College of Education and Professional Studies

Advisement, Course Sequences, and Curriculum

SLP Majors Handbook

Three Main Paths to the Master of Science in SLP

"Traditional" B.S. in SLP - Pre-Professional Degree

BS in SLP Suggested Schedule

  • Core General Education
  • Professional Teacher Education - required for the B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology
    • Founds of American Education (30 hrs Field Experience)
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Theories and Techniques with Exceptional Individuals
    • Educational Psychology (30 hrs Field Experience)
  • Related Electives
  • SLP Major courses
    • Founds of SLP - best if taken during Sophomore year - otherwise concurrent with Fall semester Junior year SLP course sequence
    • Major SLP sequence begin in Fall semester of Junior year
    • Major SLP courses must be taken in sequence (See course sequence sheet)
    • Apply to MS program during Spring of Senior year
    • MS program starts in Summer if admitted
  • Traditional SLP Undergrad-Grad Course Sequence

General Studies BS

  • Frequently appropriate for:
    • Students changing majors with excessive credit hours in other areas (90+ hours)
    • Students "blocked out" of Junior level SLP courses that were full in previous years
    • Follows sequence similar to those with Non-SLP degree completing prerequisites
  • Founds of SLP and Junior/Prerequisite SLP courses serve the following two purposes
    • Complete senior year credit hour requirements for General Studies degree
    • Complete the Prerequisites courses for admission to MS program
  • Apply to MS program during Spring semester of Senior year
    • While taking Spring Junior level/Prerequisite SLP courses
    • MS program starts in Summer if admitted
  • Traditional Senior level SLP courses
    • Fluency Disorders and/or Voice Disorders can be take along with Spring prerequisite courses prior to admission or during the first Spring semester of the MS program
    • Clinical Methods in SLP and Aural Rehabilitation are take in the first Fall semester of the MS program
  • Professional Teacher Education
    • The MS in Speech-Language Pathology does not require admission to Professional Teacher Education
    • The General Studies degree does not require admission to Professional Teacher Education
    • However, obtaining the Oklahoma Teaching License/Certificate (required to be employed by a public school district) immediately upon completion of the MS in Speech-Language Pathology requires that the applicant has been formally admitted to PTE
    • Applicants for the Teaching License/Certificate must have taken the Foundations of American Education and Teaching Individuals With Disabilities courses (or their equivalents) to qualify for an Oklahoma Teaching License/Certificate. It is recommended that Foundations of American Education coincide with the SLP PS Internship in the second year of the Masters Degree program
    • Other PTE courses (Developmental Psych, Educational Psych) may be recommended by advisement depending on each student's background
  • Transfer or Converting From Non-SLP Degree Course Sequence

"Converting" from Different Bachelor Degree Major

  • Foundations of SLP and Junior level/Prerequisite SLP sequence taken prior to applying to MS program in Spring semester
  • Traditional Senior level SLP courses
    • Fluency Disorders and/or Voice Disorders can be take along with Spring prerequisite courses prior to admission or during the first Spring semester of the MS program
    • Clinical Methods in SLP and Aural Rehabilitation are taken in the first Fall semester of the MS program
  • Professional Teacher Education
    • The MS in Speech-Language Pathology does not require admission to Professional Teacher Education
    • However, obtaining the Oklahoma Teaching License/Certificate (required to be employed by a public school district) immediately upon completion of the MS in Speech-Language Pathology requires that the applicant has been formally admitted to PTE.
    • Applicants for the Teaching must take the Foundations of American Education and Teaching Individuals With Disabilities courses (or their equivalents) to qualify for an Oklahoma Teaching License/Certificate. It is recommended that taking Foundations of American Education coincide with the SLP PS Internship in the second year of the Masters Degree program
    • Other PTE courses (Developmental Psych, Educational Psych) may be recommended by advisement depending on each student's background
  • Non-education degree backgrounds - requires completing at least Founds of American Education and Theories and Techniques with Exceptional Individuals to qualify for a Teaching Certificate (optional)
    • Founds of American Ed can coincides with Language Disorders in Spring semester prior to admission or with PS Internship in second year of Masters Degree program
    • Other PTE courses (Dev. Psych., Educ. Psych) by advisement depending on background
  • Apply to MS program during Spring
    • While taking Junior and any Senior level courses
    • MS program starts in Summer if admitted
  • Transfer or Converting From Non-SLP Degree Course Sequence

Advisement Considerations for Speech-Language Pathology Masters degree required:

  • Students must be aware that completing a masters degree will be required to be employed in Speech-Language Pathology. With the masters degree and the required credentials (Teaching Certificate, Oklahoma License, ASHA CCC) SLPs can be employed in the public schools, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, private practice or a variety of other settings

Graduate Program Admission:

  • Admission to the graduate program is limited and, therefore, "competitive."
  • The primary criterion for admission to the graduate program is the major GPA in SLP classes. Therefore, students start the major with a "clean slate." In some cases, students who have struggled in another major, find their niche in Speech-Language Pathology.

