Communicative Disorders Program Department of Special Education

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The SFSU CD Program Strategic Plan

Vision Statement
Mission Statement
Who We Serve
Future Development
Focus Area 1: Shortages of SLP Professionals
Focus Area 2: Graduate School Emphasis
Focus Area 3: Adult Clinical Services
Focus Area 4: Research
Focus Area 5: International Education
The SFSU CD Strategic Plan Published in the ASHA Leader

Vision Statement

The SFSU Communicative Disorders Program will meet the challenges of the present and future through dynamic response to the need for qualified professionals in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Through a commitment to addressing the needs of the workplace and professional excellence, SFSU CD faculty will provide mentorship for future professionals to gain experience with wide range and diversity of individuals with communicative disorders; to understand their perspectives; and to integrate research with clinical practice in support of people with communication disorders across the life span.

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Communicative Disorders Program (CD) at San Francisco State University (SFSU) is to prepare professionals to provide competent and compassionate service to people with communication disorders, across the lifespan. The SFSU CD Program is based on the following core values: collaboration; compassion; resilience; inquiry and investigation; life-long learning; professionalism; multiculturalism; leadership; mentorship; advocacy; and internationalism.

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Who We Serve

The focus of the CD Program is to serve both students and the community. Students are served in graduate and undergraduate programs that include the master’s and bachelor’s degrees. The public is served by the CD Clinic located on campus, serving children and adults with communicative disorders. Further, students complete internships in schools and hospitals throughout the SF Bay Area and beyond with the support of mentors in the field in Speech-Language Pathology.

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Future Development of the SFSU CD Program

In response to the societal needs identified in the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the SFSU CD Program is committed to accomplishing the following by February 2016:

• Create a culture of commitment to evidence-based practice among students and instructors.

• Create admission pathways for students from majors outside of Communicative Disorders.

• Increase the visibility of the program within the university and the community.

• Create a program that is highly clinically relevant.

• Produce high achieving graduates.

• Establish a well-mentored and cohesive faculty.

• Create more distance learning opportunities for students and individuals in the community.

• Engage in more interdisciplinary and collaborative preparation for success in inclusive settings.

• Establish mechanisms for effective career counseling for undergraduate students.

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Focus Areas for the 2013-2014 Academic Year

Focus Area 1: Increasing the Visibility of the Field and the Program


Outcomes: We aim to define shortage areas in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area for SLP professionals. We aim to develop methods to recruit and to admit qualified applicants who seek professional degrees in speech-language pathology.

Indicators of Success: (1) Increased rate of graduation to fill the identified needs for SLPs in the surrounding areas, state, and national locations; and (2) Increased numbers of graduate students seeking research opportunities in CSD.

1. Review graduation rates and employment within the first year for SFSU CD graduates.
2. Establish follow-up interview with SFSU CD graduates to determine employment satisfaction and locations.
3. Review state databases (California Department of Education) to identify employment opportunities and needs for certified SLPs.
4. Develop 5-year plan to recruit and to train SLPs to meet employment needs in region.
5. Identify options for CD graduates at BA level to seek SLPA positions.
6. Provide experience for graduate students to supervise undergraduate aides for the purpose of improving the quality of future supervision for SLPAs in the field.

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Focus Area 2: Graduate Education Emphasis

Issues: Applications for graduate program have doubled in the last 3 years, to nearly 350 last year. Spots for admission are limited to approximately 20 Classified Graduate students and 20 Conditional Graduate Students. Undergraduate students who complete the CD BA have no direct career path, as only small number are accepted into graduate program. Any student who is a junior at SFSU can declare CD a major, thus filling classes and creating overflow. This overflow decreased the number of graduate students we can take. This is an undesirable situation since graduate students are closer to entry into professional SLP roles.

Outcomes: We aim to increase the quality and quantity of professionals in SLP positions. With additional graduate students in the CD program, courses can become truly pre-professional. The CD Program gains more control over who can enroll in the undergraduate and graduate classes.

Indicators of Success: (1) increased number of SLP graduates to enter workplace; (2) focus of courses aimed at graduate level; and (3) shortage of SLPs is directly addressed.

