Jul 22, 2024  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communicative Disorders M.S. (Speech Pathology Concentration)

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General Program Information


Graduate School Contact:

Shella Bennett; bennetsg@etsu.edu; 423-439-4708

Brenda Louw, Ph.D., Chair

253 Lamb Hall
Box 70643
email: louwb1@etsu.edu
(423) 439-4315

Vijaya Guntupalli, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Graduate Coordinator

254 Lamb Hall
Box 70643
(423) 439-4261
e-mail: guntupal@etsu.edu


Pepper Basham; Teresa Boggs; Patricia Chase; Saravanan Elangovan; Marc A. Fagelson; Vijaya Guntupalli; Brenda Louw; Chayadevie Nanjundeswaran; Kerry Proctor-Williams; Nancy J. Scherer; Jacek Smurzynski; A. Lynn Williams.

The program in Speech-Language Pathology is selective and admits students only in the fall semester. For full consideration, applicants to the master’s program must have their applications completed by February 1. The applicant is advised to begin the application process no later than the first week of December. It takes approximately six (6) weeks for an application file to be completed. The department admissions committee makes decisions based on a number of contributing factors. In addition to the requirements established by the graduate school, the department has established the following minimum criteria for admission consideration for study in Speech Pathology:

  1. A 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in the undergraduate major;

  2. An overall GPA of 2.75 or a GPA of 3.0 in the last two (2)years;

  3. Prerequisite coursework

  4. Submission of Quantitative, Qualitative, and Analytical writing score of the general GRE.

  5. Curriculum Vitae.


In addition to submitting an application and an official transcript of all academic work previously completed, applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation which evaluate the student’s academic abilities, communication skills, and interpersonal capabilities. Graduates of ETSU are not required to submit these letters if requesting admission prior to or immediately upon finishing the Communicative Disorders undergraduate minor.

Prerequisite coursework needed for conditional and unconditional admission consideration to the Speech-Language Pathology Program includes:

  1. A minimum of six (6) credit-hours in the biological/physical sciences.
  2. A minimum of three (3) credit-hours in mathematics.
  3. A minimum of six (6) credit-hours in the behavioral and/or social sciences that include study that pertains to understanding normal/ abnormal human behavior, development across the lifespan, social interaction, and issues of culturally diverse populations.
  4. At least fifteen (15) credit-hours in basic human communication processes with at least two (2) credits in each of the following areas of speech, language, and hearing: the anatomic and physiologic bases; the physical and psychophysical bases; and the linguistic and psycholinguistic aspects.
  5. At least twenty-five (25) clinical observation credits under the supervision of an ASHA-certified professional.

Admission consideration may be given for life/work experience for those individuals who have been out of school for a number of years and do not meet the minimum requirements. International students must meet equivalent admission standards and are expected to be proficient in the understanding and use of English.

Students with an undergraduate degree in fields other than communicative disorders must complete the prerequisite coursework with at least a 3.0 GPA. Individuals may not enroll for courses as graduate non-degree students without the department’s and instructor’s approval prior to registration. Only graduate degree students may enroll in clinical practicum.

All students accepted for admission into Audiology and Speech Pathology must meet the following requirements prior to enrollment in clinical practicum:

  1. A physical examination verifying that the student is in good health and free from communicable disease;
  2. A tuberculin skin test or X-ray indicating no risk of immunicability;
  3. Current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification;
  4. Professional liability insurance coverage; 
  5. Criminal background check through Verified Credentials; and
  6. The ability to perform, either unaided or with reasonable accommodation, the following essential functions for clinical practicum in communicative disorders:
    1. Critical thinking skills sufficient for clinical judgment;
    2. Interpersonal skills sufficient for effective interaction with individuals and families from a variety of cultural backgrounds;
    3. Communication skills sufficient for effective written and spoken interaction with others;
    4. Physical mobility sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces;
    5. Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient for manipulation of evaluation and treatment instruments and materials;
    6. Visual acuity sufficient for client evaluation and treatment;
    7. Hearing sensitivity and auditory discrimination sufficient for client evaluation and treatment.

Progression Standards

Students in the master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology must meet the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies to remain in good standing. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (“B” or better) must be maintained.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 48 credit-hours (39 credit-hours of coursework, 9 credit-hours of clinic practicum). Students must meet the academic and practicum requirements for the Certification of Clinical Competence of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Coursework Requirements

Each degree candidate must complete 29 credits of required concentration courses and 10 credits of electives. Elective choices allow the student to emphasize child or adult populations with communicative disabilities. The electives may be in either concentration area, chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Options

Enrolled students may choose a thesis or non-thesis option which represents a culmination of the student’s graduate work. Students choosing the thesis option must enroll in CDIS 5690  Thesis, as part of the elective requirement. Students choosing the non-thesis option must successfully complete a clinical case presentation which requires research and studies over at least two (2) semesters with written literature review to substantiate the current clinical and theoretical bases of their case. The case preparation and its oral presentation, representing the creative component of this option, involve the clinical application of the scientific method to the evaluation and treatment of a client.

Clinical Requirements

Each degree candidate must complete a minimum of nine (9) credits of clinical practicum. The student must be enrolled in clinical practicum during each semester enrolled and must have clinical experiences at three (3) distinctly different clinical sites. A minimum of 400 clinical clock credits (at least 250 credits on the graduate level) must be earned as part of the graduation requirement. The student is advised, however, that completing the minimum clock-hour requirement is not a goal. Placement to external sites is contingent on clinical performance and supervisory approval. The master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology requires successful demonstration of clinical, as well as academic performance. The following policies pertain to the student’s progression through the clinical coursework:

  1. Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in all clinical coursework. If a student earns a grade lower than “B” in a clinical course, the student will be place on clinical probation the following  semester.
  2. If the student does not earn a grade of “B” or better in all clinical coursework during the probationary semester, appropriate college/department/program officials will determine if the student be dismissed from the program or continued on clinical probation.
  3. No student will be allowed more than two (2) clinical probationary semesters, whether consecutive or cumulative. Failure to earn a grade of “B” or better in all clinical coursework during the second probationary semester will result in dismissal from the program.
  4. The student must successfully complete the following sequence of clinical competency levels:
    1. Level I - two semesters;
    2. Level II - two semesters;
    3. Level III - one semester.
  5. A student placed on clinical probation will not be advanced to a higher clinical competency level during the probationary semester.
  6. A student placed on academic probation will not be advanced to higher clinical competency level during the probationary semester.
  7. Throughout the clinical practicum sequence, students must successfully demonstrate the ability to perform the previously defined essential functions unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation.
  8. Students have the right to appeal.

Total Hours Required (minimum): 48 Credit Hours

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