Communication Sciences & Disorders Program

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Graduate Programs of Study


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Speech-Language Pathology FAQs

What if I have a bachelor’s degree in another field?

Answer: Please see information regarding our preparatory program, the Certificate in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

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What is the employment rate for SLP graduates?

Answer: The job market for the profession of speech-language pathology is excellent. Our graduates work in a variety of settings: schools, hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, etc. Some of our recent graduates have decided to work abroad and some have spent several years on the road working as traveling speech-language pathologists. Our recent employment rates appear below:

Employment Rates

  Employment Rate in Profession
Graduating year Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
2015–2016 16 89
2014–2015 15 95
2013–2014 16 94
3 Year Average 93

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What is the student passing rate on the PRAXIS?

Answer: The PRAXIS examination is required by ASHA to receive professional certification. Students typically take this exam during their second spring semester. We are very proud of the fact that our students score above national average and above New York state average. Our students’ passing rates appear below. (The data reflect the number of graduate students whose results have been forwarded to the department.)

PRAXIS Passing Rates

Period Number of Students Number of Students Passed Pass Rate
2015–2016 17 17 100
2014–2015 20 20 100
2013–2014 18 18 100
3 Year Average 100

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How many graduate applicants do you get each year and how many do you admit?

Answer: Over the past few years there have been approximately 100 applicants to our graduate program per year. Of those, approximately 18 of the qualified candidates are granted admission to the program.

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On what criteria are admission decisions based?

Answer: Our admissions procedures are explained in the packet titled "Guidelines for Master of Arts (M.A.) in Speech-Language Pathology." Admission decisions are based on six criteria: GPA, GRE, letter of intent, letters of recommendation, personal interview, and writing sample.

Initial review of the candidate’s application package includes review of GPA, GRE, letter of intent and letters of recommendation. Based on these criteria a candidate will or will not continue in the admissions process. If the candidate continues, he or she will be required to take part in a personal interview which will take place in April. All candidates will be required to attend this interview day. On that day each candidate will meet individually with two different faculty members, provide the committee with a writing sample (done on that day) and participate in a "proficiency" measure of knowledge of the basic sciences (as defined by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association). After the interview day, a profile of the candidate’s performance on the five criteria will be developed. Decisions regarding admission will be based on each candidate’s profile and will be made by the graduate committee as a whole.

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How long will it take to complete the graduate program?

Answer: Students are enrolled in graduate courses and on-campus practicum for 4 semesters and one summer. During their 2nd year, students go off-campus on their internships.

Master’s Degree Completion Rates

The data reflect the number of students who have graduated in the expected number of semesters.

Graduating year Number of students who graduated on time Number of students who graduated later Number of students who did not graduate Percentage completing
2015–2016 18 0 0 100
2014–2015 19 1 0 95
2013–2014 18 0 1 97
2012–2013 19 0 0 100
3 year average 19 0 0 96.6

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What is the difference between the 897 and 898 curriculum codes?

Answer: You will apply for the 898 curriculum if you have no interest in teacher certification. You will apply for the 897 curriculum if you have provisional teacher certification (student taught as an undergraduate) and want to meet the requirements for permanent teacher certification. You also will apply for the 897 curriculum if you do not have provisional certification (did not student teach as an undergraduate), but will be student teaching as a graduate student and want to meet the requirements for provisional teacher certification.

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What types of instructional means are used in graduate classes?

Answer: Graduate courses are taught using a variety of teaching methods. Traditional lecture, group work, class discussions, and the use of multimedia technology including web-based materials are used in most classes.

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What types of clients will I see during my on-campus practica?

Answer: You will the receive the opportunity to gain clinical experience with clients of all ages exhibiting all types of communication disorders including child and adult speech, language, voice and fluency. In addition, you will have the opportunity to work with clients exhibiting traumatic brain injury (TBI), clients from the Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and clients in area nursing homes.

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What type of supervision will I receive during my on-campus practica?

Answer: Graduate students are gathering clinical experience at the same time they are providing assessment and therapy in our Speech and Hearing Center. Graduate clinicians will be supervised by teaching faculty as well as supervisory staff. Most therapy rooms in the Speech and Hearing Center are directly observable through the use of 1-way mirrors. In addition, each therapy room is equipped with a video camera and each supervisor’s office is equipped with a TV monitor and VCR. This allows for direct supervision at all times.

The exact amount of supervision varies, but it always matches the needs of a particular student with a specific client. After all sessions observed, supervisors give written or verbal feedback to the clinician.

The supervisory staff does a midterm evaluation of the clinician’s performance so that the clinician is aware of his or her strengths and areas in need of focus. This feedback is beneficial to the clinician who can then work on improving specific clinical skills.

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When and where do we go for our off-campus internships?

Answer: Graduate students go to off-campus internship sites during their 2nd year in the graduate program. Our graduate students have found that they are comfortable in their internships because of their background and experience. In addition, our program has received a great deal of positive feedback regarding the preparation of our graduate students as interns.

Our department has contractual agreements with over 100 internship sites all over the United States and Canada which provide experiences with a variety of disorder categories in a variety of settings. If a student wishes to intern at a facility that we do not have a contract with, the student may, in conjunction with the Clinical Director, pursue a contractual agreement with that site.

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about the graduate program in communication sciences and disorders at SUNY Plattsburgh please contact:

Suzanne Hungerford, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director
Office: Sibley Hall 222B
Phone: (518) 564-5276
Email: [email protected]

Patrick Coppens, Ph.D., Interim Chair
Office: Sibley Hall 222C
Phone: (518) 564-2173
Email: [email protected]

SUNY Plattsburgh
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Sibley Hall 226
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901