UNIVERSITY CATALOG: 2017-2018

Program: M.S., Communicative Disorders

Program Description

The master’s degree is the professional entry-level requirement for employment as a speech-language pathologist. Completion of the baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in Speech-Language Pathology enables students to satisfy the academic requirements for:

  1. License in all states to practice in medical, rehabilitative or private practice settings.
  2. Education credentials in all states for employment in public schools.
  3. Professional certification by the Council for Clinical Certification ASHA.

Due to changes in program accreditation and entry-level professional certification standards that require a doctoral degree after December 31, 2006, no new students presently are admitted to the graduate program in Audiology. Persons considering an undergraduate major and subsequent doctoral studies in Audiology should consult the department for academic advisement. The department’s curriculum is conducted through classroom instruction, online instruction and experiential learning, including intensive student participation in the clinical programs of the CSUN Language, Speech and Hearing Center. Advanced graduate students obtain additional clinical experience through placement in the department’s affiliated medical centers, professional practices and public schools.

This program is available through one of the CSUN academic colleges or through The Tseng College. The program offered through The Tseng College is entirely funded by student fees and is offered in the cohort format.
Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., Social Security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from the department.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Program

Potential graduate students must apply simultaneously and separately to the University and to the department. Those who meet both the University’s and the department’s minimum requirements will be considered by the department in a competitive process for admission as conditionally classified or classified graduate students.

Graduate applicants who meet the University minimum requirements but do not meet the department’s minimum requirements may be offered an opportunity to enroll in undergraduate prerequisite courses in either a Pre-Communication Disorders and Sciences status or a seat in a specific course(s) through Open University. These opportunities are limited by the enrollment capacity of the department for currently matriculated students. The Pre-CDS and Open University are intended to assist students in meeting the minimum admission requirements of prerequisite courses for the department’s graduate programs (see below). Courses in the master’s degree program itself are restricted to graduate students in classified or conditionally classified graduate status. Students with a baccalaureate degree in a major other than Communication Disorders and Sciences are not enrolled in a second baccalaureate degree in this field. Students having a baccalaureate degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences or equivalent may not pursue a second baccalaureate degree in the department. Potential Pre-CDS and Open University CDS students should discuss options with a department advisor as access to Pre-CDS and Open University status may change according to University admission policies.

An applicant to the department’s graduate program who currently is in Pre-CDS status will need to apply to the department, but not again to the University, for consideration for admission to the graduate program once the minimum admission requirements have been fulfilled.

Application Materials

Department materials and detailed instructions for application to the graduate programs may be obtained from the department office; information is also accessible through the department’s homepage. The department requires that applicants must use the department application form and the forms for letters of recommendation. Completed department application materials must be returned directly to the department.

B. Minimum Requirements for Consideration for Department Admission

The following requirements must be met:

  1. Completion of a B.A. degree.
  2. Completion of approved undergraduate courses in Communication Disorders and Sciences, including the specific course prerequisites described below.
  3. Submission of the department graduate application.
  4. Submission of three letters of recommendation on departmental forms.
  5. Submission of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

It is understood that some of the required academic and/or clinical courses may be in progress at the time of application, but that they would be completed before the anticipated starting date.

Students with an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences from a university other than CSUN may have minimal deficiencies in meeting the above requirements and may be considered for admittance as a conditionally classified graduate student. If admitted, the applicant must complete all identified conditions by the time that 12 units of graduate-level coursework have been completed in adherence to the University’s policies and will not be allowed enrollment in subsequent graduate coursework until all conditions have been fulfilled. Eligibility should be discussed with a department academic advisor.

C. Prerequisites for Admission to the Graduate Program and Advancement to Classified Graduate Status

Emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology

1. Admission to Graduate Program
State-side Graduate Program
  1. Overall, applicants must possess 30 semester units (including courses in progress) of qualifying coursework in Communication Disorders and Sciences to include:
    1. 12 semester units of basic communication sciences, including CD 405, CD 410, CD 415 and CD 442 or the equivalent.
    2. 3 semester units in diagnostic methods, including CD 469A or the equivalent.
    3. 9 semester units of coursework in the management of communication disorders and sciences, including CD 450, CD 451 and CD 462 or the equivalents.
    4. 6 semester units of courses in basic audiometry and auditory rehabilitation, such as CD 445 and CD 446 or the equivalent.
  2. Applicants requesting to substitute equivalent coursework must submit transcripts, course descriptions and course syllabi for evaluation. Students admitted to the graduate program with the above completed coursework are admitted as conditionally classified.
Distance Learning Graduate Program
  1. Admission criteria to the Distance Learning self-support program is the same as for the state-side graduate program. Overall, the applicant must possess 30 semester units (including courses in progress) of qualifying coursework in Communication Disorders and Sciences, to include:
    1. 12 semester units of basic communication sciences, including CD 405, CD 410, CD 415 and CD 442 or the equivalent.
    2. 3 semester units in diagnostic methods, including CD 469A or the equivalent.
    3. 9 semester units of coursework in the management of Communication Disorders and Sciences, including CD 450, CD 451 and CD 462 or the equivalents.
    4. 6 semester units of courses in basic audiometry and auditory rehabilitation, such as CD 445 and CD 446 or the equivalent.
  2. Applicants requesting to substitute equivalent coursework must submit transcripts, course descriptions and course syllabi for evaluation. Students admitted to the graduate program with the above completed coursework are admitted as conditionally classified.
  3. Distance Learning Master’s Program Automatic Admission: Students who meet the following criteria and apply to the CSUN Distance Learning master’s degree program will be automatically admitted into the master’s degree program upon completion of the Certificate of Preparation for Advanced Studies in Communication Disorders and Sciences (Certificate of Pre-CDS):
    1. GPA: CSUN Certificate of Pre-CDS program GPA of 3.85 or higher.
    2. One of the following test scores:
      1. GRE score of 1080 or higher (verbal plus quantitative reasoning scores).
      2. GRE score of 301 or higher (verbal plus quantitative reasoning scores) in the revised GRE scoring.
      3. MAT score of 417 or higher.
    3. Recommendations: Positive letters of recommendation from the Certificate of Pre-CDS faculty.

