About the department

healthcare theatre during the pandemic

“A communication disorder is an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems. A communication disorder may be evident in the processes of hearing, language, and/or speech. A communication disorder may range in severity from mild to profound. It may be developmental or acquired. Individuals may demonstrate one or any combination of communication disorders. A communication disorder may result in a primary disability or it may be secondary to other disabilities.”

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Welcome to the Communication Sciences & Disorders Department at the University of Delaware. The department offers an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. The M.A. program in Speech-Language Pathology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

CAA Accredited logo

 

The Communication Sciences & Disorders Department is one of the latest degree programs to be offered in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware. The College of Health Sciences houses the departments of the School of Nursing, Behavioral Health and Nutrition, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, Medical & Molecular Sciences, Physical Therapy and a program in Epidemiology. The department is housed at the Health Sciences Complex at the University of Delaware. In addition to the Speech-Language Pathology Clinic, the Health Sciences Complex houses the Nurse Managed Primary Care Center and the Delaware Physical Therapy Clinic. The site is also home to the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute and the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance.

Strategic Plan

To educate the next generation of clinicians and researchers engaged in the management of individuals with communication disorders; To advance our understanding of the nature and management of communication disorders.; and to provide high quality services to individuals with communication disorders.

Strengths:

  • National and internationally renowned faculty
  • State-of-the-art research and clinical facilities
  • Fully accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700
  • Instructional approaches (academic and clinical)
  • Financial support from state
  • Market demands

Weaknesses:

  • Administrative support
  • Cost of graduate program

Opportunities:

  • Training Grants
  • Tele-practice (prisons and rural areas)
  • Post Baccalaureate Program
  • Expansion of “clinic” to Wilmington and southern Delaware
  • Distance learning-Continuing education

Threats:

  • Retention of faculty and staff
  • Sustainable financial backing from state
  • Complacency

The Communication Sciences and Disorders program fosters a unique and unified approach to clinical education and innovative research opportunities, and cultivates collaborative relationships with community, regional, national, and global partners.

Mission: To educate the next generation of clinicians and researchers engaged in the management of individuals with communication disorders.

 

MA Program in Speech-Language Pathology

  • Prepare MA students in Speech-Language Pathology who:
    • Use a systematic and logical approach in their assessment and treatment of individuals with communication and swallowing disorders across the lifespan,
    • Base their decision-making on research evidence, clients’ values and beliefs, ethical standards, and the constraints of the clinical settings, and
    • Possess the knowledge and skills to deliver services effectively and efficiently.

 

Doctoral and Post-Doctoral program

  • Provide students with the breadth and depth of knowledge necessary to become independent scholars, educators, and leaders for the future.

 

Continuing Education for practicing clinicians

  • Provide practicing clinicians with cutting-edge knowledge and experiences that will enhance their capacity to provide high-quality services to individuals with communication and swallowing disorders.

Mission: To advance our understanding of the nature and management of communication disorders.

  • Conduct state-of-the-art basic, translational, and clinical research in the areas of communication sciences and disorders.
  • Broadly disseminate findings to academics, practitioners, and policy- makers.

Mission: To provide high quality services to individuals with communication disorders.

  • Provide quality client-centered care to a diverse community using research, collaboration, and innovation.
  • Provide services that are based on well-researched assessment and intervention approaches and take into consideration the clinician’s experience and the clients’ preferences, culture, and linguistic background.
  • Provide outreach services to communities that are unserved or underserved.
  • Provide opportunities for support groups and life participation activities that serve diverse communities in our region.

A premier innovative center that addresses communication sciences and disorders through multidisciplinary approaches to education, research, and service.

  • Recruit, admit and enroll a highly diverse student population with outstanding credentials.
  • Provide students with a high-quality program that prepares them for the workplace of the future.
  • Graduate students with the credentials necessary to be successfully employed as speech-language pathologists.
  • Establish seminar/training series for practicing clinicians.
  • Engage practicing clinicians in research.
  • Identify ways to fund graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from outside departmental funds and successfully compete for these funds. 
  • Build infrastructure to support the success of  multiple labs’. 
  • Establish a mentoring program to support successful promotion of faculty. 
  • Disseminate research findings in a variety of venues (presentations, articles).
  • Successfully submit federal and foundation grants.
  • Build reciprocal relationships with community partners.
  • Expand data available for quality improvement and demonstration of value.
  • Advance interprofessional education and interprofessional collaborative practice

References:

  1. Black LI, Vahratian A, Hoffman HJ. Communication disorders and use of intervention services among children aged 3–17 years: United States, 2012. NCHS data brief, no 205. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015.
  2.  E, Ambrose N. Epidemiology of stuttering: 21st century advances. J Fluency Disord. 2013 Jun; 38(2): 66–87.
  3.  National Aphasia Association. Aphasia FAQs (link is external). Accessed 5/18/2016.
  4. Hoffman HJ, Li C-M, Losonczy K, Chiu MS, Lucas JB, St. Louis KO.Voice, speech, and language disorders in the U.S. population: The 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).  Abstract No. 648(link is external). In Abstracts of the 47th Annual Meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, June 24-27, 2014, Seattle, WA; p. 156.

Message from the Chair

Doc Thompson instructing a class in Montana

Like Bucky Fuller, who I had the great honor to hear multiple times during my undergraduate studies, I am committed to building a new model program that prepares individuals to address today’s world of rapid changes and ever-increasing complexity. Simultaneously, our faculty and students will conduct basic and applied interdisciplinary research that is at the forefront of our field.

The Communication Sciences & Disorders Department at the University of Delaware emerged due to the great need for speech-language specialists in the State. Beyond meeting this shortage, our goals are to strengthen the knowledge and skills of practitioners, to develop a model clinic where innovative practices are developed and evaluated, and to broadly disseminate our findings throughout the State and beyond. Working collaboratively with service providers in the State and other stakeholders, we will address the needs of our most vulnerable and under-served populations in the State.

Aquiles Iglesias,  Ph.D.
Unidel Katherine Esterly Chair of Health Sciences
Professor and Founding Director