You do not have JavaScript Enabled on this browser. Please enable it in order to use the full functionality of our website.

Guide to Starting an Academic Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)


Because of challenges posed by personnel shortages, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) National Office has received a number of questions and requests for information about how to initiate graduate education programs in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). In response, the Academic Affairs Unit developed this Guide to help programs understand the overarching process for developing a graduate education program, including achieving program accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Staff from the accreditation unit and CAA members collaborated on this project. The guide was authored by volunteer faculty from diverse academic programs whose collective knowledge and experiences in establishing CSD programs is presented here.

In an era of competing goods and limited resources in higher education, coupled with the national critical personnel shortages in CSD, it is an exciting yet equally challenging time to consider beginning a new graduate program in the profession(s). The information presented in this Guide is aimed at identifying factors to consider when developing a new graduate program. The guide should in no way replace any institutional or state guidelines or recommendations or be considered an exhaustive list of resources. References to timelines are deliberately lacking, as the contributors realized that each institution is unique and the type and size of institutions vary. Where appropriate, authors have indicated differences among private versus public institutions.

What's in the Guide?

Table of Contents
Section 1 - Deciding to Establish a New Program
Section 2 - Developing a Proposal for a New Program
Section 3 - Implementing the Program
Section 4 - Seeking Accreditation: What You Need to Know
Section 5 - Resources


Contributing Authors

  • Dolores Battle, Buffalo State College (SUNY), Buffalo, New York
  • Helen Buhler, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New Yor
  • Gayle Daly, Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia
  • Regina Grantham, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, New York
  • Mona Griffer, Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Elizabeth McCrea, ASHA VP for Academic Affairs in Speech-Language Pathology (2007–2009), Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
  • Lissa Power-deFur, Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia
  • Gloria Schlisselberg, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York
  • Wayne Swisher, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Glenn Waguespack, dba Audiological Services, Shreveport, Louisiana

Contributing ASHA Staff

  • Tess Kirsch, Associate Director of Accreditation for Policy and Education
  • Loretta Nunez, Director of Academic Affairs
  • Silvia Quevedo, Associate Director of Academic Affairs

ASHA Corporate Partners