Persons who study disorders of communication are interested in people of all ages who demonstrate difficulty developing effective and appropriate communication skills or who have lost their ability to communicate because of strokes or traumatic brain injury or other physical problems. There are two areas of study in communication disorders at the University of Tulsa—deaf education and speech-language pathology.
Students majoring in Deaf Education earn undergraduate degrees and state certification to teach deaf and hard of hearing students. The program of study includes field-based practica located in the Tulsa area as well as at residential schools for the deaf in Oklahoma and Kansas. Upon completion of the program, graduates seek employment in public school programs as self-contained or itinerant teachers or at residential schools for the deaf.
The B.A. in deaf education provides an excellent foundation for graduate programs that specialize in the education of deaf or hard of hearing students (e.g., early intervention to work with families and infants and toddlers with hearing loss) and related fields such as audiology, linguistics, or counseling.
Students who choose to study speech-language pathology earn an undergraduate degree (or take prerequisite coursework) as well as a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Undergraduate students follow a strict sequence of basic science and pre-professional courses during their undergraduate study and participate in a clinical practicum at the onsite speech, language and hearing clinic during their senior year. Master’s degree students study communication sciences and disorders in their graduate coursework and participate in clinical practicum on-site as well as off-site in a hospital/rehabilitation center and a school setting.
Speech-language pathologists facilitate the development or rehabilitation of speech and language skills with people throughout the lifespan (birth to end-of-life) in a variety of settings such as early intervention programs, hospital/rehabilitation facilities, schools, clinics, and private practices.
Mission of the Department of Communication Disorders
The mission of the Department of Communication Disorders is to provide a high-quality educational experience, clinical training, and research opportunities for students pursuing professional careers in speech-language pathology and Deaf education. These programs combine a broad liberal arts undergraduate curriculum with strong academic coursework and practicum opportunities as a background for the management of communication disabilities. The Department seeks to produce highly qualified graduates to serve persons with communication disabilities in any professional setting. Based on this mission statement, the Department of Communication Disorders has established several overall goals which are listed below:
Graduates from the Bachelor’s degree program in deaf education will be able to:
- Meet eligibility for OK teacher certification (OK has reciprocity agreements with several states)
- Apply for provisional national CED national certification
- Be employed as a teacher of students with hearing loss in public, residential, and charter schools
- Be prepared to enter a master’s degree program in deaf education or related
Graduates from the Master’s degree program in speech-language pathology will be able to:
- Meet eligibility for ASHA certification
- Meet eligibility for OK state license and OK teacher certification
- Be employed in a medical facility, school, or private practice setting
- Be prepared for admission into a doctoral level program
- Be prepared to assume leadership positions in professional organizations
The program in Deaf Education is accredited by the Council on the Education of the Deaf. The master’s program in speech-language pathology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.