American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Compendium of Exemplary Practices by Colleges and Universities in the Recruitment, Retention and Career Transition of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Professionals

The program descriptions that follow derive from a two-phase survey of accredited programs in speech-language pathology and audiology conducted in 2002 by the Cox, Matthews & Associates Consulting Group (CMACG) under contract to ASHA.

In the first phase program directors were invited to nominate programs and practices, at their own institutions and others which they believed to be effective in recruiting, retaining or facilitating the career transition of students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds. Nominated programs received a written survey that asked them to describe as specifically as possible the effective practices, procedures or techniques used in their program. Follow-up telephone interviews allowed program representatives to clarify and elaborate upon their written descriptions.

The following programs have been identified by themselves or their peers as exemplifying one or more effective practices in minority student recruitment, retention or career transition. No further level of analysis or qualification is implied by using the term "exemplary" in connection with these practices and strategies.

Sharing this information should serve to stimulate faculty and administrators' expansion of their efforts to promote cultural diversity among those pursuing careers in the communication sciences and disorders professions. You are encouraged to contact program representatives to talk about strategies or practices that might be effective in your institution.

California State University, Long Beach

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Retention

Strategies Employed: The California State University (CSU) Long Beach department of speech-language pathology presents its students with a comprehensive bilingual/multicultural emphasis in their CSD studies. Included are an undergraduate course, Management of Monolingual and Bilingual Clients, and a graduate course, Linguistically Different Clinical Practicum. In the latter, every student works with clients, aided by an interpreter, in a language they don't speak. Full bilingual practicum opportunities are also available.

In the 13 years that this program has been operational at CSU Long Beach, the recruitment and retention of diverse and bilingual students has increased exponentially. Further, the university's clinic has seen a dramatic increase in the number of community members seeking services in their native languages.

Since the inception of its emphasis on multiculturalism, this program has served individuals from 19 language groups, thereby training future CSD professionals to serve a similarly diverse population. Graduates of this program, especially those who have engaged extensively in the language and cultural diversity emphasis, are in great demand by employers.

Contact person: Dr. Carolyn Conway Madding

Contact Information: California State University, Communicative Disorders Department, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90850. Phone: 562-985-5283. Fax: 714-670-1344. E-mail:

Hampton University

Program Emphasis: Retention

Strategies Employed: Hampton University holds the distinction of being the first CSD degree-granting institution among the more than 100 historically black colleges and universities in the United States. This program has trained more African-American speech-language pathologists than any institution in the country. In recent times, the program has placed greater emphasis on multicultural issues and the communications needs of an increasingly diverse client population.

The academic program at Hampton University includes undergraduate training in the specialization of speech-language pathology, a baccalaureate major that has served as a "feeder" for the graduate study programs in speech-language pathology and audiology. Faculty and graduate students work with undergraduate CSD majors in addressing admission and preparation requirements for graduate school.

Throughout both their undergraduate and graduate studies, Hampton students are exposed to "real life" experiences in meeting the needs of youth and adults with communicative disorders in a changing multicultural society. Students are exposed to a range of racial and ethnically diverse clients for whom they must devise assessment and treatment programs in speech-language pathology and audiology.

Contact person: Pollie Murphy

Contact Information: Hampton University, Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Hampton, Virginia 23668-0199. Phone: 757-727-5435. Fax: 757-727-5765. E-mail:

Howard University

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Retention

Strategies Employed: Howard University employs a multi-pronged plan in its efforts to recruit students into careers in communication sciences and disorders. Significant emphasis is placed on attracting institutional and community awareness to CSD services and careers in the field. This is accomplished through conferences, publications, exhibits, college/career fairs and related attention-drawing activities.

The recruiting program also includes an alumni referral program, whereby Howard University graduates connect prospective students with admission and faculty representatives. Should these candidates enroll in CSD studies, the alumni representatives remain active as mentors and as a part of the students' professional network. The program is vigilant in its search for and provision of financial assistance (e.g., scholarships, grants, research and teaching assistantships, work-study opportunities, etc.) that help students gain experience and meet their financial needs.

Once admitted and enrolled, a strong faculty advisement and peer mentoring program is available to all students, and is strongly encouraged for those who are identified as having specific academic needs. One-on-one instruction is also provided by faculty for students with more intense needs.

Contact person: Dr. Ovetta L. Harrison-Harris

Contact Information: Howard University, Communications Sciences & Disorders, 525 Bryant Street/CB Powell Communication Building, Washington, DC 20059. Phone: 202-806-6990. E-mail:

Long Island University–Brooklyn Campus

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Retention

Strategies Employed: The graduate program in speech-language pathology at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus is a program with a bilingual/multicultural orientation. Its mission is to prepare a culturally and linguistically diverse body of clinicians to serve a diverse client population in a variety of urban clinical settings. The CSD program seeks to identify students who will carry forth this mission in their studies and into professional practice.

