Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

CSD department discusses possible master's program

Augustana’s communication sciences and disorders (CSD) department has been considering adding a five-year master’s program in speech language pathology over the past 18 months.
The program would be a standard four-year bachelor’s degree, with the next two summers and year to obtain the master’s degree. Kathy Jakielski, CSD department chair, said she envisions the program accepting 20 students a year, who, as long as they met certain requirements, would have a seat for the master’s program.
Jakielski said she hopes to have 10 additional seats for students who either come into the major late or who have interests other than speech language pathology. The earliest the program would be offered would be fall of 2018, Jakielski said.
“Right now, the competition to get into a grad program is so fierce,” said Jakielski. “I think that nationwide it’s under 20 percent of students who are undergrad CSD majors get a seat in a graduate program.”
Elizabeth Rizzi, a senior CSD major, said she’s applying to 12 schools, because she was told to apply to eight to 15 programs.
“I have been going on visits, which is really overwhelming, because it’s nothing like going on a regular college visit,” said Rizzi. “They don’t accept many people. They had 38 spots, and 61 people were at the last visit day I went to.”
Jakielski said there are approximately 240 CSD graduate programs in the nation, but there are only a handful of five-year programs. Some of the colleges with five-year programs include La Salle University, Calvin College and Indiana University.
“The five-year programs that are out there are very well respected,” Jakielski said. “It gives us confidence that we could build a strong program.”
This month, the department announced the possible program to their faculty division and to current CSD majors. The department hopes to propose the program to the faculty winter term, Jakielski said.
“If the faculty overwhelmingly oppose it, we will stop,” said Jakielski. “We will not go any further. So far, the conversations have been positive, but we haven’t talked to a whole lot of faculty.”
Jakielski said if this program were to happen, the college would possibly have to re-apply for the ability to have master’s programs, since Augustana has had graduate programs in the past. The Regional Studies graduate program was listed in course catalogs from August 1977 to August 1983.
For a graduate program, Jakielski said the CSD department would need two more tenured faculty lines and would need to double the department’s physical space.
After consulting with Provost Pareena Lawrence, Jakielski said that having a second building, which would cost approximately $500,000, would cost less than adding on to Brodahl, the college’s CSD building.
“I would love to have a building doubled in size so we were all in one, but we have to be practical and realistic, and that would cost more than a million (dollars), and we are not going to get that kind of funding,” said Jakielski.
Jakielski said she is envisioning that Brodahl would retain faculty offices, a student work room and the clinic space, and the new building would be faculty labs, a meeting room and two classrooms.

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CSD department discusses possible master's program