Strengthening Academic Program Viability Through Strategic
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
- 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
- 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