About the Program
We teach students about all aspects of communicative disorders, including the psychology and physiology of speech, language and hearing, the interaction between communication and learning, and the assessment and management of individuals with communicative disorders from infancy through adulthood.
The Communication Sciences & Disorders Department offers a comprehensive array of courses and broad-based observational experiences in a variety of educational and medical settings throughout the community. Students may earn a bachelor's of science in education or a bachelor's of arts or science. All three options require students to complete a general studies core curriculum and coursework in Communication Sciences & Disorders. In the B.S.E. degree program, students also complete coursework leading to education licensure. Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, Communication Sciences & Disorders majors are prepared for graduate study in a variety of fields including speech and language pathology, audiology and special education.
To practice as a speech-language pathologist, students must complete a graduate degree from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). UW-Whitewater's graduate program offers a two-year master's of science degree program that meets all professional standards for CAA and state licensure.
After completion of the graduate degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders, students can work as speech-language pathologists in a variety of settings, including neonatal centers, preschools and schools, universities, hospitals, medical facilities, rehabilitation centers, private practices and geriatric centers.
State departments of education report continuing shortages of qualified speech-language pathologists. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Hearing Association (ASHA) research division also reports personnel shortages. Over the last five years, 100 percent of our graduates who sought employment in the field found jobs within the first three months following graduation.
The Communication Sciences & Disorders Department is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. The College of Education & Professional Studies is fully accredited by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Skills Acquired During Study
Upon degree completion Graduate level students will be able to demonstrate entry-level competencies for certification as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Graduate performance is systematically assessed and documented. Successful completion of the graduate degree is noted on the Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) summary form, which is verified by the program director.
Undergraduate level students will be able to:
- Explain the normal process of human communication across the life span including anatomy and physiology of speech, swallowing, language, and hearing mechanisms.
- Explain a general theoretical framework governing disorders of speech (articulation, voice, fluency), language and hearing.
- Explain the principles and procedures for treatment of disorders of speech and language.
- Distinguish between normal and abnormal communicative behavior.
- Analyze and interpret behavior associated with varied communicative disorders.
- Translate their knowledge of disordered communication into an elementary treatment plan for articulation and language disorders in children.
- Accurately record behavior of individuals with both normal and abnormal communicative behavior.
- Describe abnormal communicative disorder and communicate that information in both written and oral modes.
- Demonstrate proficiency at writing and implementing goals for children with articulation and language disorders.
All Communication Sciences & Disorders faculty are teacher-scholars and clinicians who collectively have a broad range of teaching, clinical and research experience. They are committed to students, academic, clinical and professional development, and all faculty participate in the advising process and mentor students. The faculty-student ratio provides opportunities for personalized attention and for student involvement in a wide range of clinical, research and community experiences.
The Center for Communicative Disorders (CCD) is located in the Roseman building. This facility houses faculty offices, treatment/observation rooms used for on-campus clinical work and two research/teaching laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art computing technology. In addition, there is a high-technology classroom. These facilities are used to enhance individual and collaborative learning and to facilitate the hands-on clinical work that all students receive through their undergraduate and graduate preparation.
The National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) has an active chapter at UW-Whitewater. Many students are involved in this organization, which provides opportunities for professional development and leadership outside of the classroom setting. The Making a Difference Learning Community is a value added for freshman majoring in Communication Sciences & Disorders. It provides many opportunities for community involvement and engagement on campus during the first year experience.
High School Preparation
High school students must integrate coursework from the physiological, biological and behavioral sciences.