Communication Sciences & Disorders Major | Baldwin Wallace University

Communication Sciences and Disorders

College of Education and Health Sciences

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Undergraduate Admission

(440) 826-2222,

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Department Chair: Laura Hvizd, (440) 826-5929,



If your career interest includes speech, language and hearing, Baldwin Wallace's communication sciences and disorders major will prepare you for success. With two tracks of study, the major offers a traditional four-year format and integrated speech-language pathology track that enables you to earn both bachelor and master’s degrees in five years.

Focused Study in Speech Therapy, Communication Disorders, Audiology

You’ll learn from professors with decades of classroom, clinical and research experience and participate in research studies. You'll work with clients who have diverse communication needs through BW's renowned Speech Clinic, community agencies, internships and volunteer programs.

Whether your career interest is speech-language pathology, audiology, speech science, hearing science or a related allied health field, the study of communication sciences and disorders offers you outstanding preparation for graduate school. For the past 21 years, 95 percent of BW communication sciences and disorders students who applied to graduate school have been accepted, surpassing the national average of 34 percent.

5 Year Speech-Language Pathology Program Combines B.S. and M.S.

As a communication sciences and disorders major, you can apply to BW's five-year integrated B.S./M.S. program in SLP during the summer between your second and third year. If accepted, you'll take graduate coursework beginning your fourth year at BW and transition directly into the graduate program. You’ll earn both bachelor of science and master of science degrees and be prepared to enter the workforce career-ready in five years — a full year early.

  • 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.

    Communication sciences and disorders students spend three semesters gaining clinical experience in the BW Speech Clinic, which provides free services to more than 200 patients annually.

  • 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.

Career-Marketable Major

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 27 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Careers in Communication Sciences and Disorders

The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and many states, including Ohio, require a master's degree for certification as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist. Communication sciences and disorders career pathways include:

  • Speech-language pathology
  • Audiology
  • Special education
  • School counseling
  • Allied health professions (which include a range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and support services in connection with healthcare)

Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology

BW offers a two-year Master of Science in the speech-language pathology program that provides integrated learning that includes classroom rigor with comprehensive and extensive clinical experiences.


Offered as a major and minor, communication sciences and disorders is a pre-professional program. Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are hallmarks of the program.

What You'll Learn

The communication sciences and disorders major prepares students to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of typical speech and language development, communication sciences and communication disorders that include the areas of articulation, language, fluency, voice, resonance and hearing.
  • An understanding of the techniques and applications for evaluating, treating and preventing communication disorders in individuals whose ages span infancy through geriatric and whose remediation needs may involve articulation, language, literacy, swallowing and hearing.
  • Research and analytical skills.
  • Clinical/experiential learning skills through supervised opportunities to lead individual and group therapy sessions while obtaining ASHA clinical hours.
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

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


You’ll 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.

Baldwin Wallace Speech Clinic

Extensive and intensive learning opportunities make BW's Speech Clinic distinctive in providing you with hands-on experience. Under the supervision of a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist, you’ll work with clients of all ages who have speech, language and communication disorders related to autism, articulation, voice, reading, traumatic brain injury, Down's Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke and concussion.

BW’s Speech Clinic has decades of proven success. Its professional operations and environment provide advanced learning for students that parallels graduate-school experiences. The clinic is open year-round.

Service Opportunities

Students from the communication sciences and disorders major can volunteer for projects sponsored by the department – the BW Speech Clinic Carnival, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the Buddy Walk for Downs Syndrome Awareness, the Cleveland Food Bank, and many others.


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

  • Effectiveness of parent training in early intervention
  • Community Engagement in Zambia, Africa
  • Transgender voice and well-being
  • BW’s engagement with international clients via telecommunication


BW's proximity to Cleveland puts you within easy access to top hospitals, clinics, public health organizations and other facilities.

Student Clubs and Organizations

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

National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA)

A professional 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 a speech clinic carnival for patients and families from the Speech Clinic.


BW communication sciences and disorders students have 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 and language – including BW’s graduate speech-language pathology program. Others attend graduate program in related areas of study at schools such as:

  • Ohio State University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • George Washington University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Syracuse University
  • Edinboro University
  • Northeast Ohio Au.D. Consortium



Laura Hvizd headshot

Chair, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department
Associate Professor
M.A., Cleveland State University

Laura Hvizd

Learn More >

Full-Time Faculty

Laura Hvizd
Chair, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department
Associate Professor

M.A., Cleveland State University

Christie A. Needham
Director of Clinical Education, Baldwin Wallace Speech Clinic
M.A., The University of Akron

Colleen F. Visconti
Program Director
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Eric Bonilla
Assistant Professor
M.A. The University of Akron

Charita Gadson
Associate Professor
M.A., Case Western Reserve University

Kara Hodge
Assistant Professor
M.A., The George Washington University

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

Lauren Kallevig
Assistant Professor
M.A., Kent State University

Amy O'Brien
Associate Professor
M.A., Cleveland State University

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

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

Amy Vaughn
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Kent State University

Adjunct Faculty

Maureen Bartinelli
Clinical Supervisor
M.A., Kent State University

Taya Neumann
M.A., University of Akron

Megan Perkins
Clinical Supervisor
M.A., The University of Akron

Melissa Pawlak
Clinical Supervisor
M.S., Lamar University

Julianne Wolf
M.S., Bowling Green State University

Affiliate Faculty

Lauren Holecko
Olmsted Falls City Schools