Communication Disorders Staff
- Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director
- Academic Complex 108-H
- SLP 503 - Advanced Diagnostic Procedures in Speech Pathology
- SLP 506 - Fluency
- SLP 512 - Speech Sound Disorders
- SLP 519 - Advanced AAC
- SLP 550 - Counseling and SLP
- SLP 567 - School Based SLP
- SLP 570 - Administration and Supervision in Speech-Language Pathology
- SLP 572 - Contemporary Issues
- SLP 579 - Professional Issues
- SLP 588 - Clinical Methods
- SLP 589 - Special Topics
A native of Louisville, KY, Lauren Bland earned her B.S. from Murray State University, her M.S. from the University of Louisville and her Ph.D. from University of Cincinnati. All were in Communication Disorders. Before coming to Western Kentucky University in 2004 as an Associate Professor, she held faculty positions at the University of Louisville and Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. While most of her professional clinical experience has been in the school setting (9 years with the Jefferson County Public Schools and 2 years with the Hamilton County Office of Education), she has also worked in early intervention and home-health. At WKU she has served on Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, and many other university or college committees. She was an Interim Associate Dean for the College of Health and Human Services. For the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, she has served as Interim Department Head and is now the Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program Director. She has been active in the Kentucky and Mississippi Speech Language and Hearing Associations. In addition to presenting several times at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, she has served on several ASHA Convention program committees. She served on ASHA’s Scientific and Professional Education Board for three years and the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association Executive Council from 2000-2006 as a consultant. She was a site visitor for the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology for 12 years and will serve on the board from 2017-2020.
Service Delivery Models | Interprofessional Education | Clinical Supervision | Professional Issues and Ethics | Higher Education Pedagogy
"Learning is a social process that occurs through interpersonal interaction within a cooperative context. Individuals, working together, construct shared understandings and knowledge." (Johnson, D., Johnson, R., & Smith, K. Active Learning: Cooperation in the College Classroom, Edina, MN: Interaction Book Co., 1991)
Students learn best in environments that are challenging, stimulating, interactive and encouraging. To develop such an environment that is valuable to students, my teaching needs to reflect those things that I value. Those things that taken together can represent my teaching philosophy:
- Interaction - A student learns best when he or she is actively engaged in the classroom activities. I feel that the learning experience is more effective if there active dialog between the speaker and the listener.
- Critical thinking - In a clinical profession like speech-language pathology, it is impossible to teach every student about every clinical situation he or she might face. Consequently my job is to teach the student how to think about a variety of situations, not necessarily how to respond to a particular situation. In class, students will frequently be asked to develop solutions, lists or ideas.
- Collaboration - The practice of speech-language pathology is not a solo practice. While we may be the only professional in the therapy room, we are not the only person in the room. The persons we treat, and their families, really are team members with us. Students need to learn how to work effectively as a team member. Learning how to learn from clients, families, related professionals and other speech-language pathologists is an essential skill.
- Diversity - There is more than one way to learn. There is more than one thing to learn. In a class, there is certainly more than one person from whom the learning can be derived. There are a lot of ways to do something right and do something well. Through a variety of learning activities that should match different learning styles, learners from all backgrounds and styles can be reached.
- Research - A well prepared speech-language pathologist has a strong foundation in theory and research. There needs to be an evidence base for the clinical practice in which we engage. Consequently, I strive to ensure that there is always some type of research component to each class I teach.