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Strategic Plan for Communication Sciences & Disorders

Context For Planning

The College of Health Professions took its first step toward offering degrees in speech-language pathology and audiology in 2010 by offering the undergraduate prerequisite courses that all applicants for graduate school must complete. This was accomplished by offering an emphasis in speech-language pathology within the major of Allied Health Sciences. A new Master of Science in speech-language pathology was proposed in 2011 and received final approval in 2012, at which time an application was submitted for candidacy accreditation through the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Candidacy was awarded in 2013 and the first cohort of M.S. students were matriculated in Fall, 2013. A proposal was submitted in 2011 for a new Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program. This proposal continues to make its way through the approval process. Currently, the anticipated start date for the Au.D. is Fall 2018.

Mission

To prepare graduate students to become speech-language pathologists or audiologists who demonstrate excellence in clinical practice and who strive to be life-long learners. The undergraduate emphasis provides students with a foundation in theoretical and applied aspects of the discipline to facilitate success in their future endeavors.

Vision

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will become a leader in the academic and clinical education of speech-language pathology and audiology students through exemplary classroom and clinical instruction, extensive practicum opportunities, and retention of outstanding faculty. As a result, graduates will be life-long learners, leaders in their professions, advocates for their clients/patients, and the critical thinkers and problem solvers of tomorrow.

Value Statement

Centered on professional education 


Accessible and supportive of students 

Excellent teaching 

Foundation in evidence-based practice

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

100% of graduate students who complete the graduate programs will continue to participate in two or more high-impact learning experiences prior to graduation.

Baseline

100% of SLP graduate students participate in two or more high-impact learning experiences prior to graduation

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The objective was achieved in 2019 and sustained in 2021

2019 Status
Achieved
100% of graduate students continue to participate in multiple high-impact learning experiences.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Increase the number of males and persons of diverse ethnic background to 5%.

Baseline

Approximately 3% of students, staff, and administrators are from these underrepresented groups.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The objective was achieved in 2019 and sustained in 2021

2019 Status
Achieved
Diversity data has been gathered which revealed that the number of males and persons of diverse ethnic background in the department is approximately 8%.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will reconstitute and reconvene the advisory boards for SLP and for Audiology at least once every five years.

Baseline

Boards last met in 2013.

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
The Objective was met for audiology and undergraduate speech-language pathology in 2019. The speech-language pathology graduate program Advisory Board was scheduled to meet in 2020 and has not met since the onset of the pandemic. The unit will plan to convene the speech-language pathology graduate program Advisory Board in 2022.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Boards are all constituted and have met within the past five years with one exception.

Objective 1.C.2

Increase the number and quality of external clinical placements for graduate students.

Baseline

No data.

Progress

2021 Status
Substantive Progress
Since 2020 the number and quality of external clinical placements have been maintained for speech-language pathology, however, this represents both an increase in new placements and a decrease of existing placements that were available in 2019. Since the field of Speech-Language Pathology has experienced a national shortage of clinical placements due in part to pandemic-related issues, this is viewed as substantive Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The number of external clinical placements increased by more than 2% during 2019.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

90% of CSD faculty will evaluate existing innovative technologies for the appropriateness of implementing them in student learning experiences. Faculty will be expected to take advantage of opportunities to evaluate new technologies through attendance at FTLC workshops and presentations/discussions at professional venues.

Baseline

Data has not been collected.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The Objective was achieved in 2019 and continues to be sustained. 100% of faculty continue to participate in professional development.

2019 Status
Achieved
100% of faculty participate in opportunities to learn about and implement innovative technologies in the classroom and for clinical education.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

100% of programs with available accreditation will achieve the maximum number of years of accreditation awarded. M.S. in SLP will achieve full accreditation (5 year award for new accreditation is the only option). Doctor of Audiology (AuD) will achieve candidacy accreditation (5 year award for candidacy is the only option).

Baseline

M.S. in SLP holds 5-year candidacy accreditation and will apply for full accreditation in August 2017. Doctor of Audiology is still passing through institutional approval, after which an application for candidacy will be submitted (anticipated submission is 2016 or 2017).

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The SLP graduate program achieved full accreditation in 2017 and is up for renewal for accreditation, according to the CAA 5-year cycle, in 2022. (5 year award for new accreditation is the only option). The AuD program received final approval for candidacy status. (5 year award for candidacy is the only option).

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
M.S. in SLP was awarded full accreditation status in 2018. Au.D. program has been reviewed and received on-campus site visit in January, 2020. Currently awaiting final Candidacy decision.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

95% of the faculty in CSD will maintain an active status and contribution to the national professional association, ASHA, and other relevant associations through current membership, generalist certification (CCC), and speciality certifications, if available.

