Communication Disorders and Sciences Department

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Viterbo University’s Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences prepares students for faithful service, professional collaborations, and ethical leadership in speech-language pathology, audiology, and speech and hearing science. The university’s core values (contemplation, hospitality, integrity, service, and stewardship) provide a framework that informs the culture, leadership, academics, deliberations, and decisions of the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences. We boldly transform our students to be agents of change in their communities through service, collaboration, and leadership.

Promise to Undergraduates

One of the greatest challenges facing undergraduate students who major in communication disorders is getting into graduate school. Students interested in a career in speech-language pathology, audiology, or speech and hearing science must gain admission to a graduate clinical training program. Each year, more students graduate with an undergraduate degree in communication disorders and sciences than are admitted to graduate school.

Viterbo students who meet our Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MSSL)P program admission requirements upon graduation with a BS in Communication Disorders and Sciences, AND who also minor in one of seven specific areas, will be given priority admission to Viterbo’s MSSLP program. The seven minor areas of study that trigger priority graduate school admissions prepare students for ethical leadership, professional collaborations, and faithful service in diverse and ever-changing communities. These minor areas of study include: healthcare management; servant leadership; interpreting studies; Spanish; American Sign Language; Latin American studies; and Latina/Latino studies.

Interprofessional Education

The Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences is part of the Viterbo University College of Nursing and Health. Undergraduate students will have interprofessional educational experiences with undergraduate students in the nursing and dietetics programs. These holistic healthcare experiences are designed to facilitate meaningful, respectful, and productive interprofessional collaborations that will mirror future work in schools and hospitals. Viterbo’s state-of-the-art simulation lab provides students in communication disorders and sciences, nursing, and dietetics an opportunity to observe and collaborate in a simulated medical setting and participate in patient care together.

Job Shadowing Experiences

All undergraduate students who major in communication disorders and sciences at Viterbo are required to complete at least 25 hours of directed job shadowing of speech-language pathologists and/or audiologists in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, clinics, and/or private practices. Students will be guided to observe specific techniques used to treat people of all ages with communication disorders. The job shadowing experiences are coordinated by the SLP Director of Clinical Education in the department of communication disorders and sciences.

Study Abroad Options

In the ever-changing and growing diversity of our communities having an understanding of diverse populations has never been more important. Study abroad opportunities expose students to diverse communities they may encounter in the field of communications disorders and science.  Even short-term experiences living and learning in a different culture will impart important life skills. The department of communication disorders encourages students to participate in various study abroad options that will allow students to gain observation hours, patient-contact hours, and to strengthen multicultural competence under the direct supervision of speech-language pathologists.