Long Island University-Brooklyn has a history of commitment to preparing teachers and student service specialists for the New York City public schools, as evidenced by its Center for Urban Education, which places emphasis on recruiting students committed to working in urban schools.

The program adds a bilingual focus to the CSD curriculum to achieve its objectives. Students can concentrate in the master of science degree program with a bilingual specialization or have the option to seek certification in New York State as a teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped with a bilingual extension. Clinical practicum experiences for these students are completed in settings where their bilingual skills are utilized. A strong faculty advisement program is also in place to guide students through their academic and practicum experiences.

For its achievements in successfully implementing cultural diversity initiatives, LIU-Brooklyn was recognized by the Council for Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2002.

Contact Person: Dr. Nelson Moses, Chairperson

Contact Information: Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus, 1 University Place, Brooklyn, New York 11201-5301. Phone: 718-780-4169. E-mail:

Lehman College of the City University of New York

Program Emphasis: Recruitment

Strategies Employed: The department of speech-language-hearing Sciences at Lehman College of the City University of New York participates in recruitment fairs and high school presentations throughout the New York metropolitan area. Literature introducing careers in speech-language pathology and audiology, and describing both the undergraduate and graduate programs, are distributed to college and high school guidance counselors throughout the city. In addition, the department uses its website to provide information about the program's requirements and financial support. The department was featured in a 16-page public relations document published by the college entitled Brilliance in the Bronx.

Members of the department collaborate with the Office of Academic Advisement so that prospective students are fully informed about admission requirements. Students with a bachelor's degree in another field are able to take pre-requisite courses (i.e., 27 credits) and then apply for graduate admission. This strategy has resulted in bringing an older and more diverse pool of students to the program.

The department participates with the New York City and New York State Boards of Education in the Expanded Capacity Program, a professional development program designed to bring greater diversity to the educator ranks in the city and state schools. Prospective students who may not have initially been eligible for admission to the graduate program are given special consideration due to their status as board of education employees. When admitted, these students are assigned to an undergraduate advisor to ensure maximal attention is given to their academic needs. The department receives city and state board of education funding for its participation in this initiative.

Contact Person: Dr. Deena Bernstein

Contact Information: Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, 250 Bedford Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10468. Phone: 718-960-8134. Fax: 718-960-7376. E-mail:

San Diego State University

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Retention

Strategies Employed: The School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University (SDSU) is actively engaged in the recruitment and retention of students who will be capable of meeting the needs and challenges of a multicultural community, including the growing need for clinicians with bilingual skills. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary preparation of speech-language pathologists and audiologists to be diagnosticians, consultants, resource and program specialists, researchers, and speech and hearing scientists.

SDSU places considerable importance on serving the needs of underserved youth and adults. The program has been successful in acquiring numerous grants to provide services to disadvantaged students in schools, as well as Spanish speakers in other clinical settings. To serve these populations, recruitment efforts are targeted toward racial/ethnic minority candidates. Participation in institutional and community outreach efforts, career/college fairs, faculty and student recruitment activities, and publications have helped communicate the bilingual and multicultural focus to prospective students.

Throughout their formal and informal educational experiences, students are afforded every exposure possible to interface with culturally and linguistically diverse populations and utilize their bilingual skills. The program has also discovered that inter-institutional collaboration can achieve common goals and provide varied experiences for its students.

Contact person: Dr. Vera Gutierrez-Clellen

Contact Information: Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, California 92182-8000. Phone: 691-594-6645. E-mail:

Southern Connecticut State University

Program Emphasis: Retention

Strategies Employed: One of the unique characteristics of the programs at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) is that the department of communication disorders has a long standing relationship with a local chapter of the National Black Association for Speech, Language and Hearing (NBASLH), many of whose members are alumni of the program. Incoming students, with their permission, are partnered with NBASLH members.

This activity provides unique mentoring and networking opportunities for minority students, and affords them the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with working professionals in speech-language pathology and audiology. This includes regular visits to the workplace for professional observation, participation in association meetings, as well as an opportunity to participate in informal and recreational activities.

A byproduct of the relationship has been the referral of additional prospective students to SCSU by other NBASLH members.

Contact person: Dr. Marianne Kennedy

Contact Information: Southern Connecticut State University, Communication Disorders, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06515. Phone: 203-392-5960. E-mail:

Temple University

Program Emphasis: Recruitment

Strategies Employed: Responding to the changing demographics of the community and the institution, Temple University has developed its Hispanic Emphasis Program to call public and professional attention to the speech, language and hearing needs of Hispanic and Latino populations. In addition, the program encourages prospective students from this minority group to consider careers in the discipline. Information about the program is included in the print materials that the department of communications sciences distributes to educational and social settings throughout the Philadelphia area and within the university.

Faculty members and experienced students participate in monthly orientation and information programs that carry the professional and recruitment messages across the campus and out into the community. Temple University has a long history of providing both merit- and need-based support for minority participation in all of its graduate studies programs, and the CSD programs have been successful in directing a portion of this institutional and external assistance to their students. This financial aid has come in the form of grants, scholarships and work-study opportunities.

Contact person: Dr. Barbara Mastriano, Chair

Contact Information: Temple University, Communication Sciences, 109 Weiss Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122. Phone: 215-204-1874. E-mail:

Tennessee State University

Program Emphasis: Retention

Strategies Employed: The Tennessee State University (TSU) department of speech pathology and audiology places a high premium on the mentoring and support services it provides students throughout their undergraduate and graduate education. Faculty and experienced students play an extremely active role in assisting new and inexperienced students with their early academic experiences. Graduates of the TSU program are also enlisted to serve in varied mentoring and networking roles.

In addition, the TSU program works extensively with the city of Nashville to serve citizens of all ages with speech, language, and hearing disorders. This community outreach has allowed students to serve in schools, hospitals, agencies, private practice and related work settings, and enjoy the "hands-on" experiences that result in improved learning and achievement.

At the same time, the community exposure has resulted in an enhanced awareness of the needs of minority and ethnically diverse clients (youth and adult) and the need for professionals to serve them. By connecting students to racially and ethnically diverse clients during their training experiences, TSU believes it is building a greater awareness of the needs of the community and encouraging students to work in these environments once they have graduated and become certified.

Contact person: Dr. Harold Mitchell

Contact Information: Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merrit Boulevard, Nashville, Tennessee 37209-1561. Phone: 615-963-7081. E-mail:

University of Akron

Program Emphasis: Recruitment

Strategies Employed: The Diversity Recruitment Program at the University of Akron graduate school seeks to increase enrollment of underrepresented groups in all programs at the graduate level. Efforts are directed toward undergraduate students (junior/senior members) with a goal of graduate study and interest in speech-language pathology and audiology.

The associate dean of the graduate school is chiefly responsible for diversity recruitment efforts. Contacts are made with interested students through variety of institutional programs and professional conferences. Graduate assistants, especially those from racial/ethnic minority groups, also play a role in recruitment efforts.

The university recruits at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), participating in graduate student and career fairs at these institutions. Each academic year, the number of HBCUs included in the recruiting initiative is expanded. Prospective students at the targeted HBCUs are invited to visit the University of Akron and interact with current students and faculty. Recruitment efforts aimed at racial/ethnic minority students are enhanced by making graduate assistantships available to students from diverse backgrounds.

Contact persons: Dr. Lathardus Goggins, associate dean of the graduate school and James M. Lynn, department of speech-language pathology & audiology

Contact Information: University of Akron Graduate School, 225 Maine Street, Polsky Building, Room 467, Akron, Ohio 44325-2101. Phone: 330-972-6782. Fax: 330-972-6539. E-mail:

School of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, University of Akron. Phone 330-972-6519. E-mail:

University of Hawaii

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Career Transition

Strategies Employed: The University of Hawaii's diversity effort is part of an initiative to build enrollment through a collaborative agreement with the Hawaii State Department of Education. This effort grew from a state mandate to triple the number of students being trained in CSD programs and to ensure that underrepresented professional populations were included in that expanded recruitment effort. The Department of Education provides incentive awards of nearly $14,000 to support students during their last two years of CSD graduate study.

In return for educational support, graduates make a contractual promise to pursue a career in the public schools in the state of Hawaii for at least three years following graduation. The state provides funds to support a part-time recruiter, expanded faculty positions, and to meet departmental resource needs created by the increased enrollment in the department of communication sciences and disorders.

This program has been directed toward state residents most likely to fulfill the contractual commitment. With Hawaii residents, emphasis has been placed on the recruitment of individuals of Hawaiian, Japanese, and Filipino ancestry. Recruitment has also included rural areas where CSD personnel shortages are most acute.

Outreach efforts have included career fairs, direct mail, advertising in popular media, and activities with island public service organizations. Community workshops are held to make citizens and educators more aware of the roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists and audiologists and to encourage consideration of these careers. In addition, the department has collaborated internally with minority recruitment initiatives in other professional disciplines (e.g., business, engineering, etc.). Finally, students are provided placement assistance in the Hawaii public schools following completion of their studies and certification.

Contact Person: R. Weirather

Contact Information: University of Hawaii, Speech and Hearing Clinic, 1410 Lower Campus Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822. Phone: 808-956-5828. Fax: 808-956-5482. E-mail:

University of Northern Iowa & Xavier University

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Retention

Strategies Employed: The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and Xavier University, a historically black college, are participating in a collaborative venture. UNI has agreed to accept up to six Xavier graduates in speech-language pathology into their graduate program over a three year period.

After appropriate application review and admission, these students are supported by a combination of federal stipends, graduate assistantships and tuition waivers, depending on their year in the program. In exchange for financial support, each student agrees to participate in a semester internship in the Louisiana public schools. Further, graduates of the program are expected to work in the public schools for a period of time equivalent to the amount of time each was supported in their graduate program.

Enrolled CSD students are mentored and supported by designated faculty and experienced students. Externships are provided in environments that will increase the students' exposure to diverse populations.

Contact Persons: Dr. Clifford Highnam (UNI), Ms. Nancy Martino (Xavier)

Contact Information: Communicative Disorders Department, University of Northern Iowa, CAC237, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614. Phone: 319-293-2576. E-mail:

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Xavier University, 1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana 70125-1098. Phone: 504-486-7411. E-mail:

University of South Florida

Program Emphasis: Recruitment

Strategies Employed: The department of communication sciences & disorders at the University of South Florida forms recruiting teams that visit high schools, churches, and community groups and participate in university freshman orientation programs. On campus, strong ties have been established with Project Thrust, a tutoring and mentoring program that includes a strong minority student advisement component. Much of the success in reaching racially and ethnically diverse students has been attributed to efforts to address issues early in the student's college career.

The University of South Florida has also benefited from a U.S. Department of Education grant that has provided financial support to racial/ethnic minority students over the past five years. This aid is supplemented with tuition waivers and institutional scholarship funds.

Contact person: Dr. Arthur M. Guilford

Contact Information: University of South Florida, Communication Sciences & Disorders, PCF 1017, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33620. Phone: 813-974-9790. E-mail:

University of Texas at Austin

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Retention

Strategies Employed: The department of communication sciences and disorders at the University of Texas at Austin has been engaged in efforts to recruit and educate talented students from varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds for the past twenty years. During this time more than one hundred master's level students have graduated from a specialized training sequence in bilingual speech-language pathology and audiology.

Students from traditionally underrepresented groups are recruited from courses in speech-language pathology, based upon language and culture, contacts with faculty members at other universities, and from the response to program-related announcements sent to training programs throughout the United States and Canada.

The faculty is representative of the students recruited to the program. In the 2002–2003 academic year, four faculty members were bilingual and three were from traditionally underrepresented groups. These educators serve as mentors and advisors throughout the educational experience, from prospective student to graduate.

Faculty, staff and students at the University of Texas at Austin all have roles and responsibilities in creating an academic community where there is an appreciation of cultural differences that enhance learning.

Contact person: Dr. Thomas C. Marquardt

Contact Information: University of Texas at Austin, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Austin, Texas 78712. Phone: 572-476-6831. Fax: 512-471-2957. E-mail:

University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Retention/Career Transition

Strategies Employed: The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has created Project DUIT (Diverse Urban Interdisciplinary Teams) to encourage students from underrepresented or disadvantaged groups with a strong academic background, or documented recent superior performance in their employment situation to consider careers in the communications sciences and disorders.

The DUIT program involves a partnership with the Milwaukee Public Schools and operates under funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Project DUIT focuses on early childhood special education, occupational therapy, and communication sciences and disorders. The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee CSD faculty provide training across the target disciplines, so graduates will be fully prepared to provide services on interdisciplinary teams.

Project participants receive tuition and textbook assistance depending upon the credit hours taken per semester and the availability of funding. At the conclusion of their training, they are also provided with assistance in obtaining employment within settings consistent with their Project DUIT experience.

Contact person: Ms. Paula Rhyner

Contact Information: University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Communication Sciences & Disorders, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201. Phone: 414-229-4878, E-mail:

Western Carolina University

Program Emphasis: Recruitment/Retention

Strategies Employed: Western Carolina University (WCU) has targeted historically black colleges and universities, and its sister university in Jamaica, in its efforts to identify racial/ethnic minority students. Communication is initiated early and continues over a period of time, and prospective students are encouraged to first learn about the professions of human communication sciences and disorders, and then determine their level of interest and ability to meet the academic rigors required for success.

Once admitted, WCU encourages students to participate in a mentoring program managed by faculty and senior students. Throughout their academic experience, students are supported with financial assistance and encouraged to seek additional grants and scholarships on an individual basis.

Contact person: Ruby Drew, Program Director

Contact Information: Western Carolina University, Communication Disorders, 204 Killian, Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723. Phone: 828-227-3834. E-mail:

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