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Communication Disorders

Communication Disorders | Courses | Faculty

358 North Pleasant St., Rm. 201
Degree: Bachelor of Science

Contact: Richard L. Freyman
Office: 358 North Pleasant St., Rm. 201A
Phone: (413) 545-0298

Department Chair: Professor Jane Baran. Director of Undergraduate Studies: Professor Richard L. Freyman. Professor Seymour; Associate Professors Andrianopoulos, Helfer, Mercaitis, Poissant, Velleman; Assistant Professors Burns, Choe, Klasner, Kurland, Whitmal, Zaretsky.

The Field

The professions of speech-language pathology and audiology are responsible for the evaluation and treatment of individuals with communicative disorders. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association establishes the national standards for entry into professional practice (www.asha.org). Professional clinicians work with children and adults in the education and health care systems, including public schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. The profession also engages in research designed to improve understanding of communicative disorders and the efficacy of treatments. Research is conducted in clinics, universities, and other settings.

The professions welcome future clinicians with interpersonal communicative skills and an empathy for those who may have communicative difficulties. University preparation consists of education in the normal processes of communication, the nature of communicative disorders, and the clinical processes of evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and counseling. Clinical skills are developed mainly in graduate schools through coursework and practicum experiences. Students may also pursue a research component in a career that includes supervision and teaching at a university.

The Major

The curriculum leading to a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders provides a broad introductory background to the normal process of speech, hearing, language, and related functions, as well as a basic understanding of communicative pathologies and familiarization with the various approaches to their assessment and treatment. The academic coursework prepares students to pursue a graduate degree in the field.

In addition to required academic courses, students are urged to take advantage of the observational experience, in accordance with established clinical policies offered by the department’s clinical facilities, which are sufficiently equipped to allow for videotape or direct observation by students of clinical diagnosis and treatment of a variety of communicative pathologies.

Students are strongly advised to consult with their academic advisers about the content and sequence of their curriculum, especially where the choice and sequencing of electives are concerned.

Note: In addition to the curriculum requirements outlined below, all students must have their speech and hearing evaluated. The purpose of this speech and hearing evaluation is to detect communication problems requiring more complete evaluation and possible remediation. Evaluation results do not affect the student’s status as a Communication Disorders major.

1. Departmental Requirements

211 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
310 Phonetic Processing
311 Introduction to Hearing Science
312 Introduction to Speech Science
313 Introduction to Audiology
315 Speech and Language Disorders
330 Writing in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
401 Speech and Language Development
416 Clinical Procedures
530 Neurological Bases of Speech, Language and Hearing

2. Extra-Departmental Requirements

PHYSICS 114 Theory of Sound
PSYCH 350 Child Behavior and Development or
HUMANDEV 270 Child Development
LINGUIST 201 Introduction to Linguistic Theory
Statistics course (see adviser)

3. Electives

496K Clinical Observation
520 Counseling in Communication Disorders
540 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
560 Language and Learning Disabilities
580 Cognitive Bases of Language Functions

Total number of credits required for the major in Communication Disorders is 42.

Suggested Schedule

Sophomores
Fall

COMM-DIS 210 Introduction to Communication Disorders
COMM-DIS 211 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
PSYCH 350 Child Behavior and Development or
HUMANDEV 270 Child Development
Non-departmental electives (2)

Spring
COMM-DIS 310 Phonetic Processing
PHYSICS 114 Theory of Sound
LINGUIST 201 Introduction to Linguistics
Non-departmental electives (2)

Juniors
Fall

COMM-DIS 311 Introduction to Hearing Science
COMM-DIS 315 Speech and Language Disorders
COMM-DIS 330 Writing in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Non-departmental electives

Spring
COMM-DIS 312 Introduction to Speech Science
COMM-DIS 313 Introduction to Audiology
COMM-DIS 330 Writing in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (if not taken in the fall)
COMM-DIS 401 Speech and Language Development
COMM-DIS 496K Clinical Observation
Non-departmental electives
Statistics course

Seniors
Fall

COMM-DIS 416 Clinical Procedures
COMM-DIS 496K Clinical Observation (if not taken previously)
COMM-DIS 530 Neurological Bases of Speech, Language and Hearing
Departmental electives
Non-departmental electives

Spring
COMM-DIS 496K Clinical Observation (if not taken previously)
Departmental electives
Non-departmental electives

Communication Disorders | Courses | Faculty