If you already have a Bachelor's degree but lack the academic background in Communication Sciences and Disorders, this opportunity may be for you. In Spring 2009, Western Kentucky University began offering a series of courses designed to prepare a student to apply for a master's program in Speech-Language Pathology. The Pre-SLP program is offered in two separate cohorts, one being the general population, and the second being those interested in teaching for the New York City Department of Education. If you have not ever observed and talked with a Speech Language Pathologist we would encourage you to do so to become more familiar with the field prior to applying to this program. Upon completing the Pre–SLP program, students will have gained the foundational base of understanding in basic human communication and swallowing processes including their biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, linguistic, and cultural bases. This program does not result in a Bachelor's Degree nor does it guarantee acceptance to the Master's program in Speech-Language Pathology.
The Pre-SLP program is entirely Web-based (requiring no visits to campus) and is offered sequentially, leading to completion in four semesters. There are 8 prerequisite courses required for admission to the WKU Master's degree program, for a total of 24 credits. CD 290 Observation is offered as an optional Pass/Fail course for one credit.
A cohort will begin each summer, with the following course sequence:
Summer (May – August)
•CD 481 Normal Speech & Language Development
•CD 347 Bases of Speech
Fall (August – December)
•CD 405 Phonetics
•CD 486 Language Disorders
•CD 290 Observation**
Spring (January – May)
•CD 483 Articulation Disorders
•CD 484 Speech Anatomy and Physiology
•CD 290 Observation**
•CD 482 Audiology
•CD 485 Diagnostic Procedures
•CD 290 Observation**
** CD 290 is offered each semester as an optional Pass/Fail course, but you would only enroll one time in the course. This course is designed to allow you to gain the 25 observation hours necessary for the graduate program. Prior to enrollment you would want to ensure that you have a site with an ASHA certified SLP in which you would be allowed to observe therapy for 25 hours over the course of the semester.
Changes to this sequence may be made based on faculty and student needs. There is currently not an option for beginning the course sequence in the fall or spring semesters.
Basic Sciences (additional requirements for admission to the graduate program)
The 2014 ASHA certification guidelines require applicants to have college credit in each of the following areas: biological sciences, physical sciences, social/behavioral sciences, and statistics. If you need course-work in these areas also, Western Kentucky University will work with you to identify appropriate online general education courses that will fulfill these requirements. Please note that many graduate programs are now requiring that the Physical Science course be specific to Chemistry or Physics. All students are encouraged to be look specifically at the requirements of graduate programs they will apply to and be certain requirements are met.
About Distance Learning
The Division of Extended Learning and Outreach (DELO) offers excellent resources to assist online learners. Their website has a number of helpful topics including an orientation to online learning and helpful information to aid you in determining if online learning is right for you. Please click here to visit their website.
How is the coursework presented? Our faculty use Blackboard and Adobe Connect Pro as platforms for presenting learning materials, resource links, and instructional guidance. It also enables you, your professor, and classmates to communicate with each other. Using Blackboard and Adobe Connect Pro, your professor can present materials using several multimedia resources (including audio, video, animation, charts, etc) so that your classes are presented in the most appropriate way. Adobe Connect Pro allows live video stream so that the professor can present course lectures live via the Internet. You will have designated weekly or biweekly synchronous class meeting times for each course for which you will be expected to be logged into the course for instruction just as you would attend classes face to face. Class meeting times are scheduled in the evening and at night to accommodate student work schedules.
Computer System Requirements
The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at WKU uses Adobe Connect Pro for most (if not all) of the on-line courses and web-enhanced courses. To be able to participate fully in these classes students should have the following computer hardware and software, along with DSL/Cable/or T1 internet connection (dial-up service is not acceptable) at a minimum:
Minimum Technology Requirements
Windows Operating System
•1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8; 2GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows Vista®
•Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
•512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8; 1GB of RAM (2GB recommended) for Windows Vista
•Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, 10; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
•Adobe® Flash® Player 10.3
Mac Operating System
•1.83GHz Intel Core Duo or faster processor
•512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
•Mac OS X, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7.4, 10.8
•No Adobe Connect Add-in support for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Users on Leopard can attend meetings in the browser.*
•Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
•Adobe Flash Player 10.3
Click here to access current tuition information. The Pre–SLP courses are considered undergraduate distance learning courses. Distance learning tuition rates are the same for in–state and out–of–state students. Additional fees may apply to those enrolled in the NYC Department of Education/UFT cohort.
The Pre-SLP program is now financial aid eligible. For tips for applying for financial aid click here. WKU also offers a tuition payment plan which allows you to break tuition payments up throughout the semester.
Criteria for Admission
• 3.2 GPA for the last 60 credit hours of college coursework (Only courses with a letter grade will be used. Pass/Fail grades are not included.)
• Completed Bachelor's degree in any field by the time you would begin Pre-SLP courses.
What is the difference between the UFT/New York City Department of Education and General Web Pre-SLP programs?
WKU offers a unique opportunity for individuals living in the NYC area who are interested in eventually working as Speech Language Pathologists for the NYC Department of Education. If you do not live in the NYC area and are not interested in working for the NYC Department of Education then you would want to apply to the General Web format of the program. If you are interested in this opportunity in NYC then you would want to apply for the UFT/New York City format of the program. These are simply two formats of the same program. All courses are the same and all are offered online.
Dr. Jo Shackelford, contact for general web (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jan Sandidge, Distance Learning Academic Advisor, contact for UFT/New York City Department of Education (email@example.com)
Department AddressWKU Communication Sciences & Disorders Department 1906 College Heights Blvd #41030 Bowling Green, KY 42101-1030
How Do I Apply to the PreSLP Program?
We will begin accepting applications for the Summer 2015 cohort on September 1, 2014. Deadline for application is February 1, 2015 for all cohorts.