American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Academic Program Capacity Building in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Last updated 7/29/13

Existing Academic Program Capacity Data

Data regarding academic program capacity should be considered in the context of a continuum for personnel preparation. A gap or bottleneck in any part of this continuum can result in a shortage of individuals entering the profession to eventually meet the workforce recruitment demands. Major points along the personnel preparation continuum are:

  • Size of the undergraduate student pool majoring in communication sciences and disorders or related fields
  • Total number of students applying to graduate programs in the professions
  • Total number of qualified students offered admission versus the number of qualified students denied admission
  • Total number of students enrolled in a graduate program
  • Total time to degree completion
  • Total number of graduates
  • First employment setting

As academic programs continue to provide data about capacity for new admissions along with other important data about enrollment, graduation, and first employment, trends can be identified to inform successful strategies for personnel preparation that meet workforce demands.

Reported Capacity Data for Entry Level Programs

Academic programs completing the Higher Education Data System (HES) CSD Education Survey for academic year 2011–2012 were asked to provide data on capacity for new admissions as well as the number of students enrolled in the academic program. Calculations were made to determine capacity by comparing number of available openings reported ("capacity for new admissions") and the actual number of students enrolled in the program. The intent of the questions is to gauge capacity for new students entering the program, but not to determine possible causes of not meeting or exceeding capacity for new admissions at the entry level degree program.

Speech-Language Pathology Program Capacity

Data collected from 225 of the 251 institutions offering speech-language pathology (SLP) programs (90%) via the CSD Education Survey showed in aggregate:

  • academic programs were enrolling at 97.41% of capacity
  • mean of maximum capacity for admissions was 31
  • median maximum capacity for admissions was 26

Audiology Program Capacity

Data collected from 68 of 74 institutions offering audiology clinical entry-level degree programs (91%) via the CSD Education Survey indicated in aggregate:

  • academic programs were enrolling at 91.75% of capacity for admissions
  • mean maximum student capacity for admissions was 11
  • median maximum capacity for admissions was 10.0

Reported Graduation for Entry Level Programs

Additional data from the CSD Education Survey report for academic year 2011–2012 includes number of graduates and data on primary first employment setting for SLP and audiology entry level programs. These additional data serve to further inform the supply of clinicians.

  • 6,340 graduate degrees granted among the 224 SLP programs reporting data
  • 494 clinical entry-level audiology degrees (e.g., AuD) granted among the 68 audiology entry-level degree programs reporting data

The full report of data from the CSD Education Survey may be accessed online.

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