American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

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

Section 2 - Developing a Proposal for a New Program

Getting Started With the Proposal

Successful approval is often facilitated by meeting with key personnel, both internal and external to the institution. This process helps to identify information that is required or desired, competing interests that may need to be considered (e.g., the number of new programs that will be approved during a given time period), and timelines for the approval process. In addition, these preliminary meetings provide the opportunity to create relationships with key personnel who will be responsible for reviewing and recommending your proposed program.

Review and thoroughly understand your institution's strategic plan and the strategic plan for the appropriate academic unit (e.g., Graduate School or School of Allied Health). By taking this important step, you ensure that the projected new program is consistent with the institution's long-term plans. For example, if the college is planning to invest in technology and business fields, this may not be the appropriate time to seek support for a new CSD program. On the other hand, if the college is anticipating growth in the areas of health professions or education, the timing may be just right. It also may be necessary to review any memoranda of agreement between your institution and other schools in the university system or region. For example, there may be an agreement that a school in the region will build strength in the health careers or that there will be no additional programs in the system for a certain period of time.

Locate the guidelines or procedures for submitting graduate academic program proposals for your institution. These guidelines typically are housed in the Academic Affairs or the Provost's office. Review the guidelines to understand fully the explicit requirements, responsibilities, and processes for establishing a new graduate program at your institution.

Discuss the project with the dean, provost, and Office of Academic Affairs to determine whether there is support for the proposal. This conversation should help determine the implicit expectations and requirements for establishing the new program. There may be other proposals for new programs that are a higher priority in the academic year.

It will be important to develop a program that permits graduates to meet all professional credentialing requirements in a coordinated program.

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