Mission, Vision, & Strategic Plan

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

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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.

Strategic Plan:

The strategic plan aligns with the mission of the program by focusing on the areas of curriculum, clinical education, and research.

Focus Area 1: Curriculum The CSD Department will appropriately align the course sequence in the undergraduate and graduate programs and enhance curriculum to reflect current standards and address current issues in the profession. 

  • Issue: Some courses in the undergraduate curriculum are more appropriate to the graduate sequence of courses.  In reviewing the 2014 CFCC Standards, the curriculum needs to be enhanced to reflect current standards and address current issues in the profession.
  • Goal: Appropriately align the course sequence in the undergraduate and graduate programs and enhance curriculum to reflect current standards and address current issues in the profession.
  • Indicators of success:
    • All current CFCC standards are addressed between the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, with majority of standards addressed at graduate level.
    • Undergraduate students will be able to take a general stats course without barriers to registering.
    • Undergraduate curriculum will have increased knowledge in foundational neuroanatomy/neurophysiology in communication disorders.
    • Courses focusing on specific communication disorders will move primarily to the graduate program.
    • Students will demonstrate increased knowledge of contemporary professional issues including certification, licensure, and regulations.
    • Students will complete Plan B projects on time and will space the projects over the course of the graduate program.

Focus Area 2: Clinical Education The CSD Department will develop the clinical education resources to provide a breadth and depth of education and to support an expansion of the graduate program to 25 students.  Resources include university clinic client base, clinic instructors, off-campus placements, and liaison support.

  • Issue:  The field of speech-language pathology is projected to grow by 21% through 2024 and this will require gradaute education programs to respond by educating more people to enter the profession.  The CSD graduate program currently receives 125+ applications each year since at least  2011,  but  admits only 15 students each year. The limited number of clinical education resources is a significant contributor to capping enrollment.  
  • Goal: The CSD Graduate program will have sustainable clinical education with sufficient resources for supporting admission of 25 graduate students per year.
  • Indicators of success:
    • There will be a sufficient on-campus client base for supporting a breadth and depth of experiences for 25 graduate students.
    • There will be sufficient instructors for supporting on-campus clinical education of 25 graduate students.
    • There will be sufficient off-campus internship sites to support 25 graduate students.
    • Clinical internship courses will have an appropriate credit load that aligns with university internship credit expectations.
    • There will be sufficient resources allotted for liaison work to support off-campus clinical education.
    • The department will have a more efficient means of tracking clinical clock hours and experiences for meeting certification and accreditation standards.
    • CSD program will offer sufficient support for off-campus preceptors to provide appropriate supervision.

Focus Area 3: Research  The CSD Department will engage in and support at least 12) scholarly activities by faculty and students in forums outside the department (university, professional meetings, etc.)

  • Issue:  As part of the mission of the university, the CSD Department is committed to participation in scholarly activities outside of the department. Participation in scholarly activities contributes to the profession and to student education.  In order to increase research and scholarly activities, the department must have sufficient faculty.  In addition to needing sufficient faculty, the department needs sufficient funding sources for graduate students to participate  in scholarly activities. 
  • Goal:  Increase faculty and student participation in scholarly activities outside the department to at least 12 per academic year.
  • Indicators of success:
    • Increase number of faculty in department to support research and scholarly activities
    • Faculty and students participate in at least 12 scholarly activities outside the department.
    • Determine and secure funding sources for graduate student participation in scholarly activities.

Focus Area 4: 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.

  • Issue:  The CSD Program is responsible for formative and summative assessment, addressing student learning objectives (SLOs) at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Related to SLOs , the program is responsible for addressing and assessing graduate student achievement of CFCC standards.  The program is to use the data for program assessment and continuous quality improvement. 
  • Goal: Develop and implement an efficient and comprehensive process for assessing student learning and program effectiveness.
  • Indicators of success:
    • The department will adopt an effective tool for assessment of student learning.
    • Students will demonstrate understanding of student learning objectives and CFCC standards.
    • Department will use data for program improvement.
    • Department will have remediation process for academic and clinical education courses, and students will be informed of the process.
    • The Department will have a process for documenting standards met through undergraduate courses: basic sciences, audiology, and equivalent courses.