Undergraduate Catalog

Speech Pathology and Audiology

Chairperson: Dr. Amanda B. Silberer
Office: Memorial Hall 232
Telephone: (309) 298-1955
Fax: (309) 298-2049
Email: AB-Silberer@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/spa

Program Offerings and Locations:

  • Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology: Macomb
  • Minor in American Sign Language: Macomb

Learning Outcomes

For student learning outcomes, please see wiu.edu/provost/learningoutcomes.


Burke, Cox, Curless, Elbe, Hamilton, Martin, McGarry, Pierson, Ruebush, Sharp, Silberer.

Adjunct Faculty

Doyle, Marrier.

Academic Advisor



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, Honors in the Major, or General Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). General Honors includes General Honors coursework. Honors in the Major includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Honors in the Major and General Honors. View more information about honors curricula or visit the Centennial Honors College website at wiu.edu/honors.

Department Information

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 speechlanguage 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 typical and atypical communication, professional report writing, and scientific thinking, all of which are useful in many professional settings.

Degree Program

Bachelor of Science—Speech Pathology and Audiology

All students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology must complete I, II, III, IV, and V below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 43 s.h.
  2. Core Courses: 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.

Minor in American Sign Language (ASL): 16–18 s.h.
  1. SPA 121, 122, 223, 225: 12 s.h.
  2. Select 2-3 of the following courses, 4–6 s.h. total: SPA 325, 391, 418, 494, 499: 4–6 s.h.

Course Descriptions


100 Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders. (3) Introduction to the fields of speechlanguage 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 American Sign Language I. (3) Introduction to American sign language with special focus on topics dealing with the Deaf community’s culture, heritage, and language.

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.

210 Anatomy and Physiology of Speech Production. (3) Study of the anatomy, physiology, and neurology required for human speech production. Consideration of the processes of respiration, phonation, resonation, and articulation.

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.

223 Vocational Application of American Sign Language. (3) An advanced course focused on continued development of receptive and expressive skills in American Sign Language with an emphasis on applying these skills to the student’s career field. Prerequisites: SPA 121 and 122, or permission of instructor.

225 Deaf Culture. (3) This course provides an overview of the lives and experiences of Deaf individuals. Topics include: education of the D/deaf, Deaf films, preservation of American Sign Language, technology for communication, safety, education, and vocational services, cochlear implantation, and more.

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.

325 Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students. (3) Focus on the education of d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the school setting. Specific components 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.

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 neuro-anatomy 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) Introduction to audiology. Covers the anatomy and physiology of the peripheral and central auditory systems. Students will learn to screen and evaluate these systems using subjective and objective measures; determine type, degree, and configuration of hearing loss. Prerequisite: SPA 210, 311, or consent of instructor.

391 Auditory System and Hearing Loss. (3) The course will focus on understanding the peripheral auditory system, types of hearing loss, assessment, and treatment. Prerequisite: enrollment in the American Sign Language minor.

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) Focus on changing modes of communication in the pediatric deaf/ hard of hearing (DHH) population. Topics include communication with ASL, total communication, listening and spoken language, provision of holistic therapy, and management of amplification devices for facilitating optimal communication. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280, or permission of instructor.

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.