Communication Sciences & Disorders Major | Baldwin Wallace University

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,



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.


For the past 18 years, 95 percent of the BW communication sciences & disorders students who applied to graduate school have been accepted, surpassing the national average of 34 percent.


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of speech-language clinicians is expected to increase 18 percent from 2016 to 2026.


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


Speech-language pathology
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.

    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.


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.

The communication disorders major prepares students to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of typical speech and language development
  • Demonstrate knowledge of communication sciences
  • Demonstrate knowledge of communication disorders
  • Demonstrate research/analytical skills
  • Demonstrate skills in clinical/experiential learning related to communication sciences and disorders
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

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


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.


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.


Students from the communication sciences & disorders major can volunteer to help in the Speech Clinic or in service projects sponsored by the department.


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


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


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

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).


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



Full-Time Faculty

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

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

Donna Edwards
Associate Professor
M.A., Marshall University

Charles Hughes
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

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

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

Amy Larocca
Assistant Professor
M.A., The Ohio State University

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

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

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

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

Adjunct Faculty

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

Charita Gadson
Clinical Supervisor
M.A., Case Western Reserve University

Taniesha Jackson
Clinical Supervisor
M.A., Miami University

Lauren Kallevig
Clinical Supervisor
M.A., Kent State University

Jessica LaDow
Clinical Supervisor
M.A., Kent State University

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

Melissa Pawlak
Clinical Supervisor
M.S., Lamar University

Charles V. Williams
Associate Degree, Cuyahoga Community College

Affiliate Faculty

Lauren Holecko
Olmsted Falls City Schools