CAA Elections—Academic Members

Academic Speech-Language Pathologist Slate | Election Results

Ballots from CAA-Accredited Academic Programs Due September 15, 2014

The election to fill three academic speech-language pathologists vacancies on the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) is now open! All new terms will begin on January 1, 2015.

Notices were e-mailed to program directors of CAA-accredited programs [PDF] on August 26 with instructions on how to submit your program's vote online. All votes must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on September 15, 2014.

Each CAA-accredited academic program, whether accredited in audiology or in speech-language pathology, may cast one vote for each academic vacancy on the CAA, regardless of whether the vacancy is in audiology or speech-language pathology. Program directors are encouraged to include all faculty in the relevant profession in the discussion regarding the vote to be cast by the program. (Please note: Programs that hold candidacy status are not eligible to vote in CAA elections.)

Slate of Academic Nominees

All applicants for CAA positions were asked to write a brief statement describing the expertise that they would bring to the CAA, if elected. The following statements are the candidates' responses to this request, listed in alphabetical order by candidate.

Academic Speech-Language Pathologists (3 vacancies)

Mary Beth Armstrong
University of Montevallo

Shelly Chabon
Portland State University

Jennifer Campion Friberg
Illinois State University

Carolyn W. Higdon
University of Mississippi

 Monica Hough
Florida International University

Kathleen Scott
Hofstra University

Mary Beth Armstrong, PhD
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Professor
Department of Communication Science and Disorders
University of Montevallo
Montevallo, Alabama

I bring more than 30 years of experience in CSD: teaching and supervision; administration as a Clinic Director, Chair/Graduate Program Director; and as a CAA site visitor and site visit chair. I have 9 years of experience as a Dean and 8 months experience as an Interim VPAA. To be successful across this wide range of experiences one must be careful, diligent, analytical, attentive to details, collaborative, and committed to lifelong learning. I must be involved in consistent continuing education to be fully informed of current issues. This year I attended all of the accreditation-related sessions at the annual AAC&U and ASHA meetings. I have extensive experience with program review and accreditation. My college has 2 accredited programs: BS-Social Work and MS-SLP. I work closely with these areas on this process. Furthermore, UM has a rigorous program review process for non-accredited programs and I have been responsible for the oversight of 6 program reviews in the past 2 years. These reviews are conducted over the course of one academic year. I served on the University's last two SACS reaffirmation steering committees. In 2011 UM had an impressive reaffirmation with no recommendations, and SACS requested to use UM as one of three models for other universities.

I teach one graduate class annually in CSD, typically Professional Issues. This includes careful review of the standards and we work extensively through the ASHA website because of the numerous important resources that students entering the field need knowledge about and skills to access.

Shelly Chabon, PhD
Associate Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Professor
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
Portland State University
Portland, Oregon

I have worked in university settings for over 35 years and am familiar with ASHA standards and expectations for speech-language pathology education and have personally overseen the successful accreditation and re-accreditation by the CAA of two graduate-level programs, most recently for PSU's Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. I also had the opportunity to serve on the CAA in 2010, so I am familiar with the expectations and procedures that membership on the committee requires. I was the founding chair of a CSD department in Kansas City, MO, and in that role led them through the candidacy process. I recently attended and received in-depth training at the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Evaluator Training Workshop and sit on the Academic Program Prioritization Ad Hoc Committee as well as the Accreditation Ad Hoc Committee at Portland State. Combined with my experience listed above as well as my administrative oversight of twelve departments as an associate dean, I have extensive experience evaluating programs against set standards and for possibilities of improvement.

