Communication Disorders MS

Program Purpose


The mission of the Communication Disorders Department is to advance knowledge and learning in science and clinical practice through research, teaching, and clinical service. The program offers both undergraduate (B.S.) and graduate (M.S.) degrees in the discipline of communication disorders. The programs prepare students who have both strong academic knowledge in the field of communication disorders and a desire to apply this knowledge to remediate communication disorders across the life span. The mission of the department thus aligns with institutional objectives of educating the minds and spirits of students, advancing truth and knowledge and extending the blessings of this knowledge to individuals outside the university.

Curricular Structure

The graduate curriculum is designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the field of communication disorders specific to the practice of speech-language pathology and preparatory to qualifying for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The minimum requirement for entry into the field of Speech-Language Pathology is a master's degree. The reader is referred to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (http://www.asha.org/Students/Planning-Your-Education-in-CSD) for more detailed information. The program consists of 48 hours of coursework.

 

Co-Curricular Activities

ComD 680R, 685R, 690R, and 699R provide experiences outside the classroom in a mentoring environment. In addition, individual faculty members provide several mentoring activities for our graduates. These include formal mentoring grants provided by the University and the David O. McKay School of Education, as well as informal mentoring through graduate teaching and research experiences.

Other information may be obtained at the following web links:

Program Information

Graduate Catalog

Learning Outcomes


The goals and expected learning outcomes of the Communication Disorders M.S. program align with institutional goals and objectives. The program builds on the mission of the University while adhering to its own mission statement and learning outcomes.

Communication Disorders Mission Statement: The mission of the Communication Disorders Department is to advance knowledge and learning in science and clinical practice through research, teaching, and clinical service. The goals and outcomes of the graduate program in Communication Disorders are based on the professional preparation of students and focus on nine areas of clinical knowledge and skills as well as additional preparation. The graduate program focuses on disorders of speech, language, and hearing and the necessary skills for assessment and effective intervention.  The first 9 learning outcomes are dictated by the program's accrediting body, the Council on Academic Accreditation, Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Assessment and Management of Disorders

Articulation

Students will explain articulation (the ability to produce individual sounds and words) in terms of the current research-based theories of causation, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders

Courses that Contribute: COMD 675
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Fluency

Students will explain fluency (the ability to communicate without stuttering or stammering) in terms of the current research-based theories of causation, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders

Courses that Contribute: COMD 658
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Voice and Resonance

Students will explain voice and resonance, including respiration and phonation (the ability to produce normal sounding vocal tone) in terms of the current research-based theories of causation, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders

Courses that Contribute: COMD 657
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Receptive and Expressive language

Students will explain receptive and expressive language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and manual modalities in terms of the current research-based theories of causation, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders

Courses that Contribute: COMD 420 COMD 630 COMD 634 COMD 636 COMD 674 COMD 676 COMD 679
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Hearing

ComD 601 has been moved to the undergraduate program as ComD 420.

Courses that Contribute: COMD 420
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Swallowing

Students will explain swallowing (oral, pharyngeal, esophageal, and related functions, and the underlying processes of chewing and swallowing) in terms of the current research-based theories of causation, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders

Courses that Contribute: COMD 633
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Cognitive Aspects of Communication

Students will explain cognitive aspects of communication (attention, memory, sequencing, problem-solving, executive functioning) in terms of the current research-based theories of causation, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders

Courses that Contribute: COMD 420 COMD 630 COMD 634 COMD 674 COMD 676 COMD 679
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Social Aspects of Communication

Students will explain social aspects of communication (including challenging behavior, ineffective social skills, lack of communication opportunities; the behaviors associated with communication including human relationships and interactions) in terms of the current research-based theories of causation, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders

Courses that Contribute: COMD 630 COMD 634 COMD 636 COMD 674 COMD 676
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Communication Modalities

Students will explain communication modalities (including oral, manual, augmentative, and alternative communication techniques and assistive technologies) in terms of the current research-based theories of causation, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders.

Courses that Contribute: COMD 674 COMD 675
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
BYU Clinic Experience

Students will demonstrate ability to plan and implement an assessment and treatment of clients presenting with various communication disorders (as identified in ASHA's nine disorder areas) and with various severity levels while under the direction of a certified SLPin the on-campus clinic.

Students will demonstrate appropriate case management skills including appropriate social behavior, oral and written communication, prevention activities, and sensitivity to multicultural populations while working under the direction of a certified speech-language pathologist in the on-campus clinic.

