The Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) strives to provide students a comprehensive education that combines theoretical knowledge with clinical application and research. We accomplish this mission through a combination of academic course work, clinical practicum, and research activities. The intent of this mission is to prepare students for graduate study and ensure their entry into the field of communication disorders as competent professionals upon completion of the graduate program. We recognize our responsibility to serve the regional community. In this regard, the department provides comprehensive speech, language, and hearing services to individuals and families in the region through a clinical atmosphere that fosters respect and support for diversity, as well as advocacy for the rights of individuals.
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will work to uphold the vision statement of our professional accrediting body, “Making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all,” by focusing its efforts on student education, research, and community service.
The strategic plan aligns with the mission of the program by focusing on the areas of curriculum, clinical education, assessment, research and service.
Focus Area 1: Curriculum
The CSD Department will deliver an integrated and evidence-based curriculum that is consistent with current practice standards and allows students sufficient opportunities to meet outcomes.
- Opportunity 1: Ensure diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is sufficiently addressed across curriculum.
- Action 1: The department will review the curriculum annually and make recommendations for modification as needed.
- Opportunity 2: Ensure students engage in self-assessment and demonstrate an understanding of the effects of one’s own actions.
- Action 2: The department will review the curriculum annually and make recommendations for modification as needed.
- Opportunity 3: Expand opportunities for IP creative activities across campus with the focus of fostering new cross disciplinary collaborations.
- Action 3a: Identify faculty interested in adding IPE component to class and gauge interest of CSS faculty. Explore including additional professionals into the IPE experiences.
- Action 3b: Explore options for shared coursework for graduate students across CEHSP programs to increase IPE opportunities.
Focus Area 2: Clinical Education
The CSD Department will develop clinical education resources to provide a breadth and depth of education and to support 30 students per cohort. Resources include university clinic client base, clinic instructors, off-campus placements, and liaison support.
- Opportunity 1: Increase partnerships that are stable and sustainable for clinic internships and externships.
- Action 1a: Continue regular, periodic communication with potential internship sites including systematic follow up.
- Action 1b: Promote the program to potential affiliates.
- Action 1c: Foster positive collaborative relationships with Clinical Program Directors of regional CSD programs.
- Opportunity 2: Increase interdisciplinary clinic opportunities.
- Action 2: Continue to develop opportunities for IPP within the Robert F. Pierce Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic and cross-institution.
Focus Area 3: Assessment
The CSD Department will determine students' mastery of knowledge and skills addressed in the curriculum through formative and summative assessment and use information for improvements in the program and support for student learning.
- Opportunity 1: Account for opportunities for developing knowledge and skills related to DEI within the field of CSD.
- Action 1: Create a tool or process for measuring opportunities for DEI across the graduate and undergraduate curriculum
- Opportunity 2: Account for opportunities for developing skills in counseling specific to CSD.
- Action 2: Create a tool or process for measuring opportunities for counseling across the graduate and undergraduate curriculum.
- Opportunity 3: Confirm reliability and validity of all assessment measures
- Action 3: Create a tool or process for measuring the reliability and validity of all assessment measures.
Focus Area 4: Research
The CSD Department will sustain undergraduate and graduate student research through Plan B and UROP opportunities.
- Opportunity 1: Add at least one new partnership for research.
- Action 1a: Identify and document current internal and external research partnerships.
- Action 1b: Increase attendance at CEHSP research networking events.
Focus Area 5: Service
The CSD Department will increase service-based learning opportunities to enhance community engagement.
- Opportunity 1: Collaborate with one new group to support service learning.
- Action 1: Identify areas of service-learning, prioritize based on departmental interest and expertise and communicate with local community groups.
- Opportunity 2: Re-in state and continue current support groups
- Action 2: CSD faculty and staff involved in support groups to provide goals, mission and structure of the support groups.
- Opportunity 3: Expand hearing services at the RFP Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic.
- Action 3: Develop standard operating procedures and guidelines for service delivery.
Executive Summary of Strategic Plan
The strategic plan is designed to align with the mission of the CSD program, emphasizing a commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education through a combination of academic coursework, clinical practicum, research activities, and community service.
The plan centers on five key focus areas:
- Emphasis on delivering an integrated and evidence-based curriculum.
- Opportunities identified to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are addressed across the curriculum.
- Actions include annual curriculum reviews and modifications, with a specific focus on self-assessment and awareness of personal impact.
- Expanding opportunities for interdisciplinary (IP) creative activities is a priority.
- Clinical Education
- Development of clinical education resources to support 30 students per cohort.
- Increased partnerships sought for stable and sustainable clinic internships and externships.
- Actions involve regular communication with potential internship sites, program promotion, and fostering collaborative relationships with regional Clinical Program Directors.
- An emphasis on increasing interdisciplinary clinic opportunities.
- Ensuring student mastery through formative and summative assessments.
- Opportunities identified for developing knowledge and skills related to DEI and counseling within the field of CSD.
- Actions include creating tools and processes for measuring DEI opportunities and counseling skills across the curriculum.
- Confirmation of the reliability and validity of all assessment measures is a priority.
- Sustaining undergraduate and graduate student research through Plan B and UROP opportunities.
- Actions involve adding new partnerships for research, documenting existing partnerships, and increasing attendance at research networking events.
- Increasing service-based learning opportunities for community engagement.
- Collaboration with new groups for service learning, reinstating and continuing support groups, and expanding hearing services at the RFP Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic are priorities.
- Actions include identifying service-learning areas, communicating with local community groups, providing goals for support groups, and developing standard operating procedures for service delivery.
Timelines and Accountability
The strategic plan is a dynamic document, reviewed annually, with clear goals, actions, and timelines. Faculty and staff are actively involved in contributing to specific goals, and progress is tracked through a shared folder for documentation.
The plan reflects a strong commitment to community needs, with deliberate efforts to engage with local groups, prioritize service-learning initiatives, and expand services at the clinic to meet community expectations.
This executive summary aims to provide a concise overview of the CSD Department's strategic plan, demonstrating a holistic approach to education, community engagement, and continuous improvement.