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Academic Program Review and Long Term Plan
 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is a unit within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The department’s mission is to provide leadership in and focus on the field of human communication sciences and disorders by preparing clinicians, researchers and leaders within the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology.

The department offers four degree programs, the BA, MA, AuD and PhD. The MA and AuD are entry-level clinical practice degrees that are accredited by the Committee on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (the CAA). At the undergraduate level, the department has approximately 109 BA students. In addition, the department has approximately100 post-bachelors students who are completing the undergraduate requirements for admission to graduate programs in CSD. At the graduate level, the department has approximately 129 students, including 77 MA students, 40 AuD students and 12 PhD students.

Over the past 7 years, the department has seen its undergraduate enrollment increase from approximately 26 undergraduate majors in the fall of 2005 (according to WSU’s Enrollment in All Majors Report, Fall 2003-2005) to approximately 109 undergraduate majors in the winter of 2012 (according to WSU’s STARs system). In addition, the number of students in our post-bachelors program has increased from about 20 in 2005 (according to department records) to over 100 in 2012 (according to STARs). All undergraduate courses in CSD are at the 5000 and 6000 levels. CSD’s total enrollment in 5000 and 6000 level courses has grown faster than for any other department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and is the largest of any department in the College. However, CSD lost an important tenure track line in the 2012 budget cuts, reducing our tenured/tenure track faculty from 8.5 to 7.5. The increase in our undergraduate class sizes is becoming detrimental to the quality of undergraduate learning experiences,
and this is the greatest threat to our undergraduate program. With the loss of a faculty line, CSD will also be forced to increase the number of undergraduate courses taught by part-time faculty.

Over the same time period, enrollment in the PhD program has remained at about 12 students. Although the university classifies 9 of our current 12 PhD students as full-time students, most PhD students in the department hold full-time positions in health care or educational institutions. As a result, research is not the primary focus of their day-to-day activities. For over a decade, there has been a shortage of PhDs in CSD. It remains difficult to recruit full-time PhD students, since most applicants are certified clinicians with well-paying jobs. The loss of our tenure-track line in child language is more serious for our graduate programs than for our undergraduate programs. Child language is a core area for graduate study in speech-language pathology, but the university no longer has any faculty member in any college whose primary area of expertise is child language. The small number of senior research faculty in the department, the lack of a faculty member in child language, funding for PhD students, and the lack of PhD students who make research their full-time job are the greatest threats to the PhD program.

Read the entire Program Review Self-Study

Communication Sciences & Disorders
207 Rackham Bldg 60 Farnsworth Street
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-3339
Fax: (313) 577-8885
Website: clasweb.clas.wayne.edu/csd
Email: csd@wayne.edu