Major Course Sequence:

  • The SLP major course sequence is a fixed sequence that must be followed as it is outlined in the course sequence sheets
  • The three Fall courses are prerequisites to the Spring courses and SLP classes are offered only once per year. Enrolling in the beginning prerequisite courses require permission from the Program Coordinator. A "Request for Permission" form must be submitted with official transcripts to obtain permission. See the Permission Required and GPA information below.
  • The Founds of SLP course is a prerequisite course but does not require permission, may be taken in either the Spring or Fall semester, and must be taken prior to or concurrent with the prerequisite courses.
  • It is important that students start the initial Fall junior level courses simultaneously - that is, Normal Language Development, Acoustic Phonetics, and Speech & Hearing Mechanism should be taken together. If a student is not in all three Fall courses, he or she cannot take all three Spring courses and it will take two years to cycle through the junior year courses and the bachelor degree becomes a five year degree.
  • An exception to this is allowed when a student CHOOSES to complete the major while attending on a part-time basis and wants to take smaller loads and cycle through the junior level courses twice. It is recommended - not required - that the courses follow a sequence where Founds of SLP and Speech & Hearing Mech are taken in the first Fall and are followed by Audiology in the first Spring semester. Then, Acoustic Phonetics and Normal Language can be taken in the second Fall and be followed by Articulation Disorders and Language Disorders in the second Spring semester. They can also choose to stretch the senior courses over two years.

Permission Required and Minimum GPA to Enter Major:

  • Permission to enroll for the Fall junior level/prerequisite courses is based on GPA. Students must have a 2.75 GPA to obtain permission for the initial set of Fall courses (Normal Language, Acoustic Phonetics, Speech and Hearing Mech). A student's GPA in the last 30 hours may be calculated to satisfy this requirement. In addition, permission is given on a rolling basis using GPA as the criterion - those with higher GPAs receive permission earlier. Once classes are full, the program will maintain a waiting list for students who meet the required 2.75 minimum GPA. Students on this list will be given "first priority" to fill openings in the major courses.

Minimum Credit Hours to Enter Major:

  • Undergraduate students should have approximately 64 credit hours when beginning the major sequence in the junior year. With students who have fewer hours, it should be determined whether it is possible for them to make up the hours by taking larger loads and/or attending summer school between their junior and senior year.

Pre-Practicum Clinical Observations

Each Speech-Language Pathology student must complete 30 clock hours of directed observation of clinical evaluation and treatment procedures prior to enrolling in Practicum. Students should understand that while there is no required minimum for a given disorder or age group, students must observe a variety and range of clinical procedures related to each disorder area (regardless of age group) and each age group (regardless of disorders) as well as including evaluation and treatment procedures. For students completing this requirement in the UCO program, this process is administered through the Language Disorders course taken in the Spring semester of the Junior year or the second semester while completing prerequisite courses.

Protocol for Addressing Student Concerns

Given that we all - instructors, supervisors, and students - are human, it may be inevitable that misunderstandings occur. The UCO Speech-Language Pathology program is dedicated to preserving a relationship with its students that is based on caring, trust, honesty, and personal dignity. Whether it involves advisement, course examinations, or practicum grade assignment, it is important that all persons involved think through a situation that is of concern to identify the source of any miscommunication. Most such situations can be resolved by reviewing the steps that led to the misunderstanding. In any case, to resolve a problem appropriately, it is important that as a student, you understand the protocol for addressing your concerns. It may take more than one conversation and, in some cases, both parties may be served by having a third neutral party present to ensure accuracy and objectivity is maintained. Generally, the appropriate "chain of command" to address concerns would be as follows:

  • Individual instructor/supervisor involved
  • Program Director
  • Department Chairperson
  • College Dean
  • Graduate Dean (graduate)
  • V.P. Academic Affairs (undergraduate and graduate)
  • University President
  • ASHA Council on Academic Accreditation