Students who have completed the CSUN Certificate of Pre-CDS who do not meet these automatic admission criteria may still apply to the master’s degree program and will be evaluated for admission within the regular pool of applicants.

2. Advancement to Classified Graduate Status
  1. Prior to completion of 12 units of graduate degree-granting coursework, students must attain classified status by completing any and all outstanding qualifying coursework. In addition to the 30 units listed in the Admission to Graduate Program section, additional qualifying coursework includes:
    1. CD 480 and CD 485 or the equivalents.
    2. CD 500.
    3. 25 supervised observation hours (CD 469O or the equivalent) and completion of all prerequisite sequences for graduate level practica (CD 465 or equivalent).
    4. Basic science requirements as identified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (one college-level course in the biological sciences, one college-level course in either physics or chemistry, one college-level course in the social sciences, one college-level course in inferential statistics). (Note: These areas of study must involve courses taken at CSUN or courses that are eligible for transfer to CSUN.)
    5. Passing score on the CSU Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam.
  2. Statement of consulting academic advisor for final determination of eligibility of courses for classified status.

Emphasis in Audiology

Admission to the graduate program in Audiology is suspended.

D. Requirements for the M.S. Degree

Once admitted to the department’s graduate programs, a student must attain classified graduate status, submit a department-approved plan of study (i.e., the master’s degree formal program) to the Graduate School for review and approval, satisfactorily complete all courses on the plan and pass a final, comprehensive examination. It is noted that for state licensure, professional certification and state education credentials, additional graduate courses are taken as part of the course of study. A thesis option is available that fulfills a portion of the final, comprehensive examination requirement. Students interested in writing a thesis must consult the department’s graduate coordinator for option criteria prior to submission of a department-approved master’s degree formal program.

1. Required Courses (36 units)

Core Curriculum (18 units)

CD 500 Background Leveling in Communication Disorders and Sciences (3)
CD 501 Interviewing and Counseling in Communicative Disorders (3)
CD 502 Research in Communicative Disorders (3)
CD 552 Language Disorders II (3)
CD 558 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of Speech, Language and Hearing (3)
CD 674 Pediatric Audiology (3)

Speech-Language Pathology Emphasis (34 units)

CD 651 Advanced Study of Articulation and Phonological Disorders in Children (3)
CD 659 Neurogenic Disorders of Cognition and Language (3)
CD 660 Structural and Neurogenic Speech Disorders (3)
CD 661 Voice and Disorders of Voice (3)
CD 662 Seminar in Developmental Language Disorders (3)
CD 663 Adult and Pediatric Swallowing/Feeding Disorders (3)
CD 668 Advanced Diagnostics in Speech-Language Pathology (3)

Clinical Practica

CD 566 Clinical Practicum in Speech Pathology II (2)
CD 567 Clinical Practicum in Speech Pathology III (2)
CD 672A Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology I (3)

One of the following practica:

CD 672C Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology II (6)
or SPED 544CD Student Teaching in Language, Speech and Hearing and Audiology (6)

Audiology Emphasis (Suspended)
The Audiology emphasis is suspended.

CD 660 Structural and Neurogenic Speech Disorders (3)
CD 670A Seminar in Electrophysiology of the Audio-Vestibular System (3)
CD 670B Seminar in Electrophysiology of the Audio-Vestibular System (3)
CD 671 Seminar in Amplification for the Hearing-Impaired (3)
CD 675 Pathologies of the Auditory System (3)

2. Culminating Experience (3 units)

One of the following:
  1. Comprehensive Examination: Successful completion of a comprehensive written examination covering speech and hearing science, speech-language pathology and audiology; student must register for CD 697.
  2. Thesis: Successful completion of an acceptable thesis and its oral defense, along with successful completion of a comprehensive written examination in areas of speech and hearing sciences, speech-language pathology and audiology in the areas not covered by the thesis topic; student must register for CD 698.

Note: Students in Tseng College cohorts may register only for CD 697.

