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The Urban Project
Communication Sciences
and Disorders

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Healthcare

Academic 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.

Experiential 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.

Employment 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 treatment."

Students 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.

Learn more about the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Return to the Urban Project Overview.

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