Courses that Contribute: COMD 610 COMD 630 COMD 634 COMD 657 COMD 658 COMD 674 COMD 675 COMD 676 COMD 679 COMD 688R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
External Clinic Experience

Students will demonstrate ability to plan and implement an assessment and treatment of clients presenting with various communication disorders (as identified in ASHA's nine disorder areas) and with various severity levels while under the direction of a certified SLP at an approved clinical rotation site such as a hospital, a public school, a skilled nursing care facility, or a private practice, etc.

Students will demonstrate appropriate case management skills including appropriate social behavior, oral and written communication, prevention activities, and sensitivity to multicultural populations while working under the direction of a certified SLP in a clinical rotation such as a hospital, public school placement, skilled nursing care facility, private practice, etc.

Students will demonstrate appropriate clinical writing skills as they learn the paperwork system specific to their clinical rotation site.

Courses that Contribute: COMD 610 COMD 630 COMD 633 COMD 634 COMD 657 COMD 658 COMD 674 COMD 675 COMD 676 COMD 679 COMD 688R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Human knowledge, Competence, Lifelong service
Masters Thesis

Students will develop a skill set that permits them to ask relevant questions within the field of communication disorders, search and evaluate pertinent literature and evidence, evaluate its efficacy, develop and test a hypothesis using current approaches and tools central to basic and applied research, and analyze and interpret the resulting data.

Courses that Contribute: COMD 600 COMD 699R
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Communicate effectively, Lifelong learning

Evidence of Learning


Student performance data are stored and maintained on an extensive departmental data base. Information in the data base includes demographic information, program admissions information, course completion and grades, outcome and remediation tracking, dates and completion of program requirements, results of the exit interview, links to the thesis, score on the national examination, and competency data as they relate to the areas listed above. Additional archives include the Annual Alumni Survey, external site reviews, and internal unit reviews.

Assessment Tools

  1. Individual course assignments including projects and examinations.
  2. National comprehensive examination (PRAXIS) for which the student must achieve a score at or above the 50th percentile in reference to all students taking the examination at the same time nationally.
  3. During their clinical training, students are given written critiques from professional supervisors within the community.
  4. Annually, an alumni survey is reviewed by the faculty of the department.
  5. External site review for professional accreditation is completed every five years.
  6. Courses are assessed at the end of each term.

Results of major reviews, including responses and remedies, are posted on-line on the department's web site and are available to the general public, including students and other stakeholders.

Direct Measures

  1. Graduate Record Examination
  2. Master's Thesis
  3. Annual Alumni Survey
  4. National comprehensive examination (PRAXIS) for which the student must achieve a score at or above the 50th percentile in reference to all students taking the examination at the same time nationally
  5. All graduate students receive an exit interview with the department chair at the completion of the program
  6. Each student is reviewed by the faculty at the completion of each term for academic and clinical progress
  7. Knowledge and Skill Check List
  8. Evaluation of Clinical Performance

Indirect Measures

  1. Course grades
  2. Individual course quizzes, examinations and projects
  3. Mentoring activities

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement


Program assessment data are analyzed and reviewed annually during the week preceding the first term of the new academic year. The faculty meets to set priorities for the formulation of programmatic changes. Subsets of the faculty may be responsible for specific items. They will meet and subsequently make recommendations to the entire faculty. If changes are made, these changes are brought to the college curriculum committee and then to the university curriculum committee.

Individual course assignments and examinations are, in addition to being a measure of student learning, a measure of the student's progress towards program completion. 

The annual alumni survey serves as a gauge of student attitudes and program perceptions. Information obtained from this survey is used, in part, to evaluate our effectiveness in supporting the broader goals and outcomes of the university. Frequently, we find that this information leads to "soft" adjustments within the program. For example, the availability of faculty and resources may be adjusted based on this feedback.

The National Assessment of Student Engagement provides significant information regarding the impact of our undergraduate program. The information from this survey evaluates program effectiveness over a broad range of student activities, evaluating both their attitudes and the depth of their education. It provides an indication of our ability to provide meaningful educational experiences to our students. It also allows comparison with other programs within our own university and other universities across the nation. Changes in course curriculum and student engagement activities that relate to mentoring, out of classroom experiences, and student-faculty interaction have resulted from the annual review of this document by the faculty.

Formal unit assessments which include university, college, and departmental accreditations are most helpful as we complete strategic planning, review student, faculty, and departmental policy and procedures, and work on curriculum planning. University self-studies provide information to the department that allows us to review and update faculty and student standards in broad areas and execute course corrections that help maintain a high quality of education and a strong academic environment.