The Master’s Program in Speech Language Pathology is fully accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This means that the core program is very much like master’s in speech pathology programs at universities across the nation. As in any other accredited program, you will meet the academic requirements for the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). You will have the specified number of clinical hours in a variety of clinical settings, and the coursework will be sufficient to cover the depth and breadth of knowledge you will need.
So how is our master's in speech pathology program different? What makes a degree from UL Lafayette special?
We believe our commitment to helping our students translate theory and research into clinical practice sets us apart. At UL Lafayette, classroom and clinic operate collaboratively, but the master's in speech pathology curriculum drives the clinical practices our students use. This means you will be able to transfer what you learn in the classroom directly to therapy in the clinic. How do we do that? Two ways: collaboration and training in clinical research.
Our academic faculty is involved in the clinic, and our clinical faculty often attend academic classes with the students. You can especially see this collaboration in the summer when academic and clinical faculty jointly supervise in one of our popular group projects.
As a student, you may be working with school-aged children in our successful summer literacy project or with groups of adults with aphasia on conversational and literacy-related skills. Perhaps you will get to work with adolescent and preschool fluency groups, or groups for children who use AAC devices to communicate, or social groups for high functioning children on the autism spectrum.
The key is that each group is structured and facilitated by both academic and clinical faculty members who have expertise in those areas.
Training in Clinical Research
Another unique aspect of our program is a two-course sequence in your final two semesters: Advanced Clinical Research and Capstone Seminar. These two courses help you to really see the impact of research for a purpose.
For the clinical research course, you will use Action Research to examine the clinical process as you apply it to an assigned case within the clinic. In the capstone seminar held during your final spring semester, you will come together in small groups which are moderated by a faculty member to debate controversial topics. You will be expected to support your views with evidence from the literature.
As a final component of the Capstone Seminar, you will present your clinical research projects to the faculty and students of the department in a poster competition. This has become, for our students, a culmination of everything they have learned and a symbolic rite of passage – the point at which the student becomes the professional.
We believe that we give our students a solid foundation to build upon as they move out into the professional world. In the past 5 years, the number of applications for the Master’s program has steadily increased, and we are attracting students from all areas of the United States. Our goal is to admit an average of 35 students each year while still maintaining the personal attention our students have come to know and expect.