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Policies

ACADEMIC HONESTY

Students are responsible for complying with the University policies regarding academic honesty as stated in the Utah State University Honor System document.


STUDENT GRIEVANCES

Students who feel they have been unfairly treated in academic matters should first discuss the matter with the instructor. If the issue cannot be resolved, or for matters of discrimination or harassment, students may file a grievance though procedures and timelines specified in https://studentconduct.usu.edu/studentcode/article7. For matters of grievances pertaining to student conduct, see Article V. For academic integrity, see Article VI.


ADMISSIONS

See USU’s Admission Policy


EMAIL

All students enrolled at USU must specify a preferred e-mail address in the central system of record. A University-provided account or a commercial service provider e-mail account may be specified. Preferred e-mail addresses may be specified or changed at USU Identity.


EQUITABLE TREATMENT

Students, faculty, staff, and persons served in the program’s clinic are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner – that is, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, participation restriction, age, sexual orientation, or status as a parent. The institution and program comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and executive orders pertaining thereto.


INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ACCEPTANCE

All international applicants whose native language is not English must prove university-level English proficiency. Please see the University’s International Student Admission policy. The School of Graduate Studies English language requirement may be satisfied in a variety of ways:

  • TOEFL score of at least 79 (Internet-based), 213 (computer-based), or 550 (paper-based)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 6.0 overall
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) overall score of at least 53
  • Completion of a degree from a university in an English-speaking country
  • USU’s Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) placement exam score of at least 146 (IELI’s placement exam may be taken upon arrival at USU)
  • English proficiency test scores are valid for two years

A bachelor of science (BS) or bachelor of arts (BA) or second BS/BA degree in communicative disorders prepares students who desire to work in either speech-language pathology or audiology. While the degree is often a pre-requisite for graduate programs in speech-language pathology or audiology, there is no professional employment licensure with the BS/BA degree. Within COMDDE there are three programs to obtain an undergraduate degree: Logan Main Campus BS/BA, Online 1st BS/BA, and Online 2nd BS/BA. Students are accountable to all General Departmental Policies.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (AHSA) accredits USU’s COMDDE programs.


ACADEMIC HONESTY

Students are required to take many of their formal exams through approved proctors. Proctored exams are password-protected and require the proctor to be present during the examination period. USU’s proctor standards and proctor approval process exceed the industry standards. Proctors must be pre-approved and must agree to meet the stringent standards set by our university. According to Regional Campuses and Distance Education (RCDE) at Utah State University, we are one of the few universities that formalizes work done by proctors, their professional positions, the names of the students they serve, their proctoring locations, etc.

  • The Center for Innovative Design and Instruction (CIDI) provides the technical support needed to make our courses secure.
  • Many of the exams and quizzes used in our classes pull from pools of questions that are randomly selected so that students taking an exam do not all get the same questions.
  • Faculty members adjust assignments to reduce the likelihood of students using materials from previous students year after year.
  • If a student is found to be in violation of USU’s Academic Honesty policy and/or USU’s Student Code of Conduct, he/she is subject to the consequences described in ARTICLE VI. University Regulations Regarding Academic Integrity

COURSE LOAD

University policy states that students can take up to 18 credits per semester, but we have learned from experience that online students typically can handle a maximum of 4 courses (or 12 credits) per semester without having their course performance (and grades) impacted. We strongly recommend taking no more than 4 courses (or 12 credits) per semester.


GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

  • 120 overall credits
    • Complete University Studies (general and depth education)
    • 40 upper division credits (3000 level or above)
    • 30 USU credits
    • COMD Major Courses
  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Submit a Graduation Application one semester prior to program completion

TRANSFER CREDIT

Please see USU’s Transfer Credit Policy


REGISTRATION AND ADDING COURSES

Courses added after the first week require instructor’s signature. Refer to the Academic Calendar for important dates and deadlines.


REPEATING COURSES

Students are allowed a total of ten repeats, of which three can be COMD. For complete policy refer to Repeating Courses in USU General Catalog.


RETENTION

A student must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA, and earn a grade of B- or higher in prerequisite COMD major courses. Students who fail to meet and maintain the acceptance and retention criteria will not be allowed to continue in the major; and must declare another major or change to General Studies. The General Studies option isn’t available to Online 2nd Bachelor students.


REQUIRED GPA

A strong grade point average (GPA) is very important for students pursuing a degree in COMDDE and is one of the main considerations in graduate school acceptance. Students may have GPAs high enough to be accepted into the major, they must be aware that unless the GPA is significantly higher, they may have difficulty being seriously considered for graduate school.


