Speech-Language Pathology, M.A.
Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology
About the Degree
The program in Speech-Language Pathology is designed to lead to professional licensure by the State of Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and The Ohio Department of Education. The Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology program meets all requirements for accreditation by the Council of Academic Accreditation of The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Concentration: This concentration is designed to provide graduate students with focused and intensive coursework and clinical experiences in the area of augmentative-alternative communication (AAC). Students will develop expertise with AAC technologies through the use of learning modules, supported labs, mentoring, and simulation activities. The concentration will culminate in an AAC focused school-based placement in a partnering school district or board of developmental disabilities. (No additional credit hours, only targeted clinical experiences which are built into the existing degree )
- Graduate Studies Consortium in Listening & Spoken Language (GSCLSL): This concentration is offered in conjunction with the University of Toledo. Each year, a minimum of six University of Akron students are selected to participate in the GSCLSL, which allows the students to develop a specialization in facilitating listening and spoken language in young children with hearing loss. Students take four additional courses (12 credit hours) related to pediatric hearing loss, complete extra practice experiences (a minimum of 100 clock hours), and participate in a variety of service learning projects and field-based experiences. Additionally, students also gain invaluable experience delivering these services through telepractice. While some families attend in-person therapy in the Audiology and Speech Center, others choose to receive these services through telepractice service delivery models.
Students will study diagnosis of speech and language disorders; use of AAC devices; counseling patients and families; brain injury rehabilitation; neurogenic speech/language disorders; voice disorders and cleft palate; swallowing disorders; speech sound disorders; stuttering; child language development and disorders; basic audiology; developmental disabilities; professional issues in communication disorders; research methods.
Salary and Career Outlook
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): Job opportunities in the field of speech-language pathology are expected to grow by 23% during the decade 2010-2020, which is faster than the average projected growth for all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 26,000 job openings before the year 2022. Speech-language pathology (SLP) is ranked #2 in the “Best Social Services Jobs” and #30 in “The 100 Best Jobs” by U.S. News and World Report, and ranked #10 in the “Best Jobs of 2014” by Career Cast.
According to ASHA: the median academic year salary for school-based positions in 2014 was $61,000 nationally and $58,000 in Ohio. The median annual salary for health care positions in 2013 was $75,000 nationally and $72,000 in the Midwest (including Ohio).
We are distinctive in the clinical experiences we provide for our students – from the unique off-campus/community placements during the first year of the program, to the wide variety of communication disorders in our campus Audiology and Speech Center, to the externship placements during the second year. Additionally, the exposure to and experience with current technologies (including telepractice) within the field sets us apart from other institutions, as does the two unique specialization tracts that we offer.
Our graduates are highly employable, with a well-rounded education and a wide variety of clinical experiences that prepare them for future employment. Our program boasts a 100% pass rate of the Praxis exam (for certification and licensure), and a 100% employment rate.
We offer a state-of-the-art AAC and Assistive Technology lab, telepractice labs, and exposure to/experience with other technology such as FEES (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing). Our on-campus Audiology and Speech Center offers a wide range of clinical experiences for our students. We offer specialty clinics for AAC, voice disorders, fluency/stuttering, reading, and auditory-verbal therapy for clients with hearing loss. We also offer several support groups for our clients and families, in which our students gain valuable experience.
In addition, we engage in collaboration with several community organizations in order to provide “real world” clinical experiences for our students during the first year of our graduate program, including unique sites such as Neurology and Neuroscience Associates, Inc. in Akron and Summit County Educational Service Center’s KIDS FIRST, a school for children with autism. During the second year of the program, students complete their externships at a variety of excellent clinical placements, including prestigious hospitals and medical facilities in northeast Ohio, such as University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, and Summa Health System.
Graduate Coordinator: Ms. Robin Angell
Polsky Building, Room 188A
Graduate School: Heather Blake
Polsky Building, Room 467