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

Section 2 - Developing a Proposal for a New Program


This section focuses on the process of preparing and submitting a proposal for a new communication sciences and disorders (CSD) program.

Once the decision to move forward with developing a new program has been made, the team will need to create a work plan that identifies major steps in the development process, including a timeline. This timeline will vary among institutions and the specific internal and external approval processes, funding opportunities, and existing resources (personnel and facility). Major steps in the program's development would include:

  • design of mission and goals
  • development of curriculum
  • establishment of clinical experiences
  • submission of applications for program approval
  • hiring of faculty
  • recruiting students
  • enrollment of student

All of these elements will support the numerous proposals and documents for internal and external approval of the program. Internal approvals include the university's curriculum and policy committees, administration, and governing board. External approval processes include obtaining approval from the regional accrediting agency (a critical first step) and from your state's higher education agency and also may include seeking accreditation for the program (see Section 4, Seeking Accreditation) after these approvals are achieved. Depending on the state, you may have to seek approval from the state department of education for the proposed curriculum to ensure graduates' eligibility to apply for teacher certification. Note that university- and state-level approvals are generally made by a governing body at the recommendation of university administration or state agency staff. Be aware of opportunities to submit applications through simultaneous or sequential reviews.

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