This protocol would begin by addressing the concern with the individual instructor or supervisor involved. If the problem is not resolved after the most sincere efforts, the concern could next be shared with the program director. (If the concern involves the program director, then either another faculty member or the department chairperson could be consulted; however, the program director, as with instructors and supervisors deserves the opportunity to respond directly to the concern.) If the program director does not satisfactorily address the concern, the student could then consult with the department chairperson. If the department chairperson is unable to resolve the concern, the student could then consider consulting with the dean of the college. If it is necessary to proceed beyond the college dean, graduate students could next discuss the situation with the dean of the graduate college. If necessary, following the dean of the graduate college, graduate students could then proceed by discussing the situation with a representative of Academic Affairs. Following unsatisfactory resolution with the college dean, undergraduate students could confer with Academic Affairs. If the situation warrants, the student could then contact the President's office. Ultimately, students have the option of contacting ASHA's Council on Academic Accreditation to address what they judge to be a significant concern.

In any case, every sincere effort should be made to first address the concern directly with the individual instructor or supervisor. This may be done with the simultaneous mediation of the program director, if necessary. This should be done in a way that seeks to resolve the misunderstanding - finding a solution is more important than assigning blame. It is rare that a problem is truly one-sided. Therefore, it is usually appropriate for the concerned parties to approach the resolution with some thought about how they may have contributed to the problem. If the problem can not be resolved on a one-to-one basis then the students should proceed to the next level in the protocol.

A central goal for all parties involved is to keep the problem in perspective. Does the concern actually warrant the stress on the student, the faculty, the program, and the university? Is the concern something that will make a significant difference to the student's academic or professional career or the program's integrity to such a degree that the distractions of prolonged discussions are warranted? In any case, our program is dedicated to preserving a relationship with students that is based on caring, trust, honesty, and personal dignity.

Student Conduct

Conduct as a student in a training program is viewed as a strong indicator of the integrity and honesty an individual will display as a professional after graduation. The program must, in several ways, vouch for and verify that each individual who graduates and obtains professional credential to work in the field of Speech-Language Pathology is in fact a person who can be trusted. Frequent access to clients' and patients' confidential and medical information, responsibilities for record-keeping and billing, and the ability to assess client progress objectively are among a variety of reasons it is important to demonstrate ethical behavior throughout one's career, beginning in school. Academic honesty is an essential characteristic that should be demonstrated in every aspect of classroom behavior, clinical activity, scholarly research, and off-campus experiences.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not confined to: plagiarizing; cheating on tests or examinations; turning in counterfeit reports, tests, and papers; stealing tests or other academic material; knowingly falsifying academic records or documents of the institution; accessing another student's confidential academic records without authorization; disclosing confidential academic information without authorization; and turning in the same work to more than one class without informing the instructors involved; and submitting inaccurate records of clock hours. Again, this list is not comprehensive; any instance of unethical conduct that fits this pattern of misconduct can be considered academic dishonesty. Each student is expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach. Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in their academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student deemed to have engaged in academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the program and university.

Please, refer to the UCO Office of Student Conduct for further information.

Verification of Knowledge and Skills Proficiencies

Beginning January 1, 2005, all masters graduates applying for the ASHA CCC are required to submit the verification form signed by the Program Director that indicates they have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required for the ASHA CCC. ASHA developed the ASHA Knowledge and Skills Assessment (KASA) instrument, which outlines the knowledge (concepts, principles, and terminology) and skills (procedures, applications, tasks, etc.) that are central to the conduct of our profession. Each student's development in professional knowledge areas and clinical skills is to be documented and maintained by the program. To serve this purpose, the UCO Speech-Language Pathology program has developed the Formative Assessment Document (FAD)to track each student's development in the knowledge proficiencies. This instrument is based on classroom performance, course artifacts, experiences with culturally diverse populations, and participation in professional meetings, among other requirements. The Basic Competencies Checklist has been used and has evolved since the 1980s to verify clinicians' proficiency in a variety of specific skills and procedures. Following each full semester, students will submit their FAD/BCC binder for tracking and verification by the Program Director. Completion of requirements contained in the FAD/BCC binder represents the knowledge and skill proficiencies required for the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence. The completed KASA verification form, signed by the Program Director is required when applying for the ASHA CCC.