Academics
Areas of Study

The Gallaudet University Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences (HSLS) Department offers degrees in three areas:

  • A Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (M.S.)
  • A Clinical Doctoral Degree in Audiology (Au.D.)
  • A doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences

Consistent with the mission of the University, the Department:

  • Prepares the next generation of highly qualified professionals in Speech-Language Pathology; Audiology; and Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences.
  • Provides state-of-the-science speech, language, and hearing services by the Hearing and Speech Center, which serves the Gallaudet community and the surrounding Washington, D.C., metropolitan area with emphasis on cultural and linguistic sensitivity, communication accessibility, and aural/auditory rehabilitation.
  • Conducts research to inform practice and advance knowledge in the field of hearing, speech, and language sciences, with an emphasis on linguistically and culturally diverse populations, with a particular focus on deafness.
  • Advocates for communication and cultural sensitivity to hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf individuals through education, professional affiliations, clinical service, research, and community outreach.

Department Strategic Plan 2017-2022

Executive Summary

The Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences (HSLS) Department Strategic Plan 2017-2022 focuses on growth and development in clinical training, research, and clinical services. Through addressing five specific goal areas and the attainment of specific goals and their associated objectives, we seek to expand and deepen clinical training and research to influence the Gallaudet community, the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and professional organizations through diverse client services, advocacy, collaboration and thought leadership.

The five HSLS Department goal areas are:

  • Student Training
  • Academic and Clinical Leadership
  • Research and Scholarship
  • Diversity, Bilingualism, and Multiculturalism
  • Client Services

Strategic Planning Process

This Plan was developed over the 2016-2017 academic year by the HSLS Department strategic plan committee. This committee consisted of Department members representing different stakeholders:

  • Clinic director (also Au.D. faculty)
  • Clinical coordinator in speech-language pathology and aural habilitation/rehabilitation
  • Clinical coordinator of audiology
  • Program director of the Ph.D. program
  • Two faculty members in the speech-language pathology program

The preliminary and assessment phases of the strategic planning process were conducted over two years (2014-2016) through information gathering and discussion, including:

  • Program self-assessment with the ASHA Quality Indicators self-assessment tool
  • Online surveys to all members of the Department
  • Discussion of University and Department priorities at Department meetings and Department and program retreats
  • SWOT analysis
  • Revision of the Department mission

Strategic Planning Timeline

  • Fall 2014: Department-wide ASHA Quality Indicators Survey conducted to determine areas of need, clinical and academic priorities, and immediate goals and obstacles
  • Spring 2015: Department mission revised and adopted
  • Fall 2015: Department retreat – general prioritization and consensus-building around critical issues and direction of the Department
  • Fall 2016: SWOT analysis, clarification and confirmation of strategic priorities and process changes
  • Spring 2017: Community comment and ongoing revision
  • May 2017: Implementation meeting – planning initiatives and actions for academic year 2017-2018

An issues-based approach to strategic planning was adopted in order to address critical issues within the Department, at the University, and within the field.

University Priorities *

  • Bilingualism: A task force will lead work to define the vision, values, and practices for Gallaudet’s bilingual community that includes working, research, learning, innovation, and engagement.
  • Campus climate, diversity, equity, and inclusion: We must create a campus climate and experience that welcomes all and is owned by everyone.
  • Student success: This priority includes continued efforts to recruit, retain, and engage our students by providing a learning and community environment for deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind, and hearing undergraduate and graduate students so that they can become leaders, innovators, and change makers.
  • Institutional leadership and strategic planning: This priority focuses on supporting the growth of leaders throughout the University and development and implementation of a strategic plan to focus our efforts and resources to strengthen Gallaudet for today and the future.
  • Academic vitality and strategic positioning: Influencing the world by sharing research, expertise, and knowledge that uniquely come from Gallaudet is central to achieving our mission.
  • Strengthening and diversifying revenue streams: We will focus on fiscal health of the university, institutional advancement, innovation, and opportunities.

*-As expressed by President Cordano in November 2016.

Department History

The Department of Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences has offered graduate courses since 1957, initially as the Audiology Department.

