Bachelor of Science Degree
University of Central Missouri's program in communication disorders provides professional education for future speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Students learn about the diagnosis and treatment of human communication disorders, related research, and how to directly and indirectly assist people with communication disabilities.
The program includes theory and practical application coursework, as well as supervised clinical experiences.
Speech-language pathologists evaluate, diagnose and treat human communication disorders in individuals of all ages. These include disorders of articulation, voice, stuttering, language and swallowing. Speech-language pathologists work closely with teachers, physicians, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation counselors and other members of an interdisciplinary team. In addition to focusing on the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders, speechlanguage pathologists develop new methods and equipment to evaluate communication disorders, establish more effective treatment programs, and investigate behavioral patterns associated with communication disorders. The entry level degree for a practicing speech-language pathologist is the master's degree. The Department of Communication Disorders and Social Work at UCM has an outstanding graduate program.
Undergraduate requirements include 59 semester hours regarding the study of speech and hearing anatomy and neurology, phonetics, language and articulation development, assessment and intervention in diverse populations, hearing measurement, aural rehabilitation, and clinical management and treatment for communication disorders.
Undergraduate students in communication disorders participate in clinical practica during their last two semesters, where students provide supervised treatment of individuals with speech and/or hearing disorders. With an undergraduate degree, an individual may pursue a master's degree in fields such as speechlanguage pathology, audiology, special education, general education, early intervention, rehabilitation, mental health, public health, medical fields or health law. A person holding an undergraduate degree in communication disorders may gain employment as a registered speechlanguage pathology assistant or may seek careers developing, promoting or selling products for use in the clinical, educational, health care, or rehabilitation fields. Graduates may work in related fields such as rehabilitation counseling, job coaching or academic advising. They may serve as clinical assistants and support staff, clinical intake specialists and technology support staff.
Speech-language pathologists often work with individuals with hearing impairments. A solid knowledge about audiology is important and is reflected in the coursework and clinical training that is taught and supervised by audiology faculty.
UCM's Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders has eight treatment rooms with two-way mirrors, video and audio monitoring, an early childhood preschool for children with speech and language disorders, and a voice and swallowing laboratory including ridged and flexible endoscopy, a FEES station and instrumentation to measure airflow/ pressure, movement, force and voice acoustics. The center also contains a Functional Communication Clinic, an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) Clinic, containing an array of state-of-theart AAC devices, and a Feeding and Swallowing Clinic. These clinics provide students with special opportunities to move learning from the classroom to a therapeutic setting.
There are two audiologic suites where assessments, to include hearing evaluations, immittance audiometry, video otoscopy, and otoacoustic emissions, are performed. The hearing aid laboratory is equipped with the latest technology for the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments.
A variety of current assessment and treatment materials are available for students. Computers and software to support clinical education are located in the treatment rooms, labs, and in the student clinician workroom.
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