Several changes were made with Utah State University’s (USU) Communicative Disorders (COMDDE) Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) Outreach Program in June 2012.
The outreach graduate program prepares students who have a bachelor's degree in communicative disorders or the equivalent to become nationally certified and state licensed professional SLPs, prepared to apply for licensure, certification, and employment in all professional SLP work settings. The program has a main objective of meeting the SLP needs in rural Utah. Outreach students are now considered part of the campus graduate student cohort, but participate through most classes via broadcast.
Application and Admission
Five outreach graduate students will be admitted to the traditional campus cohort each year. Applicants must be residing in Utah in order to be considered for admission. The most highly qualified Individuals living in “rural” areas of the state will be the top priority for acceptance. Those living along the Wasatch Front between Provo and Ogden and including Cache Valley will be considered but not given as high a priority because they are in the general proximity of COMDDE campus graduate programs.
The graduate school application process will include submission of application materials (transcripts, GRE Test scores, letters of recommendation, letter of intent) directly to USU’s School of Graduate Studies. The most highly qualified students will be selected based on the admission criteria. USU is very particular about GPA and GRE scores. In order for a student to be admitted he/she must have documented support from a school district indicating that he/she will be excused when necessary from work assignments in order to participate in graduate school classes AND may be required to begin the public school year a week late or complete the school year a week early in order to participate in outreach summer classes. The district will also need to identify the supervising SLP/Mentor who would work closely with the graduate student IF the student is accepted into graduate school.
Accepted outreach students will now be considered part of the campus SLP graduate program. During the first semester (Summer 1) they will travel to Logan and attend classes on campus with the campus graduate students. In all other semesters they will participate with campus students via distance education in all classes as they are taught during the day on campus. For example, if a class is held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 AM on campus, outreach graduate students will be excused from their work setting during that time and will access the class via computer, preferably in a nearby UEN IVC classroom, often located in high schools or in USU extension centers throughout the state. Outreach students will have live webcams and microphones so they will actually be talking to students and to instructors. This will require approval and support from supporting school districts. With this format change outreach students will be able to graduate in most cases after six semesters – Summer 1, Fall 1, Spring 1, Summer 2, Fall 2, Spring 2. For a more detailed schedule, see Program Outline.
Outreach students will be employed for Utah’s public or charter schools as SLP Assistants/SLP Technicians during two traditional school years while attending graduate school. In this manner they will work under the supervision and mentorship of a highly qualified ASHA-certified SLP. If such an SLP is not available in the district, that district will coordinate with COMDDE and/or other districts to pay for services to assure that such a professional will be available for supervision and mentoring. Many of the clinical clock hours that are required as part of the graduate program will be earned in these settings. As students progress in graduate school they will also participate in clinical experiences in hospitals, nursing homes, or other settings where they will be able to gain valuable clinic experiences working with the adult population.
The graduate programs in speech-language pathology and audiology within the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University are accredited through the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.