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PreSLP Program

We are now accepting applications for the Summer 2018 cohorts. Thank you for your interest in WKU!

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. If you have never talked with and observed 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.

Course Sequence

The Pre-SLP program is entirely Web-based (all courses are online and require no visits to campus) and is offered sequentially, leading to completion in four semesters. It offers the 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 Science of Speech and Hearing (formerly titled: Bases of Speech)

Fall (August – December)

•CD 405 Phonetics
•CD 486 Language Disorders
•CD 290 Clinical Observation**

Spring (January – May)

•CD 483 Articulation Disorders
•CD 484 Speech Anatomy and Physiology
•CD 290 Clinical Observation**


•CD 482 Audiology
•CD 485 Assessment in Communication Disorders
•CD 290 Clinical 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.

For a list of course descriptions please click here.

How is the coursework presented?

Our faculty use Blackboard course management software and Adobe Connect Pro videoconferencing software 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 to accommodate student work schedules.

When are classes held?

The earliest that classes typically start is 5:00 pm Central Time, and many instructors have later start times, such as 6 or 7 pm. Classes usually last about 1 hour or 1.5 hours. You are expected to attend on a regular basis. The specific days that classes meet vary from semester to semester, but are always Monday through Thursday evenings, never Friday or weekends.

Basic Sciences (additional requirements for admission to the graduate program)

The 2014 ASHA certification guidelines require applicants to have 3 college credits in each of the following areas: biological sciences, physical sciences, social/behavioral sciences, and statistics. If you need coursework in these areas, 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 now require that the Physical Science course be a Chemistry or Physics course. You are encouraged to look specifically at the requirements of graduate programs you will apply to determine their requirements for both basic sciences and CSD prerequisites. 

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.

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, Windows 10
•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

Additional equipment

Tuition Information

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.

The Pre-SLP program is 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.


Dr. Jo Shackelford (

Department Address

Academic Complex 108D
WKU Communication Sciences & Disorders Department
1906 College Heights Blvd #41030
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1030


How Do I Apply to the PreSLP Program?


Application and Admission Requirements

We will begin accepting applications for the Summer 2018 cohort on September 1, 2017. Deadline for application is February 1, 2018 for all cohorts.

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 Last Modified 9/27/17