LOGAN CAMPUS BACHELOR’S DEGREE

Admission

Any student may declare COMD as their major during the freshman and/or sophomore years. Students entering junior status (60 credits) must formally apply to the program. Applications are available through the departmental academic advisor and must be submitted by the deadline. Admission requirements include:

  • Undergraduate transcripts with a 3.0 Overall GPA
  • cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • complete at least 45 semester creditscomplete the following courses BIOL 1010, CHEM 1010 or PHYS 1200, FCHD 1500, PSY 1010, COMD 2400, COMD 2500(Must have B- or better), COMD 2600, and STAT 1040 or 1045
(Transfer students who have completed equivalent courses to those above that have been articulated by USU will be evaluated on those courses.) 


Students identified as having possible speech, language or hearing disorders will need to be evaluated at the USU Speech-Language-Hearing Center. If treatment is recommended based on ASHA guidelines, service options will be presented to the student. English competency issues, due to English as a second language, will be addressed on an individual basis.

Registration Limitations

Undergraduate Main Campus students are not allowed to register for online COMD courses without permission. In very unusual situations a student may petition the department to request an exception to this policy by emailing the department representative (dee.child@usu.edu) with a detailed description of the conditions necessitating the petition. A departmental committee will evaluate the petition and a decision will be emailed back to the student.

Senior Clinic

The total number of senior students participating in clinic each semester is based upon availability of faculty supervision. Graduate student clinic assignments are given priority. Selected seniors are assigned remaining clinic openings and selected based on GPA and academic performance. Students will be invited to register for COMD 4100 at the beginning of spring semester.

Undergraduate Education Policies Are In Effect For All Online Students Taking Undergraduate Level Courses.

ONLINE 1ST BACHELOR’S DEGREE

Students are accepted with a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA.

PROCTORED EXAMS

The COMDDE Department Follows USU’s Proctored Testing Guidelines.

ONLINE 2ND BACHELOR’S DEGREE

Admission

To be accepted into the 2nd bachelor’s degree program, the student must have completed a bachelor’s degree in another discipline from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or Canada.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a Second Bachelor’s Degree the following graduation requirements must be met:

  • Earn a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA
  • Complete a minimum of 30 USU credits beyond those applied toward the first bachelor’s degree
  • Complete COMD Major Courses
  • Fulfill the Breadth American Institutions requirement prior to graduation
  • All transfer credits must be approved for acceptance by USU and the COMDDE department
  • Submit a Graduation Application one semester prior to program completion
Transfer Credit

Students may transfer up to five credits of approved undergraduate COMD courses, equivalent to USU COMD courses. Courses must be formally approved and the COMDDE department. A detailed syllabus and a college transcript with posted grades are required to be submitted for review. Documents can be scanned and emailed to the advisor. The advisor will contact the student when a decision has been made.

NON-DEGREE SEEKING STUDENTS

Students who desire to have major or prerequisite restrictions waived are expected to have background knowledge necessary to be successful prior to enrolling.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Students applying for graduate acceptance in Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology or Deaf Education must complete their bachelor’s degrees no later than the end of the semester prior to the beginning semester of their graduate program. Applicants may petition to the department if extenuating circumstances exist.


PRAXIS EXAM

All SLP and Audiology graduate students must take the ASHA national exam by ETS called the Praxis Audiology exam which is part of the Praxis II series and report their scores to the department (department code 0309) in order to graduate from the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. Students are required to take the national exam by the end of the final semester of the graduate program. Students are encouraged to take the test by March 15 of their final semester for scores to be received and recorded in time for graduation.

Deaf Education students must take and pass the Praxis II content exam approved by the Utah State Office of Education in the major content areas prior to student teaching.


GRADUATE STUDENT FUNDING

In the interest of timely degree completion, graduate students with university funding associated with a time commitment (LSL, TA, RA, ULEND, etc.) are generally limited to one such commitment per semester. If a student wishes to petition for an exception, he/she must complete the COMDDE Graduate Student Funding Petition Form, available from the graduate academic advisor in COMDDE, and submit it to the respective division chair (SLP, Aud, Deaf Ed) for discussion. For example: TA responsibilities in more than one class, Assistantship (teaching or research) plus working in a university copy center.


GRADUATE STUDENT GRADES

  • Any student that receives two grades of C+ or lower will be dropped from the graduate program.
  • Any student that receives one grade of C+ or lower in a graduate class is required to re-take the class or take an independent study to address KASA competencies not adequately attained in the course as determined by the instructor and division. This class will not result in the replacement of the C+ or lower grade. If a C+ or lower is obtained in this subsequent class, the student will be dismissed from the graduate program.

