Four years after welcoming its first cohort of students, the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program has received its five-year accreditation.
“This is a five-year milestone we reached, and this is going to turn into another chapter,” said Associate Professor and Department Chair Fang-Ling Lu, PhD, CCC-SLP. “We’re going to keep improving and expanding, but definitely we have a steady footing in the community now.”
Part of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the Speech-Language Pathology program welcomed its first cohort of students in 2018. Since then, 129 students in four cohorts have graduated from the program. In addition to giving students the knowledge and clinical skills necessary to succeed, the program also strives to help students develop into contributing members of their communities and the profession, Lu said. The program has a medical emphasis, with a curriculum rich in medically focused coursework that provide deeper training in specialty topics such as swallowing disorders, tracheostomy care, and head and neck cancer.
“We have steadily admitted strong cohorts every year, and we’ve diligently provided them with the best education in health care we can,” she added.
Department faculty are actively engaged in their scholarly work, which includes traumatic brain injury, aphasia, swallowing disorders, bilingual language disorders and interprofessional education curriculum. The faculty are developing robust research projects and the program offers a growing number of community-based projects, Lu said.
This new program’s full accreditation is a result of sustained effort and a dedication to providing an outstanding education and high-quality training program for speech-language pathologists, said School of Health Professions Dean David Shelledy, PhD, RRT, RPFT, FAARC, FASAHP. “Starting a new and successful speech-language pathology program from scratch is no small feat,” he said. “I commend Dr. Lu and the faculty of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders for their hard work and this impressive accomplishment.”
The program is accredited through June 30, 2027, by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), which accredits eligible clinical doctoral programs in audiology and master’s degree programs in speech-language pathology.