Speech Pathology and Audiology

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Speech Pathology & Audiology - Undergraduate Program words

Undergraduate Overview

The best way to get to know our program is to visit us in person. We invite all prospective students to campus for an individual visit or to attend our open house.

The Speech Pathology & Audiology (SPA) undergraduate program's initial coursework provides students with a thorough understanding of the scientific, developmental, and multicultural aspects of speech, language, and hearing. Upper division courses explore the nature, assessment, and treatment of various disorders of speech, language, and hearing, culminating in clinical practicum classes where students work directly with clients in the WIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. SPA undergraduate class sizes average 30-35 students.

SPA undergraduate students must complete 43 hours in general education requirements, 45 semester hours in the major, 16 to 20 semester hours of approved minor, and elective course requirements for a minimum of 120 semester hours. Typically, SPA students enroll in clinical practicum for one or two semesters. While clinical experiences at most universities are reserved for graduate students, the undergraduate program at WIU takes pride in the fact that seniors will have their first clinical experience after completion of a 30 clock-hour observation program and completion of certain prerequisite courses and requirements.


Undergraduate Program Academic Advisor

Grimm

Jennifer Grimm (B.A., M.S.)
Academic Advisor
Office: 335C Memorial Hall
Phone: (309) 298-1938
Email: JK-Grimm@wiu.edu

Admissions to the Undergraduate Program

The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Undergraduates in Speech Pathology and Audiology study speech and language development; anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing; speech and hearing science; speech, language, and hearing disorders; and evaluation and treatment procedures.

Most undergraduates plan to apply to graduate school and pursue careers as speech language pathologists or audiologists. The undergraduate program in Speech Pathology and Audiology provides the foundation for graduate work in either speech-language pathology or audiology. For students who plan to seek employment immediately after graduation, the major provides a solid background in disability, typical and atypical communication, professional report writing, and scientific thinking, all of which are useful in many professional settings.

Students have the opportunity to double major in Speech Pathology and Audiology and Foreign Languages and Cultures. A second major in Foreign Languages and Cultures will provide students the opportunity to reach a proficiency level that would allow for in-depth study of Spanish or French. Proficiency in a second language and culture provides the foundation to later becoming a bilingual speech-language pathologist or audiologist.

GradTrac is available to Speech Pathology and Audiology majors. See more information about GradTrac.

Honors Curriculum —Academically qualified students in this department are encouraged to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Departmental Honors, or General Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). General Honors includes General Honors coursework. Departmental Honors includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Departmental and General Honors. For more information about honors curricula see the Centennial Honors College page of the catalog or visit the Centennial Honors College website at wiu.edu/Honors.

Undergraduate Degree Requirement

Bachelor of Science - Speech Pathology and Audiology

All students seeking a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology must complete I, II, III, IV, and V. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 43 s.h.
  2. Core Course: 45 s.h.
    SPA 100, 121, 210, 212, 311, 312, 381, 383, 385, 386, 390, 472, 481†, 482, 494
  3. Any Approved Minor*: 16–20 s.h.
  4. Open Electives*: 11–15 s.h.
  5. Other: 14 s.h.
    1. PSY 100
    2. STAT 171
    3. One of: BIOL 100, 101, 204; ZOOL 200
    4. One of: PHYS 100, 114, 115, 211; CHEM 101, 102, 150, 201, 202
      NOTE: 3 s.h. of Category A and 10 s.h. of Categories B–D may count toward the University General Education Curriculum requirement.

#The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following:
1) a designated foreign language requirement [see Foreign Language/Global Issues Requirement];
2) a General Education global issues course;
3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or
4) an approved study abroad program.

†SPA 481 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement.

*Categories III and IV must provide a minimum of 31 s.h. A range of semester hours is listed for each of these categories because the breakdown depends on the student's choice of minor.

Undergraduate Program Course Descriptions

100 Introduction to Speech Pathology & Audiology. (3)
Introduction to the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology including theories and methods related to typical and disordered speech, language, and hearing. Examination of how communication disorders impact a person’s psychological and social functioning. Opportunity to observe clinical procedures.

121 Sign Language I. (3)
Introduction to sign language with special focus on topics dealing with the Deaf community’s culture, heritage, and language.

122 Sign Language II. (3)
An intermediate course that builds on introductory signs, focuses on supplemental areas of sign language including profession-specific signs, and American Sign Language (ASL). Prerequisite: SPA 121 or permission of instructor.