GRADUATE CREDIT

Each graduate student in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education is required to complete all the COMD graduate level courses even though he/she may have had a similar course in an undergraduate program. Doing so will assure that the student will meet all departmental, University and ASHA or Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) requirements. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by memo from the professor teaching the course in speech-language pathology or the faculty in Deaf Education. The exception must also be approved and signed by the advisor and filed in the student’s graduate file. If a class is waived, the student and the adviser or major professor may choose an alternate class to meet graduation requirements.


GRADUATE PROGRAM COMPLETION

A graduate student will officially graduate at the end of the semester in which all academic coursework, Praxis exam, and all clinical/student teaching coursework (clinical and/or student teaching experiences for which the student has registered) is complete. If a student does not successfully complete all requirements by the end of the last semester listed on the student’s program of study, the student will continue as a graduate student, until all graduation requirements have been met. The "degree conferred" semester will be the semester that the student actually completed all degree requirements and final grades were posted. Students will not receive a letter confirming program requirement completion before the degree is awarded.


REMEDIATION FOR KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ACQUISITION (KASA)

In graduate courses each student will be provided with an opportunity to demonstrate required knowledge and/or skill. These knowledge and skills will be assessed as delineated in course syllabi. The American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) has specified that in order to be eligible for ASHA certification, the student must achieve a level of 80% or better on each KASA Summary Document item. Regardless of the course grade, if the student does not achieve required competencies, he/she will be provided with one additional opportunity to demonstrate this knowledge and/or skill. If the student does not pass the competency a second time, further course of action will be determined by the department, and may result in program dismissal. If a student fails to attain competency, the Certification For Clinical Practice Verification by Program Director Form required for ASHA certification will not be signed regardless of an acceptable course/clinic grade.

  • If remediation requires a student to repeat a course or a section of a course, then the student will audit the course for the specified credits the semester that the course is repeated. The repetition of the course will not result in a change of grade from the original course.
  • The division departmental committee responsible for the area of focus will monitor graduate students’ academic and clinical progress on a monthly basis. If a student fails to successfully remediate, the student will be placed on departmental probation the following semester. A subcommittee assigned to the student will then determine the actions and timeline required for the student to end probation. Students can be on departmental probation for a maximum of one semester. If a student fails to complete the required probationary steps within the assigned timeline then he/she may be dismissed from the graduate program.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LOA)

The COMDDE Department expects graduate students to maintain continuous registration of 9 credits per semester. A graduate student who experiences unexpected health problems or other compelling personal circumstances which affect the ability to successfully maintain full-time status may request a one-semester LOA by petitioning the appropriate Division Chair. Under extreme circumstances the Division may extend a departmental LOA beyond that time limit.

It may be necessary for a student to obtain a LOA from the School of Graduate Studies.

The student:

  • may only petition for one LOA during their graduate program
  • cannot be enrolled in any academic courses or clinical practicum at the university during the LOA
  • must maintain continuing graduate enrollment through the School of Graduate Studies
  • is responsible for any missed courses and/or clinical practicum which may extend the graduate program
  • may not petition for an LOA as a means of avoiding low grades in academic courses or clinical practicum
  • is expected to resume full-time continuous registration at the end of the approved LOA. If the student is unable to return, it may be recommended that the student be removed from the program. Should the student wish to reapply to the graduate program, he/she may do so on a competitive basis according to the University’s regular graduate admission deadlines and procedures.

CLINICAL RESEARCH POLICY (AUDIOLOGY)

In order to graduate, all students must successfully complete a clinical research project (COMD 7870).  The clinical research requirement is designed to provide students with an opportunity to conduct high-quality clinical research with a faculty mentor to gain experience and knowledge about the process involved in contributing to the knowledge base of the profession.

The clinical research project is a substantive evidence-based experience that requires students to demonstrate critical thinking and synthesis of information resulting in a written research paper. Students are expected to disseminate their research to a broader professional audience (e.g., conference presentation, journal article). The doctoral project:

  • provides an opportunity for students to focus in an area of audiology
  • fosters appreciation for evidence-based practice
  • enhances capacity to be a critical consumer of audiological research
  • provides a forum for students to demonstrate critical thinking

PRELIMINARY AND COMPREHENSIVE EXAM (AUDIOLOGY)

The preliminary and comprehensive examinations are graduation requirements. The preliminary examination takes place at the Spring semester of the second year of study, and the comprehensive examination takes place Spring semester of the third year. These examinations evaluate students’ ability to synthesize information, based on knowledge from multiple classes, and clinical experiences. Areas of deficiency must be addressed and passed to continue in the program.

