pertaining to normal and abnormal human development across the life span, including basic communication processes and the impact of cultural and linguistic diversity on communication. Knowledge will be gained through completion of a well-defined series of required courses in the major. Students also may gain relevant information through clinical experiences, independent studies, and research projects.
Standard III-C: The student must demonstrate knowledge of the nature of speech, language, hearing, and communication disorders and differences, including the etiologies, characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates. Specific knowledge must be demonstrated in the following areas:
- voice and resonance, including respiration and phonation
- receptive and expressive language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and manual modalities
- hearing, including the impact on speech and language
- social aspects of communication (including challenging behavior, ineffective social skills, lack of communication opportunities)
- communication modalities (including oral, manual, augmentative, and alternative communication techniques and assistive technologies)
The student must demonstrate the acquisition of information delineated in this standard. While it is expected that course work addressing the professional knowledge specified in Standard III-C will occur primarily at the graduate level, undergraduate learning provides the foundation for graduate study.
Standard III-D: The student must possess knowledge of the principles and methods of prevention, assessment, and intervention for people with communication disorders, including consideration of anatomical/physiological, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates of the disorders.
The student must demonstrate the acquisition of information about prevention, assessment, and intervention over the range of differences and disorders specified in Standard III-C above.
Standard III-E: The student must demonstrate knowledge of standards of ethical conduct.
The student must demonstrate knowledge of, appreciation for, and ability to interpret the ASHA Code of Ethics.
Standard III-F: The student must demonstrate knowledge of processes used in research, including the use of information technology.
The student must demonstrate information literacy by demonstrating knowledge of the social aspects of information, the organization of information, and the research process. This information will be obtained through a course, “Library Strategies for CSD,” and through applied practice in departmental writing proficiency courses. Information also may be obtained through class projects, clinical experiences, independent studies, and research projects.
Standard IV: Program of Study—Skills Outcomes
Standard IV-B: The student must possess skills in oral and written or other forms of communication sufficient for entry into graduate study and the workplace.
The student must demonstrate communication skills sufficient to begin developing effective clinical and professional interaction with clients/patients and relevant others. For oral communication, the student must demonstrate speech and language skills in English, which, at a minimum, are consistent with ASHA’s most current position statement on students and professionals who speak English with accents and nonstandard dialects. For written communication, the student must be able to write and comprehend technical reports, diagnostic and treatment reports, treatment plans, and professional correspondence. Students also must learn the writing style and conventions of the disciplines (speech-language pathology and audiology), and they must develop skills in integrating evidence into scholarly papers.
Standard IV-C: The student must complete supervised clinical observation experiences. The graduate-track student must complete course-linked experiences in direct client/patient contact.
Observation hours precede direct contact with clients/patients. However, completion of all 25 observation hours is not a prerequisite to begin direct client/patient contact. The observation and direct client/patient contact hours must be within the scope of practice of speech-language pathology and audiology.
For certification purposes, observation experiences must be under the direction of a qualified clinical supervisor who holds current ASHA certification in the appropriate practice area. Such direction may occur simultaneously with the student’s observation or may be through review and approval of written reports or summaries submitted by the student. Students may use videotapes of the provision of client services for observation purposes. The student must maintain documentation of time spent in supervised observation, verified by the program in accordance with Standards III and IV.
Students should be assigned practicum only after they have acquired a sufficient knowledge base to qualify for such experience. Only direct contact with the client or the client’s family in assessment, management, and/or counseling can be counted toward practicum.