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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

2016 Status
Achieved
High-impact learning experiences are programmