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Strategic Plan

Department of Communicative Disorders
Strategic Plan 2024-2028

Integration into University Strategic Plan

The University has focused on five specific areas in the 2023-2028 Master Strategic Plan:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Exceptional Student Experience
  • Intentional Stewardship
  • Public Impact Research
  • Transformational Community Engagement

The Department of Communicative Disorders has aligned our Strategic Plan to these areas to address initiatives that are specific to our students, faculty and mission.  We have specific aspects of the curriculum and clinical education foci that focuses on continuing our tradition of academic excellence and enhancing our students' educational and professional experiences; foci on our shared resources, partnerships,  the curriculum, clinical education, collaboration, and program administration that impacts stewardship, research to enhance our field, and partnerships with our community to help transform local and regional engagment. Each initiative listed below has a corresponding numeric tag which refers directly to the five specific areas in the Master Strategic Plan. In these areas of foci, therefore, we are well integrated into the University Master Strategic Plan for 2023-2028. 

Progress towards implementation and mission fulfillment of this plan occurs annually, in conjunction with programmatic review and Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) Annual Report, using the following schedule and mechanisms:

1. Beginning Fall Semester 
    a. Summary of findings from prior year’s programmatic review
    b. Identification of evaluation targets and assessment plans
2. Fall and Spring Semester
     a. Implementation 
     b. Data collection
3. End of Spring Semester
     a. Data reporting and recommendations
4. Summer Semester
     a. Completes programmatic review report, CAA Annual Report, and recommendations
     b. Prepares summary of findings for presentation in fall semester

Additionally, every two years the Department Head in collaboration with the Clinic Director and the Clinic Operations and Outreach Coordinator creates a State of the Department Report highlighting a broader perspective of progress towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan. An executive summary of this report is discussed in faculty meetings throughout the year it is written. The data and results from each assessment cycle informs the creation of the next Strategic Plan.


The foundation of a successful academic program is the faculty and staff that offer impactful learning and research experiences. These experiences, in both academic and clinical settings, facilitate the critical thinking needed to integrate theoretical principles, knowledge, skills, and competencies for success in professional practice and beyond. In alignment with the university’s strategic plan (referenced parenthetically), we are prioritizing our support for innovative research and teaching.  Across our programs, innovative research will continue to inform our curriculum and drive our academic, clinical and outreach practices. Additionally, expanding our academic programs to include new minor/coursework options and increased research and practical specializations will integrate our students' needs and interests.


1. Expand high-quality academic programs
   • Submit American Sign Language (ASL) Minor for approval for 2024-2025 AY (1.1.1, 1.1.3)
   • Departmental revision of BA, MS, and PhD level SLOs (1.1.1)
2. Invest in faculty excellence and innovation
   • Recruit new associate/full Professor faculty capable of recruiting and mentoring doctoral students (1.2.2, 1.2.1)
   • Recruit new assistant professor faculty to assist with undergraduate instruction and ADVANCE research (1.2.2, 1.2.1)
   • Hire two new ET ASL instructor lines (1.2.3)
   • Transition ET supervisors into continuing staff lines (1.2.3)
3. Recognize and reward faculty contributions and service
   • Establish departmental newsletter to highlight and recognize faculty contributions in their discipline, research, and scholarly / creative works (1.3.1)
   • Increase awareness of CODI in the college and University (1.3.2)
   • Establish a committee to fund departmental travel awards for scholarly projects accepted by national and international conferences of standing (1.3.2)


1. Inclusion of ASL Minor in 24-25 catalog for academic courses
2. Integration of changes with BA, MS, and PhD SLOs into programmatic assessment procedures
3. Successful hire of two tenure track faculty
4. Successful hire of two ET ASL instructors
5. Transition two ET supervisors into continuing staff lines
6. Establishment of a committee of at least one tenure track faculty member, one clinical staff member, and the Clinic Operations and Outreach Coordinator to serve as point professionals for sections of          departmental newsletter to highlight and recognize faculty contributions in their discipline, research, and scholarly / creative works
7. Appoint faculty/staff contact for communication of department/clinic items for COLA newsletter submissions
8. Publish bi-annual editions of department newsletter highlighting and recognizing faculty contributions in their discipline, research, and scholarly/creative works
9. Establish committee to award funds for department travel grants to faculty for projects accepted to national and international conferences of standing
10. Award at least one travel grant each year to faculty member for national and/or international conference presentations


Departmental initiatives will enrich students’ intellectual experiences through clearly communicated expectations and timelines and the support needed to enhance research and educational collaborations. These collaborations will establish the department and on-campus clinic as research and treatment centers of excellence, producing leadership, innovation, and scholarship in research methodology and innovative clinical service delivery. These efforts will expand opportunities for depth and breadth of knowledge and skill development of students across all programs.


1. Ensure an institutional culture of excellence in professional advising
   • Revise and publish doctoral handbook (2.1.2)
   • Increase opportunities for UG advisors to meet with UG students (2.1)
2. Enhance support for student retention and completion
   • Integrate changes of programmatic assessment procedures to improve analysis and mitigation of bottlenecks and practices that prevent timely graduation (2.2.4)
   • Develop infrastructure space within department for student research (2.2.3)
   • Increase student-researcher mentorships in all programs, through guided research opportunities, to take ideas from conception through publication (2.2.2)
3. Enhance student experiences through high-impact practices and meaningful co-curricular experiences
   • Creation of Grand Rounds tradition to engage students in professional conversations between research and clinical faculty (2.3.4)
   • Enhance and develop innovative specialty clinics and clinical research projects (2.3.2, 2.3.4)
   • Increase student engagement with community settings, professionals, and those we serve through innovative course planning and activities/projects/camps (2.3.2, 2.3.5)
   • Increase and advertise opportunities for interdepartmental collaborations for increased student engagement and campus-wide learning (2.3.2)
4. Become an institution of choice for new students
   • Increase representation of in-state, out-of-state, and international students in PhD enrollment (2.4.2)


1. Publishing doctoral handbook by fall 2024 to align professional advising practices and opportunities for research experiences
2. Decrease number of UG advisees per UG faculty advisor and incorporate University level advisors
3. Maintain our current time to degree across all CODI programs
4. Increase participation in student research across all programs
5. Increasing off-site clinic affiliation agreements to provide additional educational and research options for off-site placements for MS and PhD students
6. Increase average graduation rate of from ALSS PhD program to 4.5 graduates annually by the end of the strategic plan cycle.
7. Development of departmental space for student collaboration across programs to work on departmental and clinical research
8. Create committee of one research faculty member, one clinical staff member, and Clinic Director to discuss addition of Grand Rounds to curriculum
9. Increased number of graduate students (i.e., MS or PhD) in guided research opportunities with PhD faculty through course and clinical project offerings
10. Increased number of presentations/publications with graduate students (i.e., MS or PhD) as contributing authors
11. Increased number of UG students participating in ongoing research projects within the department
12. Increase student participation in extra-curricular and experiential learning activities
13. Increase staff/faculty collaboration with departments of related studies through course and clinical learning opportunities


The future success of our profession relies on the shared commitment to safeguard the well-being of our clients, participants, students, and partners/stakeholders in our community. The department embraces this initiative through the careful management and engagement of our facilities, resources, and talents to support academic aspirations and better serve our community and our world.