Jennifer Campion Friberg, EdD
Associate Professor
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois

From the beginning of my faculty career, I have been passionate about issues related to higher education and the advancement of our professions through the delivery of high-quality educational experiences. My time as Coordinator of SIG 10 has allowed me the opportunity to grow as a volunteer leader while simultaneously working to highlight the need for evidence-based educational practices to be used in college/university classrooms in the same manner that we use evidence-based practices in our clinical domains. Since last year, I've served as a CAA Site Visitor and have loved the experience. Seeing individual programs, closely examining standards for academic and clinical preparation, and understanding the diverse manner in which various programs meet their unique needs though creative and careful planning. SIG 10 allowed me a broad view of higher education in CSD; my Site Visitor experiences have allowed a more narrow understanding. I've appreciated both equally.

In December of this year, I will rotate off the SIG 10 Coordinating Committee and my service with that group will come to an end. I believe that I am ready for a new volunteer leadership challenge and would be honored to become a member of the CAA. I believe I have a comprehensive understanding of higher education and seek to expand my knowledge and work with others who are passionate about maintaining a high level of quality for programs to ensure the matriculation of eminently competent clinicians.

Carolyn W. Higdon, EdD
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Mississippi
Oxford, Mississippi

I have a strong interest in accreditation issues and standards, best practices and program comparisons. I am a past CAA site visitor (2003-2011), a past member of the Council for Clinical Certification, and a NSSLHA chapter advisor, as well as having experience with NCATE and JCAHO accreditation. During my academic tenure, I have had significant long range strategic planning experiences. Through the University of Mississippi Faculty Senate (2011-2014) I have been involved in university-wide projects that address accreditation issues across disciplines and have consulted to related disciplines in the area of accreditation.

I am a past CSD department chair, full professor, and currently hold appointment with the UM Medical School (associate professor, 2002-2014) with partial workload in direct clinical services/clinical teaching, addressing a regular caseload of pediatric and adult neuro, AAC, and voice cases. I have built/teach the three online distance education graduate courses that are currently administered through the UM CSD graduate program (MSD, Professional Issues, and Counseling) with two additional courses in process (AAC and Dysphagia). During my tenure on the ASHA Board of Directors (VP of Finance, 2012–2014), I have had exposure to policy, procedures and standards that enhance my understanding of accreditation.

Additional past history includes membership on the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) Professional Practices Board during the creation of the assistive technology practitioner certification and a past ASHA representative to the Professional Standards Committee of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and the International Commission on Healthcare Professions.

Monica Hough, PhD
Professor; Chairperson
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Florida International University
Miami, Florida

Since January 2012, I have been Chairperson of the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Florida International University. From 2003 through 2011, I was Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at East Carolina University.  In both roles, I have been actively involved in development and implementation of appropriate departmental student outcomes to adequately evaluate knowledge and skills assessment. In my role as Chair at FIU, I am responsible for preparing the CAA Accreditation annual report. At ECU, I worked closely with the Department Chair in preparing documentation for the 2006 re-accreditation site visit. Additionally, I have been a CAA Academic SLP site visitor since 2008, becoming a site visit chair in 2012. I believe I have a clear understanding of the CAA standards and can evaluate institutional compliance with standards.

Kathleen Scott, PhD
Associate Professor/Graduate Program Director
Department of Speech, Language Hearing Sciences
Hofstra University
Hempstead, New York

I welcome the opportunity to serve on the CAA. My clinical, academic, and administrative experiences combined provide the knowledge and skills needed to promote the CAA's purpose and role of ensuring quality education and clinical preparation of our graduates. In my role as an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, I have become knowledgeable regarding the key factors that are reviewed in the accreditation process. Such factors include curriculum (academic and clinical education), faculty and student issues, student and program assessment, and the importance of sufficient program resources. Overall, I feel my experience at the departmental, college, and university level will serve the committee well.

Election Results

An announcement about the 2015 CAA roster will be made at the completion of the election cycle in late September 2014. Selection for practitioner and public members of the CAA are handled through separate processes. Recruitment for positions on the CAA for terms beginning 2016 will be announced in early 2015.

If you have questions about the election process for academic members on the CAA, please contact Tess Kirsch in the Accreditation Office at or by phone at 301-296-5784.

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