Baseline

92% of faculty hold active status with professional associations and relevant certifications.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
All faculty providing clinical supervision hold a valid national certification and a valid state license. Two faculty received national fellowships in 2019 and one member received a national fellowship in 2021.

2019 Status
Achieved
100% of CSD faculty are active members in their national professional associations and participate annually in professional development through these associations.

Objective 2.C.2

Develop and implement a community preceptor program to include periodic training and continuing education, rating of preceptor skills, and a mechanism for recognition and appreciation.

Baseline

No preceptor program exists.

Progress

2021 Status
Minimal Progress
The onset of the pandemic significantly impacted clinical placements with preceptors. Continuing education offerings were limited due to a lack of access to speakers and venues. The offering of CEU's will be a priority for the unit in 2022.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
Department continues to explore options and opportunities for providing continuing education opportunities for preceptors.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

100% of full-time CSD faculty will complete the university endorsement to teach courses online or hybrid.

Baseline

Current number is not known.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
All faculty have completed the required online/hybrid teaching professional development.

2019 Status
Achieved
Maintained 100% of CSD faculty achieved university endorsement to teach online or hybrid courses.

Objective 2.D.2

Develop and maintain a departmental research mentoring plan to include: 1) intradepartmental research mentoring relationships, 2) the creation of new intradepartmental relationships if needed, and 3) maintain participation in university-level mentoring programs.

Baseline

Plan does not exist. Mentoring has been very informal.

Progress

2021 Status
Minimal Progress
New faculty hired in 2019 were provided with a structured orientation provided by faculty. The onset of the pandemic delayed the start of research mentoring plans and this occurred informally for faculty.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Departmental faculty have been successful in developing intradepartmental mentoring relationships and participating in university-level mentoring opportunities. The department is working with the college to develop a formal mentoring plan.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

Develop job descriptions for various faculty categories that define roles and responsibilities. Ensure workload aligns with job description but still allows some flexibility.

Baseline

Rudimentary job descriptions exist for chair and coordinators. Workloads do not always align with responsibilities.

Progress

2021 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty job descriptions exist at the university level and for departmental activities, exist for directors and coordinators. Job duties have needed to be flexible since 2019 due to open speech-language pathology positions and the high number of courses needing to be taught by ancillary staff.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Continuing to define roles and responsibilities for affiliate faculty within the department.

Objective 2.E.2

Determine ways in which workloads can be adjusted for those who want or need research time, and identify resources available for those interested in gaining knowledge and skills in research methods.

Baseline

Current workloads do not allow reassigned time for research.

Progress

2021 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty are not provided with release time for scholarship or creative activity.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
Original objective does not align with institutional guidelines for workload.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 3.A.1

Achieve institutional approval for two new programs: 1) B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and 2) Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.).

Baseline

1) B.S. in CSD is in final stages of development within the department and is expected to be submitted in early Fall, 2016. 2) Au.D. is passing through approval process and is expected to matriculate students in Fall 2018.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The Objective was achieved in 2019 and is currently sustained. The AuD program has received CAA Accreditation.

2019 Status
Achieved
Au.D. received approvals of the institution, state, and the regional accrediting body.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

Maintain overall annual pass rate of 95% or higher on the SLP National Praxis Examination.

Baseline

Pass rate for first 3 cohorts is 98.8% (only one student did not pass)

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The Objective was achieved in 2019 and has been sustained at a 100% level.

2019 Status
Achieved
Program pass rate exceeds 95%.

Objective 4.A.2

Increase each of the following: 1. mean GPA of accepted undergraduate CSD students 2. mean GPA and GRE scores of accepted graduate SLP students 3. one-year employment rate for graduates of the M.S. in SLP program who are seeking employment

Baseline

Data being collected.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The Objective was achieved in 2019 and has been sustained through 2021.

2019 Status
Achieved
Mean GPA and number of applicants for CSD major have increased to the point that only those with 3.0 GPA are offered admission. Department continues to use holistic admissions procedures with graduate students.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Maintain membership and active participation in the profession's academic association, Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD).

Baseline

Currently a member institution.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The Objective was achieved in 2019 and has been sustained through 2021 by all faculty.

2019 Status
Achieved
Department maintains membership in CAPCSD and sends representatives to the annual CAPCSD meeting.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

To request the services of the CHP webpage designer to update and maintain a departmental website with current and accurate information regarding the programs offered through the department.

Baseline

Website exists and contains essential information but is difficult to navigate and some information is dated.

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
The objective was initiated and met substantial progress in 2019. Since the barriers presented due to the pandemic, this objective has been placed on hold to allow time for faculty and webpage designers to focus on quality teaching and scholarship.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Department maintains currency and accuracy of website. CHP no longer employs a webpage designer.

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