1. Foster a culture of wellness
   • Establish departmental newsletter to celebrate student and faculty achievement (3.1.5)
   • Establish monthly faculty and PhD student gatherings to foster a culture of collegiality and innovation within doctoral studies (3.1.1)
2. Enhance physical resources to support teaching, learning, research, and University experience
   • Creation of student research and clinical application lab (3.2.1, 3.2.3)
   • Utilization of clinic technology to enhance student learning, clinic, and research experiences across all programs (3.2.3)
3. Encourage a culture of giving through philanthropic support that makes impact
   • Enhance Scottish Rite RiteCare Clinic partnership and communication efforts to increase funding/donations (3.7.2)


1. Creation of the student research and clinical application lab
2. Integration of lab use into relevant courses in 2024-2025 academic year
3. Increase in the contributions and impact of RiteCare Clinic partners funding
4. Increased use of clinic materials by departmental programs, faculty, and staff as evidenced by check-out logs
5. Spotlight use of community partnerships and philanthropic support through departmental newsletters
6. Increased number and attendance of faculty/PhD student monthly gatherings


Departmental research is crucial to the growth of knowledge and skills for our students and for our profession. Our profession relies on engagement between community stakeholders and the faculty/researchers who drive curriculum and clinical experiences to ensure the welfare of those we serve. 


1. Grow departmental research and innovation capacity
   • Increase non-faculty researchers to departmental research projects (4.3.3)
   • Increase departmental research involvement in rural parishes within Louisiana (4.3.3)
2. Increase the number of doctoral graduates
   • Increase number of doctoral students by increasing existing support (4.4.1)
   • Increase intramural and extramural funding for departmental clinic and research projects (4.4.1)
3. Communicate research, scholarly, and creative activity to public audiences
   • Provide public specialty clinics and camps (e.g. ASL camp, Language and Literacy Project, STAR Project) (4.6.1)
   • Communicate research, scholarly, and creative activities to public audiences (4.6.1)


1. Create opportunities for the addition of non-faculty researchers to department faculty research projects
2. Increase funding support for PhD students to recruit top applicants
3. Increase departmental and institutional support for specialty clinics and camps
4. Increase research faculty collaboration with new parishes within the state
5. Increase the number of applications for intramural and extramural funding opportunities for clinical and research driven projects within the department and greater community.
6. Create bi-annual topical Zoom meetings/workshops with alumni and members of community regarding research, educational, and clinical topics within the department.


The establishment of strong bonds between the department and the professional community will generate a positive image for the department and promote best practices in the delivery of speech-language-hearing services throughout the region. The engagement of our faculty and staff in community partnerships and events will give back to the people who help produce our research.


1. Create a departmental culture that values interaction with the community and service to it
   • Establish departmental newsletter to celebrate student and faculty achievement, highlight departmental efforts, and establish communication with alumni to foster potential partnerships (5.1.4)
   • Increase community engagement through partnership with non-profits and for-profit institutions, as well as disability-related organizations (5.1.2)
   • Increase departmental impact on state service providers and service-oriented organizations (5.1.1, 5.1.7, 5.1.8)
2. Elevate the University’s presence in and contribution to the local community, region, state and beyond
   • Hosting continuing education for professionals/stakeholders and continue work towards becoming a CEU provider (5.3.1, 5.3.3, 5.3.4)
   • Establish departmental newsletter to communicate and highlight positive departmental and clinical actions in public and private partnerships (5.3.3)
   • Establish social media forums to reach stakeholders and interested parties for our departmental events and announcements (5.3.3, 5.3.4)


1. Publish departmental newsletter twice a year with highlights from faculty, alumni, and other stakeholders to facilitate    communication of departmental impact.
2. Increase number of CEU offerings to the professionals, stakeholders, and alumni
3. Increase number of co-sponsored community events with community partners
4. Expand the variety of sponsored outreach events related to community topics of interest related to departmental foci
5. Create a committee focused on completing procedures necessary to establishing the department as an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association CEU provider
6. Increase involvement and offerings in rural parishes in Louisiana through meetings, workshops, social media postings, and CEU offerings
7. Establish working group to increase service-learning components in CODI courses and electives
8. Increase departmental information sharing with local, regional, and state representatives to highlight research and service of the department within the wider community
9. Navigate the university procedures required for establishing a departmental social media presence (5.3.3, 5.3.4)
10. Communicate with interested parties in the community via social media presence


Programmatic Assessment Reports and the State of the Department Reports can be obtained by emailing