The M.S. degree program in speech-language pathology (SLP) was established in 1987. A clinical doctorate in audiology (Au.D.) was initiated in 1998 to replace a long-standing M.S. program in audiology. The Au.D. and SLP programs have been continuously accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation since their inception.

In 2003, a Ph.D. program was added to provide a post-Au.D. terminal degree in audiology. It was revised in 2011 to be a Ph.D. program in Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences, designed to prepare candidates for faculty and research positions in universities and other research facilities.

Until 2008, the Gallaudet University Hearing and Speech Center (GUHSC) followed a traditional university clinic, fee-for-service model for outpatient clients from the community. Gallaudet faculty, staff, and students received limited services free of charge. In 2008-2009 the clinic began a transformation to a health-insurance-accepting clinic, in alignment with University priorities to diversify revenue.

Over the next several years, the administrative staff expanded to support clinic operations. In the fall of 2016, the GUHSC was fully staffed with clinical speech-language pathology and audiology educators, as well as administrative support (e.g. billing and coding personnel, front-desk personnel, and a manager of administrative operations), to meet a growing clinical census and student training needs.

The HSLS Department serves many functions and responsibilities within the University:

  • Providing graduate training in speech-language pathology and audiology, and hearing, speech, and language sciences
  • Offering a range of clinical services to the Gallaudet and Washington, D.C., metropolitan communities
  • Offering undergraduate courses relating to speech, hearing, and consumerism, and graduate courses in audiology and amplification to other departments on campus
  • Supporting research aimed at a broad range of areas affecting deaf and hard of hearing individuals

The M.S. program in speech-language pathology provides a broad background in speech-language-hearing development, differences, and disorders with an emphasis on the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The non-clinical M.S. is an individually designed degree with master’s-level coursework without a clinical focus.

The clinical doctoral degree program in audiology (Au.D.) is designed to produce audiologists fully trained to work with deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals, offering a broad and intense academic curriculum and an integrated sequential clinical experience. The program is unique in that it trains audiologists to be proficient in American Sign Language with an understanding of the deaf community.

The Ph.D. program prepares speech-language pathologists and audiologists for academic, administrative, and research careers.

HSLS Vision

Growth and excellence in hearing, speech, and language research, training, and clinical services.

HSLS Mission

The Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences (HSLS) Department offers degrees in three areas: a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (M.S.), a Clinical Doctoral Degree in Audiology (Au.D.) and a research doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences.

The mission of the HSLS Department, consistent with the mission of the University, is to:

  • Prepare the next generation of highly-qualified professionals in Speech-Language Pathology; Audiology; and Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences.
  • Provide state-of-the-art speech, language, and hearing services by the Hearing and Speech Center, which serves the Gallaudet community and the surrounding Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, with emphasis on cultural and linguistic sensitivity, communication accessibility, and aural/auditory rehabilitation.
  • Conduct research to inform practice and advance knowledge in the field of hearing, speech, and language sciences, with an emphasis on linguistically and culturally diverse populations, with a particular focus on deafness.
  • Advocate for communication and cultural sensitivity to hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf individuals through education, professional affiliations, clinical service, research, and community outreach.

Hearing and Speech Center Vision

Our vision is to be recognized as the leading center for innovative hearing and speech solutions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, while educating our community that all communication is valuable and worthy of being acknowledged and celebrated, whether it be spoken or signed, with technology or not.

Hearing and Speech Center Mission

Our mission is to provide comprehensive and innovative hearing, balance, speech, and language services across the lifespan to individuals within the Gallaudet University community and in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. We are committed to this mission by using state-of-the-science solutions for providing client-centered care and excellent training opportunities for our graduate students.

HSLS Department Goal Areas

Student Training

(University Priority: Student Success)

Goal Statement: Nurture an academic department and hearing and speech center with state-of-the-science clinical services and research laboratories in which students have the opportunity to link their academic learning with hands-on clinical experiences and research activities. In turn, this will help the Department prepare the next generation of highly-qualified professionals in speech-language pathology, audiology, and hearing, speech, and language sciences.

