Program Highlights: Master of Arts Program in Speech-Language Pathology (SPLA)
What is this program about?
The Master's program in Speech-Language Pathology (SPLA) is a comprehensive, academically based, clinically oriented, full-time program designed primarily to prepare professional Speech-Language Pathologists. The program contributes substantially to the academic and clinical practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) granted by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA). It entails two years of full-time study (including summer) that covers graduate-level coursework, on-site and off-campus clinical placements, and capstone paper or thesis project.
What is the focus?
- Cutting-edge clinical and research issues pertaining to communication disorders and normal processes of speech, language and hearing. The focus covers the age span from newborn to the very old, and an extensive variety of disorders of language, articulation, fluency, voice, cognition and swallowing;
- Significant exposure to diverse clinical populations (including bilingual speakers), assessment procedures, treatment methodologies and work settings;
- Evidence-based practice;
- Training students to evaluate the efficacy of emerging technologies and procedures;
- Extensive hands-on experiences in classes and clinic, with an emphasis on integrating theory with practice.
Why is the program great?
- Graduate coursework is offered by world-renowned faculty with specific expertise in the courses they teach;
- A learning environment in which there are extensive collaborations between researchers and clinical faculty on topics such as fluency, communication partner training for persons with aphasia, autism, and traumatic brain injury;
- Students have the opportunity and choice to conduct independent research (Masters Thesis) with renowned faculty researchers;
- Students receive exceptionally high quality one-on-one clinical supervision with the goal of fostering readiness for independence in clinical practice;
- The in-house clinic offers a variety of unique training opportunities including:
- The Language-Learning Early-Advantage Program (LEAP). LEAP is an award-winning preschool that focuses on communication enrichment for at-risk preschoolers in group and indvidiual settings.
- The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®). PEERS® is an evidence-based social skills intervention program for motivated teens in high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends.
- The Social Interaction Group Network for students with Autism (SIGNA). SIGNA was developed for UMD college students who want to understand others, express themselves, and navigate academic and campus life in better ways without losing their individuality.
- Avoidance Reduction Group Therapy. The goal of therapy is to achieve comfortable, forward-moving speech that is free of struggle and control.
- The Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Emphasis Program (CLD-EP). The goal of this program is to foster an in depth understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity, including specialized clinical experiences designed to help students gain cultural and linguistic competence.
- The Bilingual Certification Program. The HESP Bilingual Certification Program is a clinical preparation program for emerging bilingual speech-language pathologists. The core objective of the program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to become qualified bilingual services providers, by meeting the criteria set forth by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
- Numerous, off-site clinical externships in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area are unparalleled (e.g., The Lab School of Washington, The Treatment and Learning Centers, National Rehabilitation Hospital in DC, Walter Reed Military Medical Center, Children’s Hospital in DC, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, etc.), and permit students to explore clinical specialties of interest;
- Department-wide seminar series brings highly respected faculty to campus to interact with students;
- 100% success rate in placing students in clinical externships (outside placements);
- A high proportion of students receive financial support, in the form of on-campus graduate assistantships or from the Montgomery County Public Schools.
What can I expect from the program?
- 35 credits of coursework and 15 credits of clinical training
- Two years of full time study to complete
- Three semesters of training in the in-house clinic
- Two semesters of clinical externship (outside placement), typically distributed between adult and pediatric settings
- Typical class size of 20-25 students
- 100% pass rate on the ASHA Praxis exam, with over 95% employment rate
Academic Requirements (e.g., Coursework, Comprehensive Exams, Thesis): Dr. Yasmeen Faroqi-Shah, MA Director
Clinical Training (including Outplacements): Colleen Worthington, Clinic Director
Class Registration: Valerie Brownlee, Graduate Program Coordinator
Bilingual Certification Program: Jose Ortiz
General Admissions Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
More about the program:
- Program Directors
- Open Houses
- How to Apply
- International Students
- Pre-requisite Courses
- Funding Opportunities