College of Education and Professional Studies

Dr. Scott McLaughlin


Phone: (405) 974-5297

Office: LIB 162

Box: 80

General Information

Scott F. McLaughlin, Ph.D., (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1983) has been a member of the Speech-Language Pathology program, which has been organized under several different departments since Dr. McLaughlin came to the University of Central Oklahoma in 1983. Dr. McLaughlin’s initial appointment at UCO was his first in an institution of higher education and came just three months after receiving his doctoral degree. It was initially a temporary, non-tenure track position which became a permanent, tenure track position after several years. Dr. McLaughlin became the program coordinator in 1990. In 1994, the Speech-Language Pathology program became nationally accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for the first time. The program was re-accredited in 1998 and 2006.

Dr. McLaughlin’s doctorate was received in Communication Disorders in March 1983. Dr. McLaughlin held the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and was licensed by the Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the time of his appointment. Over the 28 years of Dr. McLaughlin’s tenure at UCO, he taught a variety of undergraduate courses in the Speech-Language Pathology program. Most consistently, he has recently taught Normal Language Development, Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology, Special Populations in Speech-Language Pathology, Language Disorders, Fluency Disorders, Cleft Palate, Neuroscience in SLP, and Aphasia I.

“During my time at UCO, I have authored several articles related to my interest in fluency disorders and language development. I have made several presentations at state and local professional meetings. In 1998, my textbook Introduction to Language Development was published by Singular Publishing. A second edition was published in 2006 by Delmar-Thomson Learning. A third edition is currently being developed. This text was a labor of love and frustration. I loved the subject matter that is so central to my field – language behavior – and saw the essential way in which a behavioral model of language development is integrated into the practice of Speech-Language Pathology. At the same time, I was frustrated with continually explaining to students that the material related to the behavioral model in the available normal language textbooks was inaccurate to the point of being detrimental to their understanding of principles that are fundamental to our field. I became determined to remedy this by writing a text of my own.”

“In 1989, I was elected as President-Elect to the state association – the Oklahoma-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (OSHA). I served as President during 1990. During this time, OSHA engaged with the Oklahoma State Department of Education in altering the teacher certification requirements for Speech-Language Pathology. I also served as Publication Chair for OSHA from 1992-1998. In 1995, I was recognized by OSHA with the Honors of the Association award. I was also able to serve on the Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from 1999-2001 and served as Chair of the Board for 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. In those two years, the Board implemented an array of changes to the rules and regulations for the Board and established a full-time office and Executive Secretary. I was able to play an instrumental role in this process. As gratifying as the time, effort, and honors associated with my efforts with the state association and board were, they did not compare with the rewards of working with our students. In 1990, I received “NSSLHA Advisor Honors,” an award based on being nominated by students. In 1996 I received the “UCO Presidential Partners Excellence” in Teaching Award” and in 2002, the UCO Faculty Enhancement Center-Excellence in Teaching Award.” Finally, in 2002, the National Ambucs recognized my efforts in obtaining student scholarships with the “National Therapist of the Year Award.” While these awards were rewarding, they do not compare to the rewards of having worked with so many capable, dedicated, and personable students over the last 28 years.”

“I came to Oklahoma based on a geographical error. Having grown up in Minnesota, I was applying to graduate programs “in the Midwest.” I included an application to Oklahoma without really checking the map! When it turned out that the OUHSC Communication Disorders program made a scholarship offer that I could not refuse, even after checking the map, I moved all the way to Oklahoma. Of course, that was to be a temporary move – until I met a classmate who was to become my wife. My wife, Kathy, and I married in 1979 and we had twins in March 1983, just a few months before beginning my tenure at UCO. The best of my many family memories are intimately intertwined with my memories of working at UCO. In the same way that my time in Oklahoma was to be temporary, my initial employment at “Central” was to be temporary – I planned staying on a year or two to have some teaching experience on my resume when it was time to move on. Soon I came to enjoy the students and recognized the potential to develop a strong program at Central. At the time I came to the program, there were about fourteen undergraduate students and five graduate students and we served about 16 clients in the Speech & Hearing Clinic. The program now has approximately 80 undergraduate students and 50 graduate students and serves 80 or more clients in several facilities. It has been so gratifying to watch highly qualified professionals being drawn to teach and supervise in the program which in turn has attracted an increasing number of impressive, highly qualified students. Beyond that, meeting and reconnecting with what is now hundreds of alumni at professional meetings and public places who still feel so connected to our program is like having a second family.”

“When I think of my teaching philosophy, three phrases come to mind – clear expectations, high standards, and expanding boundaries. First, students deserve every opportunity to achieve at their optimal level. I strive to make my expectations clear and to make them aware of essential information for which they are responsible. Second, I strive to convey the high standards they must meet to enter our program and our profession. It is important that every student understands what lies ahead so they can endeavor to achieve at that level. Finally, I hope to expand students’ boundaries by exposing them to increasingly complex concepts and varied experiences as their training progresses. Because it is my goal that our graduates are prepared for any professional setting, my students must be challenged with clear expectations, high standards, and a broad range of challenging real-world experiences. I have always told students as they graduate that we could not teach them everything they’ll ever need to know – we can only hope to teach them everything they’ll need to grow. In my judgment, so many of our graduates reflect this process – clear expectations of themselves, high standards for themselves and their colleagues, and boundaries that are constantly expanded as they learn and grow.”