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Communication Sciences and Disorders

The ability to communicate effectively using language systems distinguishes human beings from other forms of life. Disabilities that interfere with communication skills prohibit a large number of people from realizing their full potential in modern society. Study in the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology prepares one to appreciate the impact of such impairments and to assist individuals in overcoming them. Students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program take courses that address normal human growth, development of the communicative processes, detailed consideration of disorders that arise in these processes, and their assessment and treatment. They develop skills in critical and creative thinking, analysis and integration, reasoning and problem-solving, information literacy, and professional communication in oral and written formats and in group and interpersonal situations. These skills can be applied to advanced studies, a variety of human service-related professions, and lifelong learning. Graduate coursework is supplemented by practica that give students first-hand experiences in generating intervention programs for with disorders of language, voice and resonance, phonology/articulation, fluency, hearing, swallowing, cognitive and social aspects of communication, and problems that necessitate the use of oral, manual, augmentative, and alternative communication techniques and technologies. These experiences are carried out in the University's Center for Communication Disorders and in off-campus internships. Master's degree recipients are eligible to receive the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential from the California (CA) Commission on Teacher Credentialing. This credential authorizes the holder to serve in the public schools. Graduates are also qualified to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology (SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the license in Speech-Language Pathology from the CA Department of Consumer Affairs. PRAXIS score passing rate averages over 90% for first time test takers over the past several years. For our Master's graduates, the two-year completion rate is over 95% and employment rates are 100% over the past several years. Our program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

Faculty and Facilities

The faculty consists of five full-time professors as well as full-time and  part-time instructors and clinical supervisors. Faculty have varied research interests and clinical expertise, which include child language acquisition,  childhood language and literacy, written and spoken language disorders, articulation and phonology disorders, acquired adult neurogenic disorders, normal aging, voice disorders, auditory disorders, and interprofessional education.

The program maintains an on-campus clinic and a speech-language-hearing science laboratory. Graduate students receive supervised practice in prevention, evaluation and treatment for persons across the life span who have a wide range of communicative disorders. The clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video monitored therapy rooms and observations facilities.

Services for University Students

University students are encouraged to consult the Center for Communication Disorders if they have concerns about their speech, language, or hearing. There is no charge for evaluation or treatment service for University students.

Career Outlook

Speech-language pathology and Audiology are  stimulating, challenging, and rewarding professions. They demand a high level of skill as well as an affinity for helping and an ability to work effectively with people. Entry into the Speech Pathology profession requires a Master's degree; Audiology requires a doctoral degree.  Those who complete the Chico State master's program in Speech-Language Pathology are highly sought and have many and varied employment opportunities.

Catalog Cycle:18