210 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms (3)
Study of the anatomy, physiology, and neurology of the human speech and auditory mechanisms. Consideration of the processes of respiration, phonation, resonation, and audition.

212 Phonetics. (3)
Study of the articulatory and acoustical nature of speech sounds used in English and other phonetic-phonemic phenomena. Instruction in using the International Phonetic Alphabet for transcription. Some attention to dialectal differences.

312 (Formerly CSD 312) Normal Development of Speech and Language. (3)

311 Speech and Hearing Science. (3)
Introduction to acoustics, perception of sound by normal hearing listeners, acoustic characteristics of speech, and speech perception. Prerequisite: SPA 210 or consent of instructor.

312 Normal Development of Speech and Language. (3)
Study of the development of speech and language from birth through six years of age.

381 Speech Sound Development and Disorders. (3)
Study of speech sound development of General American English. Investigation of production, perception, evaluation, and treatment of children’s articulatory and phonological disorders and childhood apraxia of speech. Cleft lip and palate and its effects on speech sounds are included. Prerequisite: SPA 212.

383 Neuroscience for Speech, Language, and Hearing. (3)
Overview of the neuroanatomy and neuro-physiology related to speech, language, and hearing. Emphasis will be placed on both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Prerequisite: SPA 210.

385 Developmental Language Disorders. (3)
Study of the characteristics, etiology, assessment, and treatment of developmental language disorders. Prerequisites: SPA 212 and 312.

386 Acquired Communication Disorders. (3)
Study of the characteristics, etiology, assessment, and treatment of acquired communication disorders. Topics will include aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, voice disorders, and dementia. Prerequisite: SPA 383.

390 Audiometry and Hearing Disorders. (3)
The study of the problem of hearing loss, diagnosis, and audiological testing. Prerequisite: SPA 210, 311, or consent of instructor.

400 Senior Honors Thesis Research. (3)
Bibliographic and other preliminary work in preparation for a senior honors thesis (see SPA 401). Students will produce a final, graded project for this course. This course may not be taken concurrently with SPA 401. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; students must be in good standing in the Centennial Honors College and must be second-semester juniors or first-semester seniors majoring in Speech Pathology and Audiology.

401 Honors Thesis. (3)
Students will write a senior honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. This course may not be taken concurrently with SPA 400. Prerequisites: SPA 400; ENG 180 and 280; students must be in good standing in the Centennial Honors College and must be seniors majoring in Speech Pathology and Audiology.

418 Independent Research in Communication. (1–6, repeatable to 6)
Individual reading or research under supervision of the faculty. Open to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated competence in speech-language-hearing sciences. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; consent of instructor and department chairperson.

472 Scientific Thinking in Communication Sciences and Disorders. (3)
Overview of the scientific method and interpretation of research literature in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Emphasis will also be placed on the use of evidence based practice in the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology. Prerequisites: ENG 280 and STAT 171 and either junior or senior standing in SPA or permission of instructor.

481 Evaluation Procedures in Speech-Language Pathology. (3)
Consideration of the general role of evaluation in speech and language therapy with intensive study of diagnostic tests and procedures used to assess communication disorders. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; SPA 390.

482 Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology. (3)
Study of the clinical management of communication disorders with particular emphasis on intervention methods such as developing treatment plans and monitoring treatment progress. Interviewing and counseling skills will also be addressed. Prerequisites: SPA 385 and 386.

488 Clinical Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology. (1, repeatable to 3)
Supervised clinical practice with children and adults having speech or language disorders. Students must meet academic and observation hour requirement. Prerequisites: SPA 385 and 386; 30 clinical observation hours; minimum GPA of 3.0 in SPA coursework.

494 Aural Rehabilitation. (3)
History and development of methods of speech reading and auditory training. Multisensory approach to rehabilitation emphasized including specific procedures for handling impaired students in the classroom. Prerequisites: SPA 390; ENG 180 and 280.

499 Clinical Practicum in Audiology. (1, repeatable to 3)
Supervised clinical practice in the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic with children and adults having hearing disorders. Students must meet academic and clinic observation hour requirements. Prerequisites: SPA 390; 30 clinical observation hours; minimum GPA of 3.0 in SPA coursework.

