To ensure that graduates of the Speech-Language Pathology program will be prepared for their professional roles and responsibilities, the following are the program's curriculum objectives. Upon successful completion of the Speech-Language Pathology program, graduates will be able to:
- Provide prevention, screening, consultation, assessment and diagnosis, treatment, intervention, management, counseling, and follow-up services for disorders of:
- speech (i.e., articulation, fluency, resonance, and voice including aeromechanical components of respiration).
- language (i.e., phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic/social aspects of communication) including comprehension and expression in oral, written, graphic, and manual modalities; language processing; preliteracy and language-based literacy skills, including phonological awareness.
- swallowing or other upper aerodigestive functions such as infant feeding and aeromechanical events (evaluation of esophageal function is for the purpose of referral to medical professionals));
- cognitive aspects of communication (e.g., attention, memory, problem solving, executive functions).
- sensory awareness related to communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions.
- Establish augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) techniques and strategies including developing, selecting, and prescribing of such systems and devices (e.g., speech generating devices).
- Provide services to individuals with hearing loss and their families/caregivers (e.g., auditory training; speech reading; speech and language intervention secondary to hearing loss).
- Screen hearing of individuals who can participate in conventional pure-tone air conduction methods, as well as screening for middle ear pathology through screening tympanometry for the purpose of referral of individuals for further evaluation and management.
- Use instrumentation (e.g., videofluoroscopy, EMG, nasendoscopy, stroboscopy, computer technology) to observe, collect data, and measure parameters of communication and swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions in accordance with the principles of evidence-based practice.
- Select, fit, and establish effective use of prosthetic/adaptive devices for communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions (e.g., tracheoesophageal prostheses, speaking valves, electrolarynges). This does not include sensory devices used by individuals with hearing loss or other auditory perceptual deficits.
- Collaborate in the assessment of central auditory processing disorders and providing intervention where there is evidence of speech, language, and/or other cognitive-communication disorders.
- Educate and counsel individuals, families, co-workers, educators, and other persons in the community regarding acceptance, adaptation, and decision making about communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive concerns.
- Advocate for individuals through community awareness, education, and training programs to promote and facilitate access to full participation in communication, including the elimination of societal barriers.
- Collaborate with and provide referrals and information to audiologists, educators, and other health professionals as individual needs dictate.
- Address behaviors (e.g., perseverative or disruptive actions) and environments (e.g., seating, positioning for swallowing safety or attention, communication opportunities) that affect communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions.
- Provide services to modify or enhance communication performance (e.g., accent modification, transgendered voice, care and improvement of the professional voice, personal/professional communication effectiveness).
- Recognize the need to provide and appropriately accommodate diagnostic and treatment services to individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and adjust treatment and assessment services accordingly.
- Be critical consumers of professional literature.
- Accept responsibility for service to one's fellow human beings.
The academic curriculum, practicum experiences, research requirement, and service activity requirements that students must complete in this program have been designed and will be implemented in a way that will ensure that graduates meet or exceed these objectives. The net result of the student's educational experience in this program will be a well-prepared, service-oriented, competent professional who is fully prepared and eligible for ASHA certification as a speech-language pathologist.