1. Catch undergraduate students “upstream” by requiring advising for undergraduate student who wants to declare CD major.
2. Adapt the CD “Essential Functions” list, upload on CD website, and require prospective juniors who want to declare CD major to review it.
3. Expand the number of CD graduate admissions, particularly conditional graduate students to fill undergraduate courses.
4. Close the undergraduate CD program.
5. Develop a Post-Baccalaureate certificate for Conditional Graduates.
6. Create options for those who complete Post-Bac Certificate in CD to gain employment as SLPA for more experience.
7. Create criteria for Post-Baccalaureate “completers” to competitively apply to CD graduate program
8. Develop online classes for some undergraduate course

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Focus Area 3: Adult Clinical Services

Issues: There is a need to increase opportunities for graduate student clinicians to gain experience with clients who have voice, fluency, aural rehabilitation, and accent modification needs. There is also a need for greater number of options for internships that are with non-medical adult clients.

Outcomes: We aim to develop more options to serve adult clients within the scope of the SFSU CD Program on-campus clinical settings. We aim to provide a range of adult clinical experiences in a variety of settings both on and off-campus.

Indicators of Success: (1) Increased opportunities for students to gain experience with clients with low-incidence communicative disorders such as fluency, voice and other areas.

1. Become an ASHA CEU provider to host ongoing CEU events in these areas.
2. Establish expert speaker series on varied topics such as: Medical SLP practice; strategic excellence in neurogentic speech/language/swallowing disorders; autism spectrum disorders; community-based SLP practice; school-based SLP practice and classroom collaboration/consultation.
3. Establish ongoing CEU events focused on adult communication disorders such as voice, dysfluency.
4. Offer students interested in medical speech pathology the opportunity to mentor w/several SLPs in one location (KP Oakland) in order to gain exposure to voice, swallowing, neuro speech/language, craniofacial/cleft palate, autism spectrum disorders. (rotating assignment).
5. Offer reduced rate to clients of SFSU CD Clinic who are willing to be assessed and treated within the context of an Advanced Voice Disorders Seminar or Fluency Seminar.
6. Coordinate seminar courses with adult clinical opportunities (Neurolinguistics course with Neuro Clinic; AAC course with AAC clinic, etc.)
7. Recruit adult clients on campus to maximize use of clinic facilities

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Focus Area 4: Research

Issues: There is a need for faculty to engage in research as a means to enrich their clinical teaching and to integrate research into clinical training. Training future professionals requires not only the ability to be "consumers" of research, but also to generate research.

Outcomes: We aim to establish an expectation for research and to create a research culture among the faculty. We aim to increase the number of graduate students who work with faculty members of conduct research.

Indicators of Success: (1) Increased number of graduate students who complete masters’ theses and pursue doctoral studies; (2) Students demonstrate leadership in organization of professional conference; (3) Students co-present or independently present with faculty members at state and national conferences; (4) Increased publications and presentations by faculty and students engaged in clinical research; (5) Increased faculty collaboration in research project

1. Develop “Research Groups” led by faculty members with specific research activities, focus, and interests.
2. Invite incoming graduate students to join research groups each fall, with 1 or 2 year commitment.
3. Establish 1 year commitment for student with incentive of stipend for ASHA.
4. Encourage incoming graduate students to take ISED 797 early in program.
5. Develop grant funding for research with group of faculty (NIH grant).
6. Develop CD 711 & 713 into clinical research seminar credit.
7. Propose that CD faculty teach a section of ISED 797
8. Devote a portion of faculty meetings to research

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Focus Area 5: International Education

Issues: The increasing global connections between speech-language pathology training programs around the world has created a great need for understanding our practice within the context of cultures and societies

Outcomes: We aim to establish formal agreements with foreign universities to provide opportunities for exchange between our programs. We aim to build reciprocal faculty and student connections with Lund University in Sweden. We also aim to identify funding opportunities for SFSU Students to travel abroad and for student in foreign university speech-language pathology programs to come to SFSU.

Indicators of Success: (1) Agreements with SFSU Study Abroad and foreign universities' speech-language pathology programs; (2) Students visit annually from Lund University; (3) SFSU CD courses are identified that provide credit for foreign study.

1. Approach SFSU Study Abroad Programs to determine feasibility and process to establish study abroad agreement with selected universities.
2. Continue hosting international students in SFSU CD Program annually for Lund University students (Lund, Sweden) and University of Canterberry students (Christchurch, New Zealand)
3. Submit faculty grants to SFSU International Office to request funding for foreign travel.
4. Visit Lund University in fall, 2010 (N. Robinson).
5.Identify opportunities for SFSU CD Students to complete international experience focused on speech-language pathology in underserved countries with established program mentors (including Margarita Fajardo of SFUSD, and others to be identified).

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The SFSU CD Strategic Plan Published in the ASHA Leader

Robinson, N. A., Graham, M. S., Epstein, L., Graham, B. J. (2008, April 15). Strategic planning in CSD program: The San Francisco State example. The ASHA Leader, 13(5), 28-30.

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