The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee offers a completely online, second bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) with a concentration in Speech-Language Sciences. Applications are now open and classes begin the summer of 2014. The degree is open only to students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in a field outside of CSD with an overall GPA of at least 2.75. The program consists of 12 upper-level major courses, plus four prerequisites that can be taken as part of the program if they were not satisfied by prior coursework.
“As a student transitioning from one field (business) to this entirely different field, the courses prepared me very well to pursue my dream of becoming a certified Speech Language Pathologist,” said Paula Millen, a student who lives in Tampa. “My interactions with the instructors alleviated any anxiety on my part about pursuing this course of study – which I found particularly outstanding in an online, virtual setting.”
Since the program is completely online, students are responsible for having technology that meets program specifications, and for completing online orientation and advising prior to registration for classes.
All cohorts begin in the summer term only, and each requires students to complete specific courses in a “lock-step sequence” each semester. The program is offered with two cohort options of either four courses per term as a full-time student or two courses per term as a part-time student.
By the end of the program, students should be able to demonstrate familiarity with the treatment of communication disorders at a level appropriate for the position of Speech-Language Pathology Assistant. They will have knowledge of basic human communication and swallowing processes, including their biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, linguistic and cultural bases which are aligned with industry standards. Graduates will have strong critical thinking skills, including the ability to engage in inductive and deductive reasoning as well as the aptitude to demonstrate written communication skills by writing clear and persuasive texts that include correctly applied professional language.
“The 2nd Bachelor’s degree program provides the education students need to be competitive in the path to a career in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology,” said Susan Fulton, Ph.D., assistant professor of Speech-Language Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences at USFSM. “Our program is tailored to give students the knowledge and skills expected of them in the future. The online format allows scheduling flexibility, distance learning and a student-centered teaching approach. The full-time and part-time cohorts have filled to capacity each year, indicating the program’s popularity. Careers in Communication Sciences and Disorders have excellent outlooks. In 2013, CareerCast.com ranked 200 jobs from best to worst. Audiology placed 4th in the list and Speech-Language Pathology placed 12th. The job growth for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology are both considered to be faster than the average for all occupations.”
Courses include: Introduction to Language Development & Disorders, Introduction to Speech Science, Introduction to Hearing Sciences, Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism, Applied Phonetics in Communication Disorders, Introduction to Disorders of Hearing, Introduction to the Clinical Process( requires 25 observation hours), Neuroanatomy, Introduction to Clinical Methods and Counseling in CSD, Aural Rehabilitation, Introduction to Speech Disorders, Adult Neurogenic/Acquired Communication Disorders.