Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences educates students with rigorous academic coursework and clinical practicum to prepare them for professions in health and resource settings. Future generations of speech-language pathologists are prepared to deliver personalized care to individuals over the life span and maximize patient outcomes as they integrate science and research in evidence-based clinical problem solving.
The department is in the Health Sciences Building on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus within the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. It has a cooperative agreement with Eastern Washington University Department of Communication Disorders, which combines faculty and resources to form the University Programs in Communication Disorders.
Programs of study
The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences offers degree programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences and a Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences in speech-language pathology. Training in speech and hearing sciences through the bachelor’s degree is considered pre-professional. Post-baccalaureate coursework is available to prepare students with bachelor’s degrees in related areas for graduate study in speech-language pathology. State and national clinical and educational certifications and licensure require completion of the master’s degree. Graduate students are prepared as speech-language pathologists to provide direct and consultative services in educational and medical settings.
The master’s (MS) education program in speech-language pathology at Washington State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. The graduate program in speech-language pathology is recognized at the state level by the Washington State Board of Education.
Faculty expertise spans neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders affecting communication. They study and treat complex disorders, such as autism, childhood apraxia of speech, speech neurophysiology, childhood deafness, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), taking what they learn to Spokane and beyond.
See the faculty experts page for more on our faculty research strengths.
Community outreach and education
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
As the prevalence of ASD rises impacting SLP caseloads, there is a need to provide education and awareness through community outreach. Speech and Hearing Sciences faculty provide interdisciplinary learning experiences and invited lectures about current topics impacting clinical service for local providers and community members, offered through a “Visiting Scholars in ASD” lecture series with nationally recognized clinical researchers as featured speakers. Partnerships with local clinics and advocacy groups provide a unique opportunity for students to gain clinical training in multidisciplinary teams and to learn through integrated experiences involving mentoring, advocacy, and clinical training. Faculty also engage in community partnerships with local organizations to educate across healthcare disciplines and improve upon service delivery in communities with limited access to services.
National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA):
Speech and Hearing Sciences students take the lead in community outreach efforts as members of our local chapter of NSSLHA, the pre-professional student organization affiliated with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). NSSLHA provides students at the undergraduate and graduate levels with opportunities for engaging in educational experiences outside of their coursework. Membership in NSSLHA guides preparation for entering the disciplines of audiology and speech-language pathology.
Led by a faculty advisor, NSSLHA offers community panel-based educational sessions known as “Ed Nights”, open to all students on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus, which address a variety of topics related to communication disorders and various health conditions. These sessions are supported by participating interdisciplinary healthcare professionals sharing their experiences in clinical practice. As part of their philanthropy efforts supporting the community, NSSLHA holds fundraisers to support organizations serving individuals with communication disorders across the lifespan. NSSLHA has donated funds to organizations such as the HOPE School, the Stuttering Foundation of America, the Isaac Foundation, the Northwest Autism Center, Vanessa Beehan Crisis Nursery, Ogden Hall, and many other community partners.
Alumni and giving
The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences is proud of the students who have graduated from our academic programs. We want to hear from our alumni, and in turn, want our alumni to know what is happening with us in Spokane and beyond.
Our alumni and friends are invaluable as we strive to redefine education. Gifts to assist our students are always appreciated. Please consider a gift to make a difference for future generations. Gifts support student scholarships and financial aid, student travel expenses to attend professional conferences for presentations and networking, student and faculty research, the purchase of new equipment for laboratories, and recruitment and retention of faculty.
To learn more about giving to the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, visit https://medicine.wsu.edu/give/.