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 55

State Licensure and ASHA Certification

State licensure and ASHA certification in Speech-Language Pathology require student clinicians to obtain experiences through direct client contact. State licensure and ASHA certification also require that student clinician competencies associated with client contact experiences are appropriately supervised and regularly evaluated. Direct client contact hours required for state licensure and ASHA certification in Speech-Language Pathology are obtained primarily through enrollment in the following practica within the formal program:

(Department advisement is required for individual needs of students.)

CD 566 Clinical Practicum in Speech Pathology II (2)
CD 567 Clinical Practicum in Speech Pathology III (2)
CD 672A Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology I (3)
CD 672B Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology II (6)*

*Or equivalent.

Special Notes for Practicum Experiences

Department standards may be found in the Clinical Handbook which is updated each year by the clinic coordinator of the Language, Speech and Hearing Center (LSHC). The Clinical Handbook includes descriptions of department standards relating to student medical clearances, background clearances, potential certification requirements (e.g., CPR, fire safety), contractual obligations for availability/attendance for on-campus practica as well as off-campus practica, required advancement in skill competencies, and required adherence to variables related to professionalism and ethical conduct.

Students are assigned to practica based on variables such as students’ academic schedules, preparation from academic coursework, and availability of practica sites. The department will not consider it a priority to secure a second clinical experience option to any student who has declined a practicum assignment when a first and reasonable clinical practicum experience has been secured and offered to that student.

If a student has begun a leveled practicum assignment and is then moved into a remediation plan, that student will be required to re-enroll in the same level of practicum assignment in the next available semester. Additionally, the department does not guarantee re-entry into clinical assignments to any student when a clinical experience has begun and the student is subsequently moved into a remediation plan.

Clinical practica provide students with experiences in which knowledge and skill competencies are expanded through (a) client populations across the life span, (b) client populations from culturally/linguistically diverse backgrounds, and (c) client populations with various types and severities of communication and/or related disorders, differences, and disabilities (see 2014 Standards and Implementation Procedures for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology). Appropriate expansion of students’ clinical and professional skill competencies are closely supervised and evaluated as students advance through leveled practica.

“Competency for entry level into the profession” is not based solely on having accumulated contact hours. As leveled practica become more challenging, students are expected to advance in development of clinical skill competencies through new experiences with clinical populations as well as in response to input from supervisor assessments and evaluations. Students must obtain passing evaluations of each skill competency assessed within practicum experiences in order to pass the overall practicum evaluation.

When verifying applications for ASHA Certification and California Licensure, the department clinic coordinator will rely on supervisory reports of student skill competencies in all completed leveled practica for areas of assessment, intervention and/or management, counseling/educational services and professional conduct. The department chair will not recommend graduation/awarding of the degree to any student who has not passed all practica evaluations. Additionally, the department chair will not sign state licensure paperwork for any student who has not passed all practica evaluations.

Special Notes

The most current entry standards for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Certification of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech-Language Pathology were issued in 2014. The most current entry standards for the ASHA CCC in Audiology were issued in 2012. The ASHA CCC in Speech-Language Pathology requires 75 semester units, which includes units from undergraduate-level preparation coursework combined with a minimum of 36 graduate-level semester units in specified areas that directly relate to the Certification of Clinical Competence (CCC). The ASHA standards specify requirements for academic courses, clinical clock-hour practica and, specifically for Audiology, the requirement for an entry-level doctoral degree. California State Licensure requires 60 units (combined undergraduate preparation units and graduate-level units). At the time of writing for the Catalog, it is not known whether California State Licensure standards will change to reflect the changes in CAA-ASHA accreditation or ASHA CCC entry-level requirements. Therefore, persons considering application, and students presently pursuing the graduate degrees, must consult regularly with an academic advisor in order to ensure that the program of study that is being pursued will continue to meet these education standards. Currently enrolled students must be aware that licensing and certification agencies do not typically employ “grandfathering” provisions. Therefore, applications for licenses and certifications must meet requirements that are in force at the time of application, which may differ from the requirements at the time when a student enrolled in the program or when a student graduated.

Regarding the Application for State Licensure and ASHA Certification

The department and the University do not confer a license to practice nor professional certification. The graduating student must apply for a license to the appropriate state agency having jurisdiction over the intended practice and must apply to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for certification. It is emphasized that practice without a license is a violation of state law, unless the employment is within specified exempt settings. The department provides advisement on the requirements and processes for licensure and certification.

Contact

Chair: Patricia Seymour
Monterey Hall (MH) 301
(818) 677-2852 (VOICE)
www.csun.edu/health-human-development/communication-disorders-sciences

Graduate Coordinator: Patricia Seymour
patricia.seymour@csun.edu
(818) 677-2852

Online Program
Graduate Coordinator: Sherry Foldvary
sherry.foldvary@csun.edu
(818) 677-2880

Staff: Diana Cabral
diana.cabral@csun.edu
(818) 677-2822

Staff: Yvonne Carrillo
yvonne.carrillo@csun.edu
(818) 677-7646

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate achievement of entry-level competence in speech- language pathology and audiology sciences, disorders, evaluations and treatments as shown in courses and clinical practice to the level required for professional certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and by the licensing agency of the state in which professional practice will be conducted.
  2. Successfully complete the national examination in the area of chosen specialty: Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology.