Communicative Disorders Program Department of Special Education

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Specialized Training Opportunities

Students who have been accepted into the Communicative Disorders (CD) Master's Program are eligible to apply for participation in specialized training in autism spectrum disorders through Project Common Ground or in augmentative and alternative communication through Project CLLASS. Both projects are funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities. Each student is allowed to participate in only one project.

Project Common Ground:

Preparing Highly Qualified Speech-Language Pathologists to Meet the Communication Needs of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Diverse Settings

The mission of Project Common Ground is to prepare pre-service speech-language pathologists to work effectively with diverse children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from birth to 21 years across home, school and community settings. The training also aims to recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds. Students who are accepted into Project Common Ground will receive stipend supports to complete additional training beyond the requirements of the Master's degree. The training will include: 1) a partnership experience with a family of a child with ASD; 2) specialized courses in addition to the Master’s curriculum – two courses in ASD and one in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC); 3) Integrated Play Group seminar; 4) a practicum with infants/toddlers with ASD; and 5) a school internship with school-aged children with ASD.

Click here for more information about Project Common Ground, including how to apply to the program.

Project CLLASS:

Collaborating for Language, Literacy and Augmentative Systems in Schools

Project CLLASS (Collaborating for Language, Literacy, and Augmentative Systems in Schools) is co-directed by Drs. Nancy Robinson and Gloria Soto and funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide specialization in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for graduate students in CD and Special Education.

Severe shortages of Speech-Language-Pathologists (SLPs) with AAC specialization contribute to limited inclusion of children with complex communication needs in the general education curriculum. Collaborating for Language, Literacy and Augmentative Systems in Schools (Project CLLASS) is a new Master’s degree specialization in AAC in the Communicative Disorders Program (CD) at San Francisco State University to train speech-language pathologists to serve students from ages 3 to 21 years in school settings who experience severe language and literacy difficulties. Project CLLASS will prepare graduates with competencies to support students who use AAC to access the general education curriculum, through language and literacy development.
Click here for a poster describing the objectives and outcomes of Project Class.

For information on how to become a grant recipient and participant in Project CLLASS, please contact co-directors Dr. Nancy Robinson ( or Dr. Gloria Soto (


SF State Home