Communicative Disorders Program Department of Special Education

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Information for New Graduate Students

Welcome to the CD program! You're probably excited to get started. There are a lot of new things to take in, but don't let that overwhelm you. Just follow the guide below and you'll be off to a great start.

Update Your Contact Information

In order to receive program announcements and invitations, please make sure we have your current email address and other contact information in the CD Clinic Office (Burk Hall Room 114). Email the CD Clinic Office Manager Mallorie Desimone or call 415.338.1001. Sign up for an SFSU email address. Many announcements from your instructors, the CD program, and the university will be sent to your SFSU email. You can set your SFSU email to forward to a preferred personal email address.


Please register for and take the CBEST Exam in your first semester after admission. You must have a passing score on record prior to starting your school internship (a.k.a. student teaching).

Attend the Orientation Meeting

There's a Mandatory Student Orientation Meeting before classes begin every semester. Please check the CD Program Calendar for the date, time, and location.

Get Advising

Be sure to see an advisor once a semester to make sure your program plan is sound. You can attend group advising meetings, which are scheduled during orientation and again during advising week (see Program Calendar). You can also schedule individual advising appointments with any of the advisors through the CD Clinic Office. The CD advisers are:
Dr. Laura Epstein, 415.338.1058 (
Dr. Nancy Robinson, 415.405.2170 ( )
Dr. Marcia Raggio, 415.338.7653 (
Dr. Patti Solomon-Rice, 415.338.7652 (

Dr. Gloria Soto, 415.338.1757 (
Dr. Betty Yu, 415.338.3429 (

First Semester Program Plan

The suggested schedule of courses for you to take in the first semester (and throughout your program) can be found in the Graduate Advising Manual. You will see that there are two different course sequences to follow depending on whether you've been assigned to track A or B. In order to avoid a "traffic jam" when we try to locate internships for you off-campus, we have split our graduate student cohorts into tracks A & B. Track A students do a school placement for their first off-campus internship, whereas track B students do a medical placement first. There is no difference between the two tracks except for the order of the internships. In both sequences, students should plan to fulfill the requirements over 5 semesters, which typically includes a summer session.

» Graduate Student Track A Plan

» Graduate Student Track B Plan

Start Accruing Your 25 Hours of Observation

At the completion of CD 768, you must also complete 25 hours of observation of clinical work conducted by SLPs who hold current ASHA certification (CCC) and who can sign for your observation hours. Classified graduate students have usually completed these observations in their undergraduate program. Conditional graduates are encouraged to begin doing observations as soon as possible. Download the Observation Log Form (SC-10.5) to document your observations.

All of the clinics conducted in the CD Clinic are supervised by certified SLPs. Observations of these clinics can be used to fulfill your observation requirements. Check with clinic manager Mallorie Desimone for their meeting days and times. A description of the services offered in the CD Clinic is avilable on our website. Many students also contact SLPs in the community to ask for permission to observe their work.

Start Think about Your ePortfolio

Browse the CD ePortfolio site and begin thinking about your ePortfolio. Your ePortfolio is a summative project that is submitted for faculty review as you get ready to graduate; however, you will be guided to start building your ePortfolio as soon as you enter the program. Your ePortfolio should be built incrementally throughout the program.

Download and Use the KASA Form

At the end of your first semester, begin to fill in the Knowledge and Skills (KASA) form to track the courses and clinics you've completed. (See the Graduate Advising Manual for more information about KASA). The completed KASA form is something you will turn in with your other graduation paperwork at the end of your program. It's much easier to fill out if you track all of your courses from day one in a draft.

Get to Know the CD Clinic

Take a self-guided tour of the CD Clinic or ask one of the staff, faculty, or returning students to show you around. The CD Student Workroom (BH 116) is a space where student clinicians review their clients' files and prepare for their clinic sessions. It's also where many of our therapy materials are kept. Clinicians have priority in the use of this space, especially when confidential information about clients is being discussed. Whenever available, students who are not in clinic can also use the workroom to gather, eat lunch, or to work on class projects. There are 8 clinic rooms where individual assessment and therapy sessions are conducted. When the clinic rooms are not being used for clinic work, students may ask for permission from the CD Clinic office to use a room for quiet study or course-related group work. The CD Materials Room (BH 127) is where the standardized assessment tools and other therapy materials are stored. The Augmentative and Alternative Communication Lab is in BH 137. The Voice Lab is in BH106.

Get on NSSLHA's Email and iLearn List

The SFSU chapter of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is an active partner of the CD Program. Many CD Program events are hosted by NSSLHA, including Brown Bag Lunch seminars, Continuing Education events, CD Graduation Ceremony, Annual Conference, Comprehensive Exam Luncheon, and more. Contact NSSLHA to get on their email list and become a participant on their iLearn page so you can be kept up-to-date. NSSLHA also sends out many announcements about job and volunteer opportunities throughout the year.


Being a part of SFSU's chapter of NSSLHA is a great way to meet other CD students and to get involved. Consider also taking a leadership role in our program, campus, and community by becoming a NSSLHA officer. All students are welcome to attend the weekly NSSLHA meetings.

Other Resources

  1. Get a copy of the SFSU Bulletin
  2. The Cahill Learning and Media Resource Center in Burk Hall 319 has many electronic, media, and curricular resources for students in the College of Education
  3. Scholarship listings and applications for SPED & CD can be found in BH 254 and online.
  4. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel Power Point) is available at the SFSU at significant discounts for students.

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