The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) focuses on studying the normal development of speech, language, and hearing as well as the understanding and clinical management of disorders in these processes. The SLHS program offers curricula leading to a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. The full-time program is typically completed in two years (for students with a Bachelor’s degree in SLHS) or three years (for students with a Bachelor’s degree in an area other than SLHS). Once admitted to the program, students choose either the thesis (Plan A) or non-thesis (Plan B) option. The M.A. program in speech-language pathology leads to clinical certification and is accredited by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA).
The M.A. in SLHS allows students to meet all academic and clinical practicum requirements for the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competency and the State of Connecticut’s requirements for licensure in speech-language pathology. The certification program typically requires two years of full-time graduate study beyond the pre-professional background. According to the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC), students must obtain and demonstrate knowledge and skills in eight standard content areas: Statistics/Science (Standard III-A), Basic Human Communication and Swallowing (Standard III-B), Communication Disorders (Standard III-C/D), Ethical Conduct (Standard III-E), Research and Research Integration (Standard III-F), Contemporary Professional Issues (Standard III-G), Professional Credentials (Standard III-H), and Oral and Written Skills (Standard IV-B).
The standards for knowledge and skills are achieved through the completion of a minimum of 75 credit hours of course work in these eight content areas. The credit hours may be obtained through courses taken at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, students must obtain a minimum of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum. At least 375 hours must be in direct client/patient contact and 25 hours in clinical observation (325 hours must be earned during enrollment in the graduate program). An intensive summer session of supervised clinical experience between the first and second year is required for completing the clinical clock hours requirement of the certification program.