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Strengthening Academic Program Viability Through Strategic Development

External Forces

There is a rich source of potential support from individuals, groups, and agencies external to the college/university. Examples of different types of support have been noted in paper presentations by Bernstein, Ratner, and Smit (1994) and Ripich, Johnson, Wohlert, and Schwarz (2009) that can be accessed from the CAPCSD annual conference proceedings on the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD). Many CSD programs have already established external relationships that are essential for current operations and that may be marshaled during threats of closure, or as needed, when working with college/university administrators. Following are suggestions to engage external forces in support of programs:

  • Establish and maintain close working relationships with external practicum site personnel and administrators.
  • Hold university clinic open houses to which influential community leaders are invited.
  • Establish an advisory council for the chair/department and keep members well informed about the program.
  • Establish a budget committee within the department, with possible student and community members, to review departmental resources and the value of the program to the school and the university.
  • Collaborate with philanthropic groups to enlist support and help for the program and its clinic.
  • Generate publicity in campus and community media outlets and publicize successful graduates, research achievements of both faculty and students, and clinic programs that benefit the community.
  • Similarly, make readily available the program's national certification examination pass rates, program graduation rates, and employment rates.
  • Establish an alumni society with the help of the college/university alumni association and involve this group in advocacy, including fund-raising, on behalf of the program.

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