 

4-Year Course Sequence for Bachelor of Science Degree

 

Year 1
Fall Spring
SPA 100 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE LAB
SPA 121 COMM 241/242
ENG 180 FINE ARTS
PSY 100 SOCIAL SCIENCE
HUMANITY MULTICULTURAL
HUMAN WELL BEING  
Year 2
Fall Spring
SPA 210 SPA 381
SPA 212 SPA 383
PHYSICAL SCIENCE LAB ENG 280
SOCIAL SCIENCE MINOR ELECTIVE
HUMAN WELL BEING SOCIAL SCIENCE
Year 3
Fall Spring
SPA 311 SPA 385
SPA 312 SPA 386
MINOR ELECTIVE SPA 390
STAT 171 MINOR ELECTIVE
ELECTIVE ELECTIVE
Year 4
Fall Spring
SPA 482 SPA 472
MINOR ELECTIVE UD SPA 481
MINOR ELECTIVE SPA 494
HUMANITY MINOR ELECTIVE UD
ELECTIVE ELECTIVE
Observation Hours Need by the END of Junior Year:

 

30 total - 20 speech-language, 5 audiology, 5 additional hours are variable between speech/language and audiology.
Clinical course Optional:
SPA 449 (1 hr) in fall of senior year
SPA 488 (1 hr) in spring of senior year
SPA DIRECTED ELECTIVES:

 

PSY 100 (3 SH)
STAT 171 (3 SH)
BIO LAB (non-Botany; 4 SH)
PHYSICAL SCIENCE LAB (must be CHEMISTRY or PHYSICS; 4 SH)

 

2-year (Transfers) Course Sequence for Bachelor of Science Degree
Year 1
Fall Spring
SPA 100 SPA 381
SPA 210 SPA 383
SPA 212 SPA 385
SPA 311 SPA 390
SPA312 MINOR
Year 2
Fall Spring
SPA 121 SPA 386
SPA 482 SPA 472
MINOR SPA 481
MINOR UD SPA 494
MINOR UD MINOR UD
Observation Hours Need by the END of Junior Year:

 

30 total - 20 speech-language, 5 audiology, 5 additional hours are variable between speech/language and audiology.
Clinical course Optional:
SPA 449 (1 hr) in fall of senior year
SPA 488 (1 hr) in spring of senior year
SPA DIRECTED ELECTIVES:

 

PSY 100 (3 SH)
STAT 171 (3 SH)
BIO LAB (non-Botany; 4 SH)
PHYSICAL SCIENCE LAB (must be CHEMISTRY or PHYSICS; 4 SH)

New for 2020! Minor in American Sign Language (ASL)

4 core courses, 12 credit hours
SPA 121, American Sign Language 1
SPA 122, American Sign Language 2
SPA 223, American Sign Language 3
SPA 225, Deaf Culture

ASL Elective options - select 2 from this list - 4-6 credit hours:
SPA 325, Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
SPA 390, Audiometry and Hearing Disorders
SPA 418 (1), Independent Research
SPA 494, Aural Rehabilitation
SPA 499 (1), Clinical Practicum in Audiology

SPA 121 American Sign Language I. (3)
Introduction to sign language with special focus on topics dealing with the Deaf community’s culture, heritage, and language. (fall 20, 21)

SPA 122 American Sign Language II. (3)
An intermediate course that builds on introductory signs, focuses on supplemental areas of sign language including profession-specific signs, and American Sign Language (ASL). Prerequisite: SPA 121 or permission of instructor. (spring 21,22)

SPA 223 American Sign Language III (3)
An advanced course focused on continued development of receptive and expressive skills in American Sign Language and an introduction to ASL grammar, incorporating a bilingual-bicultural approach and interaction with Deaf organizations.PREREQUISITES: SPA 122 or permission of instructor (fall 21, 22)

SPA 225 Deaf Culture (3)
This course provides an overview of the lives and experiences of Deaf individuals. Discussion topics include: education of the D/deaf, Deaf films, preservation of American Sign Language, technology for communication, safety, education, and vocational, services in the Deaf community, cochlear implantation, and more. PREREQUISITES: SPA 223 or permission of instructor (spring 22, 23)

SPA 325 Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (3)
This course will focus on the education of d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the public school setting. Specific components will include special education, behavior interventions, collaboration with families/other team members, assistive technology, language and literacy development, cultural influence, assessment and differentiating instruction PREREQUISITES: SPA 225 Deaf Culture (fall 23, 24)

