Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Mission and Strategic Plan
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is committed to providing a student-centered learning environment of the highest quality where undergraduate and graduate students develop the knowledge, clinical skills, and life-long learning skills to prepare them for professional careers and advanced study in speech-language pathology and audiology. The faculty and staff are dedicated to engaged excellence as we focus on:
- Fostering the critical thinking, intellectual rigor, curiosity, and creativity that will provide the foundation for ongoing learning about communication and its disorders.
- Providing supervised clinical experiences where students have multiple opportunities to provide high quality client/patient care.
- Creating opportunities for students to understand and engage in research related to normal and disordered communication.
- Promoting an understanding of social, political, and multicultural issues that impact learning, research, and clinical service delivery.
- Encouraging and supporting civic engagement, leadership, and active involvement in campus-life and the broader community.
- Promoting scholarship, educational innovation, and instructional excellence.
Long –Term Program Goals
Provide undergraduate and graduate curricula that build on and enhance a liberal arts education while preparing highly skilled graduates who will contribute both to a compassionate civilized society and to the work force.
- Recruit and retain high quality students.
- Promote opportunities for students to engage in interactive learning and scholarly experiences.
- Support the development of global citizens who are sensitive to diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
- Hire and support faculty who are committed to excellence in innovative teaching, high quality research, and service to the department, university, and community.
- Hire and support clinical educators who are committed to excellence in teaching clinical skills and in understanding/demonstrating best practices including the application of current research and theories to the assessment and intervention processes.
- Contribute to the missions of the university through general education course offerings, collaborative teaching and research, and clinical outreach to the campus and broader communities.
- Promote effective use of resources including management of department finances, environmental stewardship, and sustainable practices.
1. Enhance the undergraduate curriculum to better prepare students for the workforce, graduate school, and effective citizenship.
- Develop writing lab options across the curriculum to support student writing skills across genres.
- Add optional coursework and supervised clinical fieldwork that prepares undergraduate students for careers as Speech-Language pathology Assistants, in accordance with ASHA guidelines for training support personnel.
- Develop course offerings that focus on the social, political, cultural aspects of communication disorders and the professions.
- Ensure student understanding and appropriate use of current technology in both laboratory and clinical settings.
2. Enhance the graduate curriculum and clinical education opportunities to maintain adequate breadth, depth, and currentness of the graduate education and to provide additional services to individuals in the region.
- Expand SLP graduate course offerings that support the scope of practice that includes birth to three communication development and disorders, autism-spectrum disorders and intervention, augmentative and alternative communication, pediatric and adult dysphagia, multicultural issues in communication disorders and intervention, telemedicine in communication disorders, and qualitative research. (This will require adding one quarter to the current seven quarter SLP graduate degree program.)
- Explore the possibility of offering the clinical doctorate in audiology.
- Develop onsite preschools and expanded clinical offerings that provide early intervention services to individuals with language-learning disorders, autism-spectrum disorders, hearing disorders (including children with cochlear implants), and fluency disorders.
- Expand parent education and collaboration with educators in the kindergarten through sixth grade school settings.
- Develop an augmentative-alternative communication (AAC) clinic, providing services to nonverbal children and adults and to individuals whose communication efforts are facilitated when using AAC devices.
- Develop an onsite hearing aid clinic.
- Develop telepractice service-delivery, using advanced telecommunication systems to assess, diagnose, and treat communication disorders, thereby extending services to underserved place-bound individuals and augmenting services to those receiving traditional onsite therapy.
- Provide multiple opportunities for students to adhere to evidence-based clinical practice.
3. Support students in their pursuit of high quality educational experiences.
- Provide advising at multiple times throughout the program to guide students in meeting requirements in a timely manner.
- Provide student access to clear written guidelines regarding program requirements, policies, and procedures.
- Increase student awareness of and access to multiple means of financial support.
- Develop clinical education practices that emphasize common policies, procedures, expectations and efficiency.
- Engage students, faculty, and staff in creating a positive learning environment.
- Increase student access to the graduate degree program in Speech-Language Pathology by 40% in AY 2010-2011.
4. Involve students in active learning experiences.
- Support opportunities for students to work in the community by
- Encouraging volunteerism on campus and in the larger community.
- Creating service-learning options within the educational curriculum.
- Providing undergraduate internships.
- Providing a variety of graduate internships.
- Create innovative and stimulating laboratory activities associated with undergraduate and graduate courses, making optimal use of new lab and equipment resources.
