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College of Human Ecology

Communication sciences and disorders earns reaccreditation, high praise

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The master's program in communication sciences and disorders has been accredited for another eight years by the Council on Academic Accreditation for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Robert G. Garcia

Robert G. Garcia

The accreditation process took a year and included a 119-page report that covered assessment of knowledge and skills at the undergraduate and graduate levels on 190 certification standards, as well as a two-day site visit by a three-member council team, according to Robert Garcia, director of K-State's communication sciences and disorders program.

While at K-State, site team members met with the program's faculty and undergraduate and graduate students; clients served by K-State's Speech and Hearing Center; Maurice MacDonald, director of the School of Family Studies and Human Services, and Virginia Moxley, dean of the College of Human Ecology.

Moxley said the program received high marks in the accreditation process.

"The program was fully compliant with all standards, and the review team could not have been more positive in their evaluation of the program. In addition, Dr. Robert Garcia's program leadership was singled out for special recognition by the reviewers,” she said. "The review provided further documentation that K-State's program is one of the best in the nation."

"A graduate degree is required to become a certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist," Garcia said. "The graduate program, which currently has 25 students, offers a master's degree with an emphasis in speech-language pathology."

Graduate students also must have a minimum of 400 hours of practicum experience, which includes seeing clients of all ages with communication and swallowing disorders. To help students meet the required practicum experience, the university operates the Speech and Hearing Center, Garcia said.

The center, in K-State's Campus Creek Complex, serves local and regional communities. An individual interested in obtaining speech-language or hearing services can schedule an appointment on their own or through a physician/agency referral, Garcia said.

Graduate students in the program also participate in supervised internship placements at both schools and medical settings.

Graduates of the program are eligible for clinical certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. "Since 2004, K-State graduates have a 100-percent pass rate on the national exam on their first try. The national average is only 80 percent," Garcia said.

This article was posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010, and is filed under College News, Family Studies & Human Services.