Student Learning Outcomes - The graduate with a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology will use the knowledge and skills obtained in the program to:
- Apply theory and principle, guided by logic to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information regarding prevention, assessment, and intervention concerning communication differences and disorders and swallowing.
- Provide prevention, assessment and intervention services to children and adults across a wide range of disorders and differences including speech, language, and swallowing, cognitive aspects of communication, sensory awareness related to communication and additional recognized and emerging areas of practice.
- Demonstrate skill in oral and written language to achieve effective clinical and professional interaction and communicate in a manner that reflects knowledge appropriate to professional role and diverse settings.
- Exhibit professional behavior as defined in the cardinal documents of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), including but not limited, to Certification Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, ASHA Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, ASHA Code of Ethics and ASHA Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Speech-Language Pathology.
- Collaborate with professionals, provide counseling to individuals and their families, and initiate community education regarding speech and language differences and disorders.
- Use contemporary technological resources and a variety of other methods to support Evidence-Based Practice and the acquisition and utilization of new knowledge and clinical skills.
Overview of Program - The Master of Science degree program in Speech-Language Pathology is designed for the academic and clinical instruction of persons to enter the profession of speech-language pathology. Students receive specific educational and clinical training to prepare them for the provision of services in a broad range of settings. This program is accredited in speech-language pathology by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech- Language- Hearing Association (ASHA).
Admission - Applications are processed through the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Central Application System (CSDCAS). The Communication Disorders program admits students each semester. To be considered for admission, the applicant must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 in Speech-Language Pathology courses and a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). The program encourages students with undergraduate or graduate degrees from other disciplines to apply. In this circumstance, the student with an undergraduate degree in another discipline must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). For applicants with a completed graduate degree, the cumulative grade point average for this degree must be 3.2 or above (on a 4.00 scale). Meeting the initial requirements to enter the program, however, does not guarantee admission to the program.
Completed applications in CSDCAS will include the following:
- Transcripts from an undergraduate program in Communication Disorders (post-baccalaureate students- undergraduate or graduate transcripts from university received completed degree);
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score sent to UCM Code 4412;
- Three evaluations completed by university instructors, clinical instructors, and/or employers; electronic evaluations sent from the CSDCAS application portal; and
- Letter of Intent which includes a Professional Goal Statement covering relevant qualifications, experience, and interest. The statement should not exceed three double-spaced, typed pages.
For more information about the steps associated with the application process, refer to the Graduate Admissions menu on the Speech-Language Pathology MS web page.
Applicants who wish to be considered for financial assistance are highly encouraged to complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when applying for admission.
Application due dates: Application deadlines: Fall - March 1 / Spring and Summer - October 1
Please note that applications must be complete and have a status of ‘Verified’ by CSDCAS by the deadline to be considered by the Graduate Admissions Committee. The verification process can take up to 6 weeks once you have submitted your application and transcripts. Applications that are not complete, may reapply for a subsequent semester.
Notification of status: Admission to the graduate program in the Communication Disorders program may be approved, placed on a wait list, or denied. If admission is approved, the applicant will receive electronic notification of admission. Applicants whose admission is placed on the wait list or denied will also receive electronic notification. Selection will be completed and notification will be made by April 1 for those applying for the fall semester and by November 1 for those applying for the spring or summer semester. According to the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders, applicants must indicate their commitment to their chosen program by April 15 for the fall start date. Responses of commitment for the spring or summer semester are due by Nov. 15.
Post-baccalaureate Students: Post-baccalaureate students who meet the graduate admission requirements and are selected for admission to the graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology are admitted provisionally. Post-baccalaureate students must successfully complete basic prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0, with no course grade lower than a C, prior to beginning graduate work. Post-baccalaureate students who do not meet the prerequisite course criteria will not be allowed to enroll in graduate courses and will undergo administrative dismissal from the program.
Criteria for Administrative Dismissal - Administrative dismissal from the program will occur under the following circumstances:
- Two (2) grades of “C” or below in clinical practicum.
- The second semester the overall GPA falls below 3.00.
Only clinical clock hours for graduate clinical practicum experiences in which the student has earned a grade of C or better will apply toward certification or licensure requirements. Thus, if a student receives a grade below C in an on-campus clinic, off-site placement, or internship, the clinical clock hours accrued during that experience will not be applicable toward the 375 hours required by ASHA for the Certificate of Clinical Competence.
Transfer of Graduate Credits - Students may transfer a maximum of nine credit hours from another CAA accredited graduate program.
Transfer credits must meet eligibility criteria as outlined in the Graduate Catalog.
Graduation Requirements - Graduation requirements for the program are based largely on requirements set forth by ASHA. ASHA requirements are based on professional practice trends and as such, are updated periodically. Although this does not happen frequently, if the ASHA requirements change, students must meet the new requirements in order to graduate. Additional graduation requirements are outlined below:
Clinical Clock Hour Requirements - Program specifications are required to provide each student clinical experience with person’s exhibiting various communication disorders and differences across the lifespan. The minimum number of required hours is outlined here:
- 25 clock hours of supervised observation
- 375 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum in direct client contact
- 325 of the 375 hours must be obtained at the graduate level
- 50 clinical hours must be obtained in each of three different clinical settings
Orientation Policy and Procedures-All first-semester clinicians (not previously enrolled in CD 4802) must enroll in CD 5810 - Graduate Clinical Practicum (1) . Students will pay a one-time fee for a clinic shirt and name tag.
Praxis - All students must pass the Praxis examination in Speech- Language Pathology as the comprehensive exit examination before the degree is conferred. A passing score is determined by the Council for Clinical Certification of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is required to meet ASHA Certification standards. The examination is scheduled and administered through the Educational Testing Service and is offered only at specific times and locations. Students should register through the Assessment and Testing Office at UCM to take the examination during their internship semester. Students should not take the exam prior to completion of CD 5910 - Praxis Exam Preparation for Speech-Language Pathology (1) .
Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) - The Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology is a competency based program. These competencies reflect the knowledge and skills required by the ASHA Certification Standards III, Program of Study-Knowledge Outcomes IV, and Program of Study-Skill Outcomes. The required knowledge and skills are delineated on the KASA. To understand the procedures associated with the KASA documentation, students are required to attend KASA trainings offered each semester. Students will be expected to demonstrate competency related knowledge and skills throughout their graduate program through formative and summative assessments. Additionally, students need to demonstrate acquisition of knowledge and skills through documentation on the KASA. Students not demonstrating the achievement of course-related knowledge and skills need to successfully complete remediation procedures that provide documentation of knowledge and skill acquisition. Before the degree is conferred, students must demonstrate successful completion of the KASA through a review process with the Communication Disorders Program Coordinator.
Clinical Practicum Requirements - All students must fulfill the academic and clinical practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech-Language Pathology. Graduate clinicians must be enrolled in clinical practicum every semester to meet the practicum requirements and needs of the Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders Center. Any graduate student who has not completed practicum requirements by the end of the internship assignment must return to the University’s Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders to complete requirements.
CPR Certification - Students will obtain certification in adult and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation prior to enrolling in clinical practicum experiences. Students must maintain re-certification throughout all clinical practicum experiences including the internship/externship experiences.
Immunizations - Students must be tested annually for Tuberculosis (TB) and submit results of testing to the Director of Clinical Services prior to beginning clinic each year. Additionally, students must also submit proof of having initiated the Hepatitis B immunization series prior to beginning clinical practicum.
Student Clinicians participating in the Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders are expected to comply with all University of Central Missouri health requirements. This includes current tuberculosis (TB) test and updated immunizations as recommended by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
All immunizations that are required by the University of Central Missouri and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services must be up to date when students enter our program. People who are not properly immunized pose a public health risk to their patients, coworkers and themselves.
If immunizations and TB tests are not up to date, you may not be accepted at medical and/or educational clinical rotation sites, etc. This could prevent you from participating in a variety of clinical experiences which would ultimately prevent you from graduating.
Seasonal flu shots are being required by many external clinical sites and will not accept student clinicians who have not had this immunization.
Criminal Background Check - Satisfactory criminal background checks must be completed and validated prior to beginning clinic in the Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders and again, prior to placement in internship and externship sites. If a background check is unsatisfactory, placement in clinic and externship/internship sites may not be possible. A student unable to be placed in clinic or externship/internship will not be able to complete the program.
Grades - A graduate student who is placed on academic probation may not enroll in any clinical practicum courses while on probation. Internship/Externship - Internships and externship placements are arranged by the program two semesters prior to placement. Entry level clinical skills as defined by obtaining a Level 4 or Level 5 will be demonstrated for Certification Standard IV prior to beginning the internship/externship experience. A minimum number of 300 clinical practicum hours must be completed prior to the internship. Students will need to provide their own transportation and housing during the internship/externship experiences.
Clinician Meetings - Clinicians are required to attend clinician meetings which cover a variety of topics ranging from paperwork and procedures to assessment and intervention tools available in the Center. These meetings are scheduled as needed throughout the semester.
Certification and Licensure - Upon completion of the Master of Science degree and the Clinical Fellowship, graduates are eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the ASHA and licensure as a Speech-Language Pathologist by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Division of Professional Registration. Upon obtaining their unencumbered license as a Speech-Language Pathologist, graduates are also eligible for a Student Services Certificate through application to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This Student Services Certificate provides the graduate with the opportunity for employment as a Speech-Language Pathologist in Missouri’s public schools.
Credit for Life Experience - Credit will not be given for life or previous work experience for courses required in the speech-language pathology major.
Accreditation - The Communication Disorders Program is nationally accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). The contact number for the CAA is (800) 498-2071.