SPA 390 Audiometry and Hearing Disorders. (3)
The study of the problem of hearing loss, diagnosis, and audiological testing. Prerequisite: SPA 210, 311, or consent of instructor. (spring 21, 22)

SPA 418 Independent Research in Communication. (1–6, repeatable to 6)
Individual reading or research under supervision of the faculty. Open to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated competence in speech-language-hearing sciences. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; consent of instructor and department chairperson. (available fall and spring)

SPA 494 Aural Rehabilitation. (3)
History and development of methods of speech reading and auditory training. Multisensory approach to rehabilitation emphasized including specific procedures for handling impaired students in the classroom. Prerequisites: SPA 390; ENG 180 and 280. (spring 21, 22)

SPA 499 Clinical Practicum in Audiology. (1, repeatable to 3)
Supervised clinical practice in the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic with children and adults having hearing disorders. Students must meet academic and clinic observation hour requirements. Prerequisites: SPA 390; 30 clinical observation hours; minimum GPA of 3.0 in SPA coursework. (available fall and spring)

Career Opportunities

WIU Speech Pathology & Audiology - Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Speech-Language Pathology careers are on the rise, growing at an expected rate of 18% in the upcoming years. The possibilities for SLPs are endless and in high demand. WIU's Master of Speech Pathology program prepares graduates to follow any path they choose. Read on to find out more about the many career opportunities in this growing field.


SLPs in the Medical Field

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can work in a variety of settings with a variety of populations. If you are drawn to a career in the medical field, there is an array of settings that allow you to work with both adults and children.

Hospitals: Within the hospital setting, SLPs work with both children and adults to maximize functional communication as well as treat dysphagia (swallowing disorders). The hospital setting offers diverse work experiences including:

  • Acute care
  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Transitional care unit
  • Outpatient rehabilitation

Skilled Nursing Facilities: Working in a Skilled Nursing Facility, SLPs serve the geriatric population in both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation.

Outpatient clinics: Patients across the life span with a variety of diagnoses come to outpatient clinics by appointment. SLPs meet the individual needs of each patient by assessing and treating speech, language, cognition and swallowing.

Home Healthcare: The patient's home is another possible setting to deliver services. This setting gives the SLP the opportunity to really involve the family in therapy and work within the context of the patient's everyday life. How functional!


SLPs with Pediatric Populations

If your passion is working with children, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have endless opportunities to help children become more effective communicators. Whether you find joy in young children speaking their first words, maximizing children's academic success, or helping older children find autonomy as they near adulthood, there is a job for you!

Early Intervention: EI is a state funded program that serves the birth to three population. SLPs work with children to foster early language skills as well as educate parents on how to facilitate language in their everyday lives.

Schools: School-based SLPs serve children age 3-21 enrolled in public and private school placements. Jobs range from treating errors in sound production all the way to helping children with Autism connect with peers during recess.

Clinics: Working in a clinic or private practice is another way to serve the pediatric population. You may work for an already established practice or create your own. Clinics can be very specialized or serve a wide range of ages and impairments.


Additional Resources

Financial Aid

Information

For more information, please visit http://www.wiu.edu/student_services/financial_aid/


Scholarships

Freshman and Transfer Students

For information on all scholarship opportunities, please http://www.wiu.edu/student_services/scholarship/


Maureen G. Marx Undergraduate SPA Excellence Scholarship

For more information, please visit Maureen G. Marx Undergraduate SPA Excellence Scholarship.

Campus Visit

Interested in an undergraduate degree in speech pathology and audiology? We have many opportunities for students to visit our program through Discover Western Events or an individual visit to our department.

For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact:

Jennifer Grimm, Academic Advisor
Email: JK-Grimm@wiu.edu
Office Phone: (309) 298-1938

Centennial Honors & Undergraduate Research Day

Many of our SPA students are also eligible to participate in the Honors College. Explore your options in the Centennial Honors College at Western Illinois University to enhance your experience.

Undergraduate students who meet the GPA requirements for the Honors College have the option to conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member to earn Departmental Honors. This research culminates near the end of the students' final spring semester when they present their research as a poster at Undergraduate Research Day hosted by the Centennial Honors College and complete a thesis. Students in the SPA department are also asked to present their research to their peers for our own SPA Undergraduate Research Day. This is in conjunction with SPA 472: Scientific Thinking, and is a chance to show off your work to other undergraduates who may considering writing a thesis.