Speech-Language Sciences Concentration (SLS)
The B.S. in Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) with a concentration in Speech-Language Sciences (SLS) is a 2nd bachelor’s degree, open only to students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than CSD. It prepares students for employment as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant or Audiology Assistant in educational or healthcare settings. More importantly, it prepares students for graduate study and professional certification in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) or Audiology. Nationwide, acceptance in SLP or Audiology graduate programs is so competitive that students need to have an undergraduate degree in SLS with a high GPA if they wish to pursue these rewarding careers.
The mission of the CSD/SLS program is to prepare the student for eventual careers in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) or Audiology. This preparation includes the acquisition of foundational concepts of speech, language, and hearing sciences, advancement of critical thinking and communication skills, and understanding of professional conduct and scope of practice at a level appropriate for the position of SLP Assistant or Audiology Assistant.
Intended Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate familiarity with the methods used in the evaluation of communication disorders and differences at a level appropriate for the position of Speech-Language Pathology Assistant: basic human communication and swallowing processes, including their biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural bases. Aligned with ASHA’s KASA standards.
- Demonstrate familiarity with treatment of communication disorders at a level appropriate for the position of Speech-Language Pathology Assistant: knowledge of basic human communication and swallowing processes, including their biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural bases. Aligned with ASHA’s KASA standards.
- Demonstrate knowledge of professional conduct and scope of practice at a level appropriate for the position of Speech-Language Pathology Assistant.
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills, including the ability to engage in inductive and deductive reasoning.
- Demonstrate written communication skills by writing clear and persuasive texts that include correctly applied professional language.
Policies for Students
Applying to the Program
- Only students with a completed bachelor’s degree in a field other than Communication Sciences and Disorders from a regionally accredited institution may apply to this program.
- Students should apply for admission to this degree program in fall or spring semester; admission occurs in spring for cohorts that begin only in the summer.
- Admission for a 2nd degree requires an overall GPA from the previous degree of at least 2.75.
- A maximum of 2 upper-level courses, with grade of C or better (not C-) from the previous degree may be considered for transfer credit.
Progressing in the Program
- Students must earn a C or better (not C-) in all CSD-SLS coursework or co-requisite courses taken at USFSM, and they must have a 3.00 GPA to graduate
- Program prerequisites, if needed, may be taken as co-requisites.
- Students are responsible for having technology that meets program specifications, and for completing online orientation and advising prior to registration for classes.
- Students are allowed only one upper-level grade forgiveness.
A sequence of 12 courses (36 upper-level semester hours) is required for the SLS concentration in CSD. The courses are presented in a “lock-step” cohort sequence, which begins only in summer term and runs six (part-time) or three (full-time) consecutive terms, including summer, ending in spring.
The upper-level CSD-SLS curriculum is delivered completely online. While this is convenient, students should understand that the work is very demanding. When planning how to accommodate work on this degree with other demands, students should assume that the time spent for successful pursuit of this degree will be equivalent to a job: the four courses taken in the full-time cohort will require approximately 40 hours a week, and the two courses taken in the part-time cohort will require approximately 20 hours a week.
Selection of the part-time or full-time cohort should be made with careful consideration. It may not be possible to change once the program begins. Also, students should consult with their advisor before dropping any course, doing so can affect the ability to complete the program in a timely manner.
State-Mandated Common Prerequisites
|State Prerequisite||USFSM Course Offering|
|Course||Course Number||Credit Hours|
|STA XXXX||STA 2023||3|
|BSC XXXX or APK XXXX or ANT 2511||BSC 1005, BSC 2010/L, or BSC 2011/L||3-4|
|PHY XXXX or CHM XXXX or PSC XXXX||CHM 2045/L, PHY 2053/L or PHY 2020||3-4|
|PSY XXXX or CLP XXXX or DEP XXXX or EXP XXXX or SYG XXXX or SYD XXXX or SYO XXXX or SYP XXXX or FYC XXXX or FAD XXXX||PSY 2012, DEP 2004, or INP 2101||3|
Program of Study
|Course Number||Title||Credit Hours||Requisites (KEY)||Notes|
|SPA 3004||Introduction to Language Development and Disorders||3||Junior Standing|
|SPA 3011||Introduction to Speech Science||3||SPA 3030, SPA 3112, Junior Standing|
|SPA 3030||Introduction to Hearing Science||3||None|
|SPA 3101||Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism||3||Junior Standing|
|SPA 3112||Applied Phonetics in Communication Disorders||3||None|
|SPA 3310||Introduction to Disorders of Hearing||3||SPA 3030|
|SPA 4050||Introduction to the Clinical Process||3||SPA 3004 and SPA 3310|
|SPA 4104||Neuroanatomy||3||SPA 3101|
|SPA 4510||Diagnosis of Clinical Methods||3||SPA 3004, SPA 3310|
|SPA 4321||Aural Rehabilitation||3||SPA 3310|
|SPA 4250||Introduction to Speech Disorders||3||SPA 3101|
|SPA 4257||Adult Neurogenic/Acquired Communication Disorders||3||SPA 4104, Junior Standing|