Communication Sciences & Disorders

School of Health Sciences

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Communication Sciences & Disorders

(440) 826-2149

Christie Needham, M.A., CCC-SLP
Chair, Communication Sciences & Disorders
Associate Professor
Director of Clinical Education, Baldwin Wallace Speech Clinic
(440) 826-2070, cneedham@bw.edu

OVERVIEW

Extensive clinical and research opportunities coupled with rigorous coursework and mentoring make Baldwin Wallace's communication sciences & disorders major an outstanding program of study.

With an established record of success, the program offers ideal preparation for graduate school in speech-language pathology, audiology, speech science, hearing science or a related allied health field. It also offers a strong foundation for careers in special education and school counseling, among other areas.

You'll have opportunities to work with clients with diverse communication needs through the BW Speech Clinic, community agencies, internships and volunteer programs. This type of exposure equates to graduate school-level experience.

Research is inherent to the program. Through coursework and other initiatives, you'll learn to critically evaluate research as well as conduct a clinically based research study. You also can work alongside faculty and clinic staff in conducting real-world research.

OUTSTANDING GRADUATE SCHOOL ACCEPTANCE

For the past 16 years, 96 percent of the BW communication sciences & disorders students who applied to graduate school have been accepted, surpassing the national average of 34 percent.

CAREER-MARKETABLE MAJOR

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to increase 19 percent from 2012 to 2022. This is faster than the average for all occupations.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/speech-language-pathologists.html

MASTER'S IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

BW's two-year Master of Science in speech-language pathology program provides integrated learning that combines classroom rigor with comprehensive, extensive clinical experience.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Speech-language pathology
Audiology
Special education
School counseling
Allied health professions

  • Assistant Professor Chisomo Selemani with a student.

    Small class sizes and faculty mentoring enable you to develop valuable relationships with faculty and other professionals in the field.

  • A student working with a boy in the BW Speech Clinic.

    Providing services free of charge to more than 100 adults and children each week, the BW Speech Clinic offers outstanding clinical opportunities. You will work with clients with diverse needs under the supervision of a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. 

  • A student in the observation room at the BW Speech Clinic.

    With more clinical experience than graduates of many other programs, BW communication sciences and disorders graduates stand out. BW students average 80 clinical contact hours, exceeding the national average of 44 hours. 

CURRICULUM

Offered as a major and minor, communication sciences & disorders is a pre-professional program that prepares you to work with individuals having communication disorders.

Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are hallmarks of BW's communication sciences & disorders program.

Baldwin Wallace offers two types of degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree for students not planning to attend graduate school or for those interested in attending graduate school for non-communication sciences disciplines
  • Bachelor of Science degree for students who want to apply to graduate school for speech-language pathology or audiology
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.

STUDENT EXPERIENCES

You can supplement classroom studies with experiential learning opportunities that include research, internships, co-curricular activities and client-based services through the BW Speech Clinic and community outreach screenings.

BW SPEECH CLINIC

Extensive and intensive learning opportunities make BW's Speech Clinic distinctive.

You can provide speech, language and hearing service to clients under the supervision of a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist.

Services, including in-depth, diagnostic evaluations, are available to clients for a variety of speech, language and communication disorders related to autism, articulation, voice, reading, traumatic brain injury, Down's Syndrome, stroke and concussion, among others.

The Speech Clinic has impressive equipment, individual therapy rooms, group therapy room and observation area. This environment mirrors professional settings, enhances the learning experience for BW students and provides quality care for clients.

SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Students from the communication sciences & disorders major can volunteer to provide speech and hearing screenings at schools and in surrounding communities.

RESEARCH

Opportunities include individual research studies as well as collaborative ones with BW faculty or clinical staff members. Recent topics have addressed:

  • Assessing the Effectiveness of an Online Training Program for Caregivers and Support Staff of Patients with Dementia or Dementia-like Symptoms
  • Analysis of communication in functionally nonverbal children
  • Effectiveness of group intervention on cognition and communication in geriatric adults

INTERNSHIPS

BW's proximity to Cleveland puts you within easy access to top hospitals, clinics, public health organizations and other facilities offering services. Students in the communication sciences & disorders program have averaged over 200 hours of internship experience this year.

STUDENT CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS

Personally and professionally rewarding, student organizations and activities foster career skills, leadership and teamwork. Opportunities include:

National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA)
A profession organization, NSSLHA is a source of information for students interested in this career field. Members learn about advancements in the field, enhance their academic experience and benefit from networking opportunities. BW's chapter hosts two annual events:

  • Sponsored Silence raises awareness for those without voices. Sponsored Silence allows people to see a variety of ways to communicate including through American Sign Language, photos and computers.
  • Communication for Walk is a fundraiser for the Middleburg Early Education Center, Smile Train, BW Speech Clinic and the families in need of services and/or technology.

Student success is celebrated at Baldwin Wallace. Communication sciences & disorders students are regularly recognized for their achievements through:

Edith A. White Speech Scholarship (in honor of Edith A. White, who received her undergraduate education at BW and went on to a successful 42-year teaching career).

Donna E. Fry Scholarship (in honor of Donna Fry '58, who had great admiration for BW professors).

Thomas (Jake) Beyer & Thomas N. Lauria Scholarships (in honor of Thomas "Jake" Beyer '83 and Thomas N. Lauria).

ALUMNI SUCCESS

At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

BW communication sciences & disorders students have gone on to successful careers in a variety of settings – schools, clinics, nonprofit agencies, medical facilities, nursing homes and private practice.

The vast majority attend graduate programs in speech-language pathology. Other graduate areas of study include audiology, counseling, special education and allied health professions.

Recent BW Communication Sciences and Disorders majors are finding their success at:

Appalachian State
Baldwin Wallace University
Bowling Green State University
Case Western Reserve University
Clarion University
Edinboro University
Florida Atlantic University
George Washington University
Longwood University
Miami University (Ohio)
Molloy College
Northeast Ohio Au.D. Consortium
Ohio State University
Ohio University
Old Dominion University
Syracuse University
University of Akron
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado – Boulder
University of Massachusetts
University of New Hampshire
University of Nova Southeastern
University of Pittsburgh
University of Texas – Austin
University of Virginia
Western Carolina University

FACULTY

Full-Time Faculty

Colleen F. Visconti
Dean, School of Health Sciences
Professor
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Christie A. Needham
Chair, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department
Associate Professor
Director of Clinical Education, Baldwin Wallace Speech Clinic
M.A., The University of Akron

Amy Engelhoven
Assistant Professor
M.S., Missouri State University

Laura Hvizd
Assistant Clinical Professor
M.A., Cleveland State University

Christa M. Jones
Assistant Professor
M.A., University of Pittsburgh

Chisomo Selemani
Assistant Professor
M.A., Case Western Reserve University

Amy Tepper
Assistant Professor
Ed.D., National Louis University

Adjunct Faculty

Taya Neuman
Lecturer
M.A., The University of Akron

Charles V. Williams
Lecturer
Associate Degree, Cuyahoga Community College

Kelli Nicole Wright
Lecturer
Au.D., The University of Akron