Academics

Communication Sciences & Disorders

Program Details

The field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) focuses on understanding the anatomy, physiology, and cognitive and linguistic skills needed for successful communication as well as the assessment and treatment of communication disorders. Students interested in CSD are usually planning for careers as speech-language pathologists or audiologists.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) assess and treat communication and swallowing difficulties across the lifespan from newborns to the elderly. An SLP might work in a public school with children who have language disorders due to Down syndrome or autism. SLPs also work in hospitals with adults who have had strokes and need treatment to improve their speech and swallowing abilities.

Audiologists assess and treat hearing and balance disorders. Like SLPs, audiologists work with clients across the lifespan from providing treatment to young children who have received a cochlear implant to older adults who use hearing aids to assist with age-related hearing loss.

A major in CSD leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. Within the major, students take classes in American Sign Language; the scientific bases of speech, language, and hearing; phonetics; child language development; and the assessment and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders. Across classes, students develop the critical thinking and communication skills needed to be successful professionals.

Special Opportunities in Communication Sciences & Disorders

During the senior year, students who have at least a 3.0 grade point average in the major have the opportunity to complete clinical practica in both speech-language pathology and audiology in our on-campus WIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. While clinical experiences at most universities are reserved for graduate students, Western prides itself in providing seniors the opportunity to gain hands-on clinical experience at the undergraduate level.

Students in CSD can join the Western Illinois University Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (WIUSSLHA) and the National Student Speech- Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA). WIUSSLHA members engage in volunteer, fundraising, and social activities, all of which help develop leadership skills. Each year, students in WIUSSLHA travel to the Chicago area for the annual convention of the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Additional Resources

audiologist

Audiologists assess and treat hearing and balance disorders, and work with clients across the lifespan from providing treatment to young children who have received a cochlear implant to older adults who use hearing aids to assist with age-related hearing loss.

Possible Communication Sciences & Disorders Career Paths

This degree field ranks among the top 10 professions in providing jobs for the 21st century. Our graduates pursue careers as:

  • Speech Language Pathologist (a.k.a. Therapist) in Schools or Professional Medical Settings
  • Audiologists
  • Private Practitioners
  • Administrators in Government
  • Administrators and Faculty in Higher Education
  • Consultants
  • Diagnosticians

Certification as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist requires a graduate degree. An undergraduate degree in CSD at Western is the first step in this career path. Due to an increasing elderly population and an emphasis on providing services to children with special needs, speech-language pathology and audiology are consistently rated as fast growing professions with high job satisfaction.

Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) Courses

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

100 Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders. (3) Introduction to the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology including theories and methods related to typical and disordered speech, language, and hearing. Examination of how communication disorders impact a person’s psychological and social functioning. Opportunity to observe clinical procedures.

121 Sign Language I. (3) Introduction to sign language with special focus on topics dealing with the Deaf community’s culture, heritage, and language.

122 Sign Language II. (3) An intermediate course that builds on introductory signs, focuses on supplemental areas of sign language including profession-specific signs, and American Sign Language (ASL). Prerequisite: CSD 121 or permission of instructor.

210 Basic Anatomy of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism. (3) Study of the anatomy, physiology, and neurology of the human speech and auditory mechanisms. Consideration of the processes of respiration, phonation, resonation, and audition.

211 Speech Science. (3) Introduction to the acoustical nature of speech and orientation to the basic instrumentation used in measurement and analysis.

212 Phonetics. (3) Study of the articulatory and acoustical nature of speech sounds used in English and other phonetic-phonemic phenomena. Instruction in using the International Phonetic Alphabet for transcription. Some attention to dialectal differences.

312 Normal Development of Speech and Language. (3) Study of the development of speech and language from birth through six years of age.

383 Neuroscience for Speech, Language, and Hearing. (3) Overview of the neuro-anatomy and neuro-physiology related to speech, language, and hearing. Emphasis will be placed on both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Prerequisite: CSD 210.

385 Developmental Communication Disorders. (3) Study of the characteristics, etiology, assessment, and treatment of developmental communication disorders. Topics will include speech sound disorders, cranio-facial disorders, autism, fluency, developmental syndromes, and child language disorders. Prerequisites: CSD 212 and 312.

386 Acquired Communication Disorders. (3) Study of the characteristics, etiology, assessment, and treatment of acquired communication disorders. Topics will include aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, voice disorders, and dementia. Prerequisite: CSD 383.

390 Audiometry and Hearing Disorders. (3) The study of the problem of hearing loss, diagnosis, and audiological testing. Prerequisite: CSD 210, 211, or consent of instructor.

400 Senior Honors Thesis Research. (3) Bibliographic and other preliminary work in preparation for a senior honors thesis (see CSD 401). Students will produce a final, graded project for this course. This course may not be taken concurrently with CSD 401. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; students must be in good standing in the Centennial Honors College and must be second-semester juniors or firstsemester seniors majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

401 Honors Thesis. (3) Students will write a senior honors thesis. This course may not be taken concurrently with CSD 400. Prerequisites: CSD 400; ENG 180 and 280; students must be in good standing in the Centennial Honors College and must be seniors majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

418 Independent Research in Communication. (1–6, repeatable to 6) Individual reading or research under supervision of the faculty. Open to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated competence in speechlanguage- hearing sciences. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; consent of instructor and department chairperson.

472 Scientific Thinking in Communication Sciences and Disorders. (3) Overview of the scientific method and interpretation of research literature in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Emphasis will also be placed on the use of evidence based practice in the fields of audiology and speechlanguage pathology. Prerequisites: ENG 280 and STAT 171 and either junior or senior standing in CSD or permission of instructor.

481 Evaluation Procedures in Speech-Language Pathology. (3) Consideration of the general role of evaluation in speech and language therapy with intensive study of diagnostic tests and procedures used to assess communication disorders. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; CSD 390.

482 Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology. (3) Study of the clinical management of communication disorders with particular emphasis on intervention methods such as developing treatment plans and monitoring treatment progress. Interviewing and counseling skills will also be addressed. Prerequisites: CSD 385 and 386.

488 Clinical Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology. (1, repeatable to 3) Supervised clinical practice with children and adults having speech or language disorders. Students must meet academic and observation hour requirement. Prerequisites: CSD 385 and 386; 30 clinical observation hours; minimum GPA of 3.0 in CSD coursework.

494 Aural Rehabilitation. (3) History and development of methods of speech reading and auditory training. Multisensory approach to rehabilitation emphasized including specific procedures for handling impaired students in the classroom. Prerequisites: CSD 390; ENG 180 and 280.

499 Clinical Practicum in Audiology. (1, repeatable to 3) Supervised clinical practice in the Speech- Language-Hearing Clinic with children and adults having hearing disorders. Students must meet academic and clinic observation hour requirements. Prerequisites: CSD 390; 30 clinical observation hours; minimum GPA of 3.0 in CSD coursework.

Contact Information

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Dr. Peter Jorgensen, Interim Chairperson
Email: PF-Jorgensen@wiu.edu
Location: Memorial Hall 302
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1507

Communication Sciences & Disorders Website

Communication Sciences & Disorders Directory

College of Fine Arts & Communication (COFAC)

Mr. William Clow, Dean
Email: WT-Clow@wiu.edu
COFAC Email: cofac@wiu.edu
Location: Browne Hall 115
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1618

COFAC Website

Communication Sciences & Disorders Advising

Kate Pohlpeter
Memorial Hall 245
Phone: (309) 298-3529
Email: KA-Pohlpeter@wiu.edu

Memorial Hall