5. Involve students in disciplinary/professional experiences.
- Provide opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to engage in research.
- Encourage undergraduate and graduate students to present at and/or attend professional conferences.
- Support student work on professional publications.
6. Enhance opportunities for students to understand and participate in different cultures and diverse societies, particularly regarding effective assessment and management of individuals with communication disorders.
- Continue to infuse diversity and inclusion information throughout the curriculum.
- Provide opportunities for students to explore, discuss, and experience delivery of services to culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
- Expand the curriculum to include courses in social, political, cultural aspects of communication disorders.
- Continue to recruit and support diverse faculty and students.
- Encourage study abroad. Support students in seeking, reflecting on, and sharing relevant study abroad experiences.
7. Hire and support faculty who are committed to excellence in innovative teaching, clinic supervision, high quality research, and service to the department, university, and community.
- Maintain reasonable and equitable faculty workloads.
- Support faculty participation in opportunities that will enhance teaching and student learning.
- Require student evaluations of teaching in all courses; regular peer evaluation of teaching via classroom observations and portfolio review; and participation in departmental curriculum review and innovation.
- During annual meeting with chair, support faculty reflection on student and peer feedback and develop a strategic plan for implementing changes where indicated.
- Support faculty travel as it relates to developing innovative teaching, conducting research and presenting at regional, national, and international conferences.
- Support faculty in seeking internal and external funding for innovative teaching and research.
- Provide research and teaching spaces that support innovative teaching and high quality research.
- Encourage service that both relates to faculty areas of expertise and fosters leadership skills within the department, university, profession, and community.
- Support and reward excellence.
8. Hire and support clinical educators who are committed to excellence in teaching clinical skills and in understanding/demonstrating best practices.
- Maintain reasonable and equitable clinical supervision workloads.
- Support and require participation in continuing education.
- Provide opportunities for development of innovative clinical education strategies.
- Support participation in the review, enhancement, and expansion of clinical programs.
- Require student evaluations of all supervision, with evaluations being reviewed by both the clinical educator and the clinic director.
- During annual meeting with clinic director, support clinical educator reflection on student and peer feedback and develop a strategic plan for implementing changes where indicated.
- Support and reward excellence.
9. Contribute to the missions of the university through general education course offerings, collaborative teaching and research, and clinical outreach to the campus and broader communities.
- Continue to offer general university requirement courses and consider other ways in which CSD faculty might contribute to the liberal arts core curriculum.
- Participate in the consideration and development of an Allied Health division within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Encourage and support faculty collaboration within and across departments regarding course development.
- Encourage and support faculty collaboration within and across departments regarding research.
- Expand clinical programs to include collaboration with related disciplines.
- Enhance campus and broader community awareness of and access to clinical programs.
- Engage community members in developing clinical programs that best meet the needs of the citizens.
10. Practice effective use of resources including management of department finances, environmental stewardship, and sustainable practices.
- Seek public and private funding to supplement state provided resources that support the missions of the department.
- Provide opportunities to share common reference materials that are made available in a faculty/staff library.
- Practice and model the careful treatment of textbooks, clinic materials, equipment, and departmental furnishings and space.
- Restrict printing and copy duplication to essential materials that would not be effectively stored and retrieved electronically.
- Encourage electronic submission/feedback when reviewing student reports, projects, and papers.
Mechanism for regular evaluation of the plan
- Review the mission, strategic goals, and strategic objectives every four years and update as necessary.
Mechanism for regular evaluation of progress in meeting the plan’s objectives
- Faculty/clinical educator feedback will be reviewed annually with department chair or clinic directors.
- Curriculum review will be conducted biannually during spring quarter.
- Progress across all objectives will be reviewed by all departmental members annually at the faculty/staff retreat.
- Progress will be discussed and documented in the department chair’s annual meeting with the college dean.
- Progress will be summarized and reported in the annual report to the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.
Accreditation Standards (CAA)
1.3 The program develops and implements a long-term strategic plan.
The plan must be congruent with the mission of the institution, have the support of the university administration, and reflect the role of the program within the community. Components of a plan may include long-term program goals, specific measurable objectives, strategies for attainment, a schedule for analysis, and a mechanism for regular evaluation of the plan itself and of progress in meeting the plan's objectives. The plan and the results of the regular evaluation of the plan and its implementation must be shared with faculty, students, staff, alumni, and other interested parties.