Academic and Clinical Leadership

(University Priorities: Institutional leadership and strategic planning; Academic vitality and strategic positioning)

Goal Statement: Establish the Department as a leader in our areas of expertise on campus, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and within the professions of speech-language pathology, audiology, and hearing, speech, and language sciences.

Research and Scholarship

(University Priority: Academic vitality and strategic positioning)

Goal Statement: Support sustainability and growth of HSLS programs (SLP, Au.D., and Ph.D.), and pursue the University’s mission by supporting faculty research and scholarly activities.

Diversity, Bilingualism, and Multiculturalism

(University Priorities: Bilingualism; Campus climate, diversity, equity, and inclusion)

Goal Statement: Maintain a diverse, inclusive department that contributes to interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary activities, bilingual competence, and equitable culture across the university and beyond.

Client Services

(University Priority: Strengthening and diversifying revenue streams)

Goal Statement: Provide efficient, high-quality, state-of-the-art hearing, speech, and language services to improve communication and quality-of-life for individuals across the lifespan.

Goal Areas: Objectives

Student Training

  • Objective 1: Increase diversity of clinical and research experiences to ensure student training meets professional standards.
  • Objective 2: Recruit and retain high-caliber, top-ranked (top-ranked according to program specific rankings) students to the SLP, Au.D., and Ph.D. programs.
  • Objective 3: Utilize assessment to assure high level of student academic and professional success.
  • Objective 4: Implement the Ph.D. Doctoral “Program Review” recommendations to grow and sustain a viable program for the training of Ph.D. students.

Academic and Clinical Leadership

  • Objective 1: Maintain and expand HSLS leadership in theory, research, and clinical practice of audiologic/aural habilitation/rehabilitation.
  • Objective 2: Expand existing clinical services and research activities to make efficient and effective use of faculty and staff expertise.
  • Objective 3: Increase awareness and visibility of communication and hearing support services to the University and Washington, D.C., metropolitan communities.

Research and Scholarship

  • Objective 1: Ensure administrative and financial support for faculty research and scholarly activities.
  • Objective 2: Expand quality and quantity of Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities.
  • Objective 3: Increase research collaborations within the Department, interdepartmentally, and outside of the university.

Diversity, Bilingualism, and Multiculturalism

  • Objective 1: Expand diversity of faculty, staff, student, and clinical populations, especially from underrepresented and underserved groups.
  • Objective 2: Enrich Department integration across campus through increased interactions in American Sign Language and collaborations across the university in formal and informal contexts (e.g. University committees, holiday parties).
  • Objective 3: Promote inquiry into bilingual, multicultural, and global perspectives in academic, scholarly, and clinical activities.

Client Services:

  • Objective 1: Provide high customer satisfaction.
  • Objective 2: Maximize value of clinical services.

Implementation

The Strategic Plan 2017-2022 will be implemented in stages with annual review of initiatives, actions, and outcomes.

In May of each year, between Finals week and commencement, the chair of the Department, academic directors (SLP program, Au.D. program, and Ph.D. program directors), and clinic leaders (GUHSC clinic director, manager of clinical administrative operations, clinical coordinator-SLP, and clinical coordinator-Au.D.) will meet to review the Plan. The team will review progress and outcomes from the current academic year and develop initiatives and actions plans for the following academic year.

At the first Department meeting of the following academic year (August of each year), the Department chair will present the initiatives and actions of the current academic year to the Department.

The first strategic plan initiative and action meeting took place on May 10, 2017.

Initial Dates for Implementation

  • May 2017: Initiatives developed for academic year 2017-2018
  • August 2017: 2017-2018 initiatives and action plan introduced to Department
  • May 2018: 2017-2018 outcomes and progress reviewed; initiatives and action plan for 2018-2019 developed
  • August 2018: 2018-2019 initiatives and action plan introduced to Department

In addition to annual evaluations, the Department will also conduct an annual review that compares HSLS outcomes (e.g., student outcomes, research/scholarship) to those of comparable departments at other academic institutions.

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