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

Section 3 - Implementing the Academic Program

Recruiting Faculty and Students

Faculty Recruitment

Considerations for staffing the academic program are dependent on whether you are initiating a new graduate program or expanding an existing program (refer to institutional or graduate school policies). Roles and responsibilities need to be identified for all faculty and staff, including responsibilities for an on-campus clinic, if applicable. The faculty hiring plan should take into account timing and effort of administrative responsibilities as well as planned curricular sequence, including preparing and submitting proposals, applications, and so forth. Salaries for faculty and staff may not be supported by tuition-generated income prior to when students arrive on campus, so these may need to be factors to consider under start-up costs.

The faculty hiring cycle may be dependent on the development plan for the program and availability of funding for the positions. The following list represents a typical faculty roster:

  • program director (full-time position)
  • academic and clinical faculty
    • full-time and/or part-time
    • doctoral-level faculty
    • needed areas of expertise
  • clinic director/placement coordinator/supervisor/preceptor
    • faculty, staff, or administrative positions
    • full-time and/or part-time
  • adjunct faculty (academic or clinical)
  • administrative staff

The program director should develop job descriptions and expectations for all of these positions. The faculty descriptions should include any additional administrative responsibilities (e.g., tracking of student knowledge and skill acquisition, tracking supervised clinical hours, advising, serving as graduate program coordinator). Obtain the institution's tenure and promotion policies, and apply them to the job description. Be sure to specify your teaching, research, and service expectations for tenure at your institution.

The program director should plan for the hiring process, which typically includes the following steps:

  • Obtaining necessary approvals from your institution.
  • Notifying Human Resources of new positions.
  • Posting positions in professional publications and/or online (e.g., The ASHA Leader, Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders [CAPCSD] Web site, The Chronicle of Higher Education, ADVANCE for Speech-Language Pathologists,

Several resources are available to help to determine the salary range for the faculty and clinical staff positions. Many factors can affect the range of salary and benefit packages, including geographic area, size of the institution, school in which the program is administratively housed (e.g., School of Allied Health, School of Education), and the minimum educational level and years of college teaching/supervisory experience required for the positions. Depending on the institution, salary scales may be based on an hourly rate or the 9-, 10-, or 12-month annual salary. These resources may be helpful in determining the salary range that is appropriate for your faculty hires:

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Current advertised faculty postings at other institutions in your geographic area
  • CAPCSD Web site
  • Range of salaries at CSD programs in your geographic area or at a similar type of institution
  • Human Resources department of your institution

The following activities are recommended for hiring faculty and recruiting students:

  • Develop a hiring schedule (map the time frame for hiring which faculty and when, taking into consideration program development/administration goals such as accreditation applications, student recruitment, course sequencing, etc.).
  • Recruit key faculty 12-18 months prior to program initiation.
  • Advertise at ASHA Convention and other professional meetings.
  • Advertise in professional publications and on Web sites (e.g., The ASHA Leader , ASHA Web site, CAPCSD Web site, state association publications).
  • Design an interview process and timeline.

Student Recruitment

The admission criteria were developed and established during the proposal process. It will be important to partner with the college/school in which the program is housed and/or the graduate school to coordinate student recruitment initiatives. Feasibility data may inform the program of target student markets. Your student recruitment effort may consist of the following:

  • Begin recruiting students approximately 12-18 months prior to anticipated student enrollment.
  • Publish and implement admissions procedures, policies, and criteria.
  • Publish tuition and fees in accordance with institutional guidelines.
  • Identify target student applicant pool, which could include undergraduate students (either in or not in the discipline), individuals holding BA/BS degrees in CSD, and career changers.
  • Develop program Web site.
  • Inform existing undergraduate programs in your geographic area about the program.
  • Advertise with state, county, regional, and local colleges and universities.
  • Advertise with regional and state speech-language-hearing associations and ASHA publications and meetings.
  • Recruitment activities can be sponsored through the graduate school (e.g., Allied Health). If there is no school structure, participate in institution-wide recruitment activities.
  • Work with the Graduate Admissions office to establish a protocol for submitting and processing applications; some programs may have parallel reviews with the Graduate School, whereas others may be sequential.

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