COMPREHENSIVE WRITTEN EXAMINATION (DEAF EDUCATION)

Students who do not elect the Plan A or Plan B option will take a comprehensive written examination at the beginning of the semester prior to their residential student teaching placement. The examination will last six hours. The time and place of the comprehensive examination will be determined by the chair of the comprehensive exam committee.

The examination is designed to reveal the candidate’s knowledge of the history of Deaf Education, current best practices in the field, appropriate pedagogical tools used for assessment and teaching of language (both American Sign Language and English), education-related law that impacts the education and culture of the Deaf, IEP development and lesson plan preparation and delivery. Students will be evaluated on the level of their knowledge as well as their ability to express their knowledge in acceptable written form.

Appropriate accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities.


NATURE OF WRITTEN COMPREHENSIVE QUESTIONS

The graduate faculty will create comprehensive examination questions that are focused on the education and programming of the child who is Deaf or hard of hearing. The questions will cut across course lines.

Example: Discuss the pedagogical and assessment implications of IDEA as it applies to the education of the child who is Deaf or hard-of-hearing.


SCORING PROCEDURES

Each answer will be rated by the members of the graduate committee as 4 (excellent), 3 (pass), 2 (poor), or 1 (fail). All ratings for each student’s answers will be averaged for a total score in order to determine the outcome of the student’s examination. Students must pass each question with a score of 3 or higher in order to pass the comprehensive examination.


ORAL EXAMINATION

Students who do not elect the Plan A or Plan B option will take an oral examination given to each candidate by their selected Graduate Committee. The chair of the committee will be the head of the student’s Plan C committee. The oral examination will not exceed two hours in length.

The oral examination will be based on questions that might arise due to the student’s responses on the written examination. If two or more members of the committee believe the student failed one or more questions from the written examination, the student will have an opportunity to demonstrate appropriate knowledge in the area(s) of the question(s).

At the end of the oral exam, the committee will take a pass or fail vote. If two or more members of the committee vote for failure, the student will be dismissed from the program, unless the committee agrees to allow the student to re-take either or both segments of the comprehensive examination (writtens and orals).


COMPREHENSIVE AMERICAN SIGH LANGUAGE EXIT EVALUATION

Each candidate will be given a comprehensive American Sign Language Exit Evaluation in the semester preceding the residential student teaching placement. If the student does not receive a score of PASS or CONDITIONAL, he/she will not be allowed to student teach in the residential placement. This evaluation may be repeated.


GRADUATE STUDENT GRADE POLICY

  • Any student that receives two grades of C+ or lower will be dropped from the graduate program.
  • Any student that receives one grade of C+ or lower in a graduate class is required to re-take the class or take an independent study to address competencies not adequately attained in the course as determined by the instructor and division. This class will not result in the replacement of the C+ or lower grade. If a C+ or lower is obtained in this subsequent class, the student will be dismissed from the graduate program.

CLINICAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

A student must meet specific requirements of the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education before allowed to begin the clinical practicum portion of his/her training program.

The student must be a graduate student in good standing or a senior who has been officially accepted to participate in SLP clinical practicum for the specified semester. The student must meet the GPA requirements within the department during each semester of clinical practicum.

Prior to beginning any clinical practicum, students must be enrolled in the appropriate clinical course(s) for the specified credit hours (e.g., COMD 6100, 4100, 6200, 6300).

Prior to beginning clinical practicum, students must supply documentation of the following:

  • Current passed background check (contact the Teacher Education Office in the College of Education and Human Services)
  • Complete and updated immunizations (T-dap, TB, Varicella, Hepatitis B, MMR)
  • Current personal health insurance coverage
  • Current professional liability insurance coverage
  • Current CPR certification
  • Verification of completion of 25 hours of observation by an ASHA-CCC professional

The student must have successfully completed or be concurrently enrolled in course work that is a prerequisite for the specific practicum in which the student is engaged.

Off-campus practicum must be completed at sites and with supervisors who have been pre-approved by the Clinical Coordinator in Speech-Language Pathology. Students enrolled in the department may not complete independently arranged clinical practicum hours and then submit them to the department for later approval.


COMPREHENSIVE EXAM (SLP)

Students who do not elect the Plan A or Plan B option will take comprehensive examinations during the final semester in which they expect to graduate. The examination will last five hours (2.5 hours in the morning and 2.5 hours in the afternoon). The time and place of the comprehensive examination will be determined by the chair of the comprehensive exam committee.

The examination is designed to reveal the candidate’s knowledge of speech, language, and hearing development and disorders as well as assessment, identification, diagnosis, intervention and follow-up services for individuals with speech and language disorders. Students will be evaluated on the level of their knowledge as well as their ability to express their knowledge in acceptable written form.

Appropriate accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities.