offerings: Nationally known for leadership in issues of
diversity, multicultural education, and research, the Department
places special emphasis on the harmful interplay between urban
poverty and communication disorders. The Department offers
several classes dealing with the physical structures, including
the brain, that are responsible for cognition and communication.
Students are also introduced to disorders of communication
caused by strokes, head injury, dementia, and structural damage
secondary to head and neck cancers. Communication disorders
are increasingly being recognized as significant impairments
of functional health and may also lead to other health problems
such as depression.
learning : There are opportunities for community service
in both educational and health-care settings in urban environments.
Students are also encouraged to do research, including a senior
capstone project. Seniors may elect to do a clinical practicum
in the Departmental Clinic, where they would be part of a
team helping persons with communication disabilities.
opportunities: To become a speech-language pathologist
or audiologists, one must complete the undergraduate degree
and then a graduate degree. According to the 2008-09 report
by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities
in health care settings are excellent. It states that "
in the long run, demand for therapists should continue to
rise as growth in the number of individuals with disabilities
or limited function spurs demand for therapy services. The
number of speech-language pathologists in private practice
will rise because of the increasing use of contract services
by hospitals, schools, and nursing care facilities
Hearing loss is strongly associated with aging, so rapid growth
in older population groups will cause the number of people
with hearing and balance impairments to increase markedly.
Medical advances also are improving the survival rate of premature
infants and trauma victims, who then need assessment and sometimes
can also utilize their undergraduate degree in communication
disorders in application to other post-graduate schools such
as medicine or law. In addition, those persons with a bachelor's
degree in communication disorders often find work in a variety
of positions in business, education, or health care.