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Strengthening Academic Program Viability Through Strategic Development


The challenges faced by higher education programs across disciplines are considerable and mounting each year. In communication sciences and disorders (CSD), programs are being threatened with downsizing or even closure as a result of budget shortfalls in their respective institutions and states. In recognition of this, the ASHA Vice President for Academic Affairs established a working group in the late fall of 2008 to develop a resource for programs facing potential downsizing or closure. This group consisted of members of the Academic Affairs Coordinating Committee (Wren Newman and Rosalind Scudder); the Executive Board of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Mikael Kimelman, Celia Hooper, and Larry Small); the Executive Board of the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (Mary Anne Hanner and Judith Page); and ASHA staff in Academic Affairs (Loretta Nunez) and Accreditation (Patti Tice).

Despite the original impetus for this document, it became clear that the information might be just as appropriate for programs seeking proactively to ensure their continued strength and viability. The resource contains five primary sections:

Each section makes suggestions for resources that might be consulted and/or leveraged by academic programs to their strategic benefit. Some redundancy of bulleted information appears between sections of content and is intentional for emphasis.

In addition to this document, the opening plenary session of the April 2009 Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD) presented a panel titled "Positioning Yourself for Institutional Survival" (Danielle Ripich, Alex Johnson, Amy Wohlert, and Ilsa Schwarz). This and other presentations can be found on the CAPCSD Web site under the 2009 Proceedings.

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