College of Health and Human Services2021-2022

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Clinical Speech - Language Pathology, Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The mission of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northern Arizona University is to advance the knowledge and practice in human communication and its disorders, to prepare our students to lead in the professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and to enable all individuals to communicate, read, write, think, and learn, in order to succeed in a changing world.
To accomplish this mission, we intend to:
  • acquire new knowledge through empirical research
  • promote scholarship and other creative works
  • contribute to the profession at local, regional, national and international levels
  • foster critical thought in a learning-centered environment
  • incorporate technology to enhance classroom and clinical teaching
  • mentor students to achieve professional competence in serving individuals of all ages
  • serve as a local and regional clinical resource for individuals with communication disorders
  • foster interdisciplinary collaboration
  • excel in professional service
 The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is committed to enriching research, teaching, learning and the professional service environment by embracing the cultural and linguistic diversity of our region and nation.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with the accreditation standards of the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) on behalf of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Knowledge Outcomes: The applicant must have demonstrated knowledge of
  • the biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics, and the social/behavioral sciences
  • basic human communication and swallowing processes, including the appropriate biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural bases. The applicant must have demonstrated the ability to integrate information pertaining to normal and abnormal human development across the life span.
  • communication and swallowing disorders and differences, including the appropriate etiologies, characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates in the following areas:
    • articulation;
    • fluency;
    • voice and resonance, including respiration and phonation;
    • receptive and expressive language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, prelinguistic communication and paralinguistic communication) in speaking, listening, reading, writing;
    • hearing, including the impact on speech and language;
    • swallowing (oral, pharyngeal, esophageal, and related functions, including oral function for feeding, orofacial myology);
    • cognitive aspects of communication (attention, memory, sequencing, problem-solving, executive functioning);
    • social aspects of communication (including challenging behavior, ineffective social skills, and lack of communication opportunities);
    • augmentative and alternative communication modalities.
  • the principles and methods of prevention, assessment, and intervention for people with communication and swallowing disorders, including consideration of anatomical/physiological, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates.
  • processes used in research and of the integration of research principles into evidence-based clinical practice and how to access sources of research information and have demonstrated the ability to relate research to clinical practice
  • contemporary professional issues that affect speech-language pathology. Issues typically include trends in professional practice, academic program accreditation standards, ASHA practice policies and guidelines, and reimbursement procedures.
  • entry level and advanced certifications, licensure, and other relevant professional credentials, as well as local, state, and national regulations and policies relevant to professional practice
Skills Outcomes: The applicant for certification must have completed a program of study that included experiences sufficient in breadth and depth to achieve the following skills outcomes:
  • Evaluation
    • Conduct screening and prevention procedures (including prevention activities).
    • Collect case history information and integrate information from clients/patients, family, caregivers, teachers, and relevant others, including other professionals.
    • Select and administer appropriate evaluation procedures, such as behavioral observations, nonstandardized and standardized tests, and instrumental procedures.
    • Adapt evaluation procedures to meet client/patient needs.
    • Interpret, integrate, and synthesize all information to develop diagnoses and make appropriate recommendations for intervention.
    • Complete administrative and reporting functions necessary to support evaluation.
    • Refer clients/patients for appropriate services.
  • Intervention
    • Develop setting-appropriate intervention plans with measurable and achievable goals that meet clients'/patients' needs. Collaborate with clients/patients and relevant others in the planning process.
    • Implement intervention plans (involve clients/patients and relevant others in the intervention process).
    • Select or develop and use appropriate materials and instrumentation for prevention and intervention.
    • Measure and evaluate clients'/patients' performance and progress.
    • Modify intervention plans, strategies, materials, or instrumentation as appropriate to meet the needs of clients/patients.
    • Complete administrative and reporting functions necessary to support intervention.
    • Identify and refer clients/patients for services as appropriate.
  • Interaction and Personal Qualities
    • Communicate effectively, recognizing the needs, values, preferred mode of communication, and cultural/linguistic background of the client/patient, family, caregivers, and relevant others.
    • Collaborate with other professionals in case management.
    • Provide counseling regarding communication and swallowing disorders to clients/patients, family, caregivers, and relevant others.
    • Adhere to the ASHA Code of Ethics and behave professionally.

Go to mobile site