University Bulletin 2018-2019

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Speech-Language Pathology (MSSLP)

The Master of Science (MSSLP) in Speech-Language Pathology serves either as a professional preparation for clinical certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or as preparation for graduate study leading to the Ph.D. degree. The MSSLP program provides a broad range of basic science courses and specialized offerings emphasizing evaluation and treatment of language, articulation, fluency, voice, swallowing, and neurologically-based communication disorders. Students are prepared for careers as clinicians in schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and community clinics.

Clinical practicum experiences occur at the on-campus Speech and Hearing Center and many affiliated clinics, rehabilitation centers, schools, and hospitals. Within this framework, students must meet the academic and practicum requirements leading to the Clinical Fellowship (CF) that occurs post graduation. Completion of the CF results in national certification (the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech-Language Pathology awarded by ASHA) and eligibility for State of Alabama Licensure.  For the students with backgrounds in communication sciences and disorders, the MSSLP program typically extends for five academic semesters, including one partial semester of clinical externship.  For those students who do not have a background in communication sciences and disorders, the program of study can be expected to last six academic semesters or longer.

Graduate assistantships are available annually on a competitive basis.

Applications for admission and assistantships are accepted after November 1 with enrollment beginning in the Fall Semester only.  Details regarding the Admissions process and deadline can be found on the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology website. Specific information about the Master's program is available from the department.

Requirements For Admission

Students are admitted in the Fall Semester only.

The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria:

Regular Admission

  1. A baccalaureate degree (or equivalent).  Students with an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders can expect to track through a five semester program.  Students without an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders apply directly to the MSSLP Program.  These students can anticipate taking additional course work and track through a six semester program or longer.
  2. A minimum 3.0 ("A"=4.0) overall undergraduate GPA is required to be considered for regular admission.
  3. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the last five years. In order to be considered for regular admission, a minimum combined score of 290 for the Verbal and Quantitative portions of the GRE is required. In rare instances applicants with a GRE score of less than 290 may be considered for provisional admission. The score for the writing portion will be evaluated.
  4. Three references from faculty at the undergraduate institution are required.  Two of these references should be provided by Ph.D. faculty within the applicant's undergraduate department.
  5. Personal essay stating the applicant's reasons for pursuing the degree, and addressing specific questions outlined in the application instructions.

Because the number of applicants is greater than the number of vacancies in the program, students are admitted on a competitive basis, based on the criteria stated above. Because of limited course sequencing, students are admitted in Fall Semester only.  Details regarding the Admissions process and deadline can be found on the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology website. 

In addition, students should have one course each in biological sciences, physical sciences, behavioral sciences, and statistics. In addition, coursework in human anatomy and physiology and, an adequate background in psychology are recommended. Students are strongly encouraged to complete course work in areas dealing with multicultural issues, aging/gerontology, and human development.

Typical Requirements For Degree

The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology degree requires:

  1. A minimum of five semesters of full-time academic study. A portion of the final semester is spent off campus completing the externship.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0.
  3. A passing grade on a comprehensive examination administered during the final semester before leaving for the externship, or satisfactory completion of a thesis.
  4. Demonstration of academic and clinical competencies as reflected in the 2014 Standards for Clinical Certification in Speech-Language Pathology Verification by Program Director document.
  5. 375 clinical clock hours in the required areas as stipulated by ASHA.  Note:   Students without an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders will have to complete 25 hours of clinical observation before starting their 375 clinical clock hour requirement.

Retention Policies

  1. Any term in which a graduate student enrolled in the MSSLP program drops below a 3.0 GPA, the student will be placed on probationary status and has a period of one semester to attain a 3.0 GPA or be dismissed from the program.
  2. A student in the status of Provisional Admission who has not earned a minimum of a B Grade in all courses completed in their first semester in the program and does not have a 3.0 GPA upon completing 15 semester hours of graduate credit toward degree requirements will be academically dismissed from the MSSLP program.
  3. Any student who receives a grade lower than a "C" in a graduate level course will be dismissed from the program.
  4. A "C" in any combination of two or more MSSLP courses will result in academic dismissal.
  5. Dismissal due to poor performance can occur at any time during the course of study. Students should understand and agree that they may be required to complete additional and/or augmentative work or clinical experience as determined by the faculty. As such, graduation may be delayed.
  6. If for any reason a student must withdraw from the MSSLP program, re-admission will require approval of the department chairperson and the Dean of the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions.
  7. If a student is dismissed from a program prior to the end of the regular semester and that dismissal occurs after the University's refund deadline, the student will not receive any type of refund even if the next series of classes have not begun.
Speech Pathology and Audiology Administrative Staff (251) 445-9378
Chair Elizabeth M. Adams 
Dean Emeritus Talbott
Professor Emeritus Dagenais, Evans, Sellers
Associate Professor Emeritus Moore
Associate Professor Emeritus Holston
Associate Professors Adams, B. Beverly, Davis, Gordon-Hickey, Ramkissoon
Assistant Professors T. Beverly, Choi, Flagge, Garand, Nichols, Rishiq, Roberts, Smith
Senior Instructor Hudson
Instructors Brown, Hill, Wiles
   

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology web site
http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/alliedhealth/speechandhearing

The mission of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology is to provide undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs that challenge the students to achieve the highest standards of academic learning, scientific inquiry and clinical excellence. The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology seeks to deliver a comprehensive program of academic, research and clinical training in the areas of speech, language and hearing development and disorders. The Department offers the Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences, the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, the Doctor of Audiology, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders, degree programs.

The undergraduate program readies the graduate to undertake professional study on the graduate level. Students in Speech-Language Pathology who complete the master's program will meet all the academic and practicum requirements to be eligible for the Clinical Fellowship (CF) that leads to national certification (C C C - S L P) by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and eligibility for the Alabama State License. Students in Audiology who complete the Doctor of Audiology program will meet all the academic and practicum requirements for national certification (C C C -A) and also be eligible for the Alabama State License.   

The master’s program (Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology) education program in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of South Alabama is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, (800)-498-2071 or (301)-296-5700.

The doctoral program (Doctor of Audiology) education program in Audiology at the University of South Alabama is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, (800)-498-2071 or (301)-296-5700.