What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
A Speech-Language Pathologist is a skilled professional that provides a variety of prevention, evaluation, and intervention services to individuals who are at-risk for or are exhibiting symptoms of speech, language, and/or swallowing disorders. These individuals represent all age groups, cultures, and ethnicities. Any Speech-Language Pathologist who meets all requirements is awarded the Certificate of Clinical Competence by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed for professional practice by the state.
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The Department of Communication Disorders originated in the College of Education in 1969 as the Department of Special Education and Speech Pathology, spearheaded by Dr. George Herndon, for whom the George Herndon Graduate Scholarship in Communication Disorders was named. When employment trends increased significantly in Allied Health Professions, teacher certification was no longer the driving force in speech-language pathology, and state licensure became the standard. The program relocated to the College of Nursing and Health Professions-Department of Health Professions in 1997. The elevation to departmental status came in 2008 during the restructuring of the college. The department consists of approximately 150 undergraduate students and 20-50 graduate students in matriculation.
The mission of the Department of Communication Disorders is to prepare competent speech-language pathologists. Students are trained to provide ethical service delivery to a broad spectrum of individuals with communication disorders. In addition, students are trained to work with other professionals in a wide variety of service delivery settings.