The B.S. (Bachelor of Science) education program in Communication Disorders at Western Kentucky University prepares students academically for graduate study in speech-language pathology, audiology, or related areas. A master's degree is required for national certification in speech-language pathology and a clinical doctorate is required for national certification in audiology. Licensure is also necessary in Kentucky but other states have various mandates for practicing professionals. All coursework follows guidelines recommended by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
The major for students in Communication Disorders (reference number 595P prior to being accepted to the program and reference number 595 after being officially accepted to the undergraduate program) is a pre-professional program which requires 52 hours in the specialization areas of speech-language pathology and audiology. Students should consider a minor or second major. Some certificate programs, majors, and/or minors which complement the B.S. in Communication Disorders major are: American Sign Language, Child Studies, Cross-Cultural Communication in Healthcare, Family Home Visiting, Family Studies, Gerontology, Health Care Navigator, Health Education, Health Care Administration, Non-Profit Administration, Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, and Social Work. If students choose to complete a second program they should consider the impact on time frame for completion of degree.
All undergraduate students are required to complete supervised clinical clock hours working with people having communication disorders (Clinical Internship). Students are required to undergo criminal background checks and provide proof of a recent physical examination, professional liability insurance, and a tuberculin skin test prior to beginning any clinical experiences.
Speech-Language Pathology career opportunities are expected to grow faster than average through the end of calendar year 2022. This is due to several factors including an aging baby boomer population with increased possibilities of oncoming neurological disorders with accompanying speech, language, swallowing, and hearing impairments. Employment opportunities are also increasing due to improving survival rates of premature infants and trauma and stroke patients in need of assessment and intervention. Additionally, federal legislation guarantees services to all children with disabilities. Private practice opportunities will also increase due to the increase in contracted services with schools, nursing care/rehabilitation facilities and hospitals.
Fall 2017 edition of the CSD Research Newsletter
Communication Sciences and Disorders Senior, Alexa Colvin, has been selected as Kentucky’s National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Student State Officer.
Current and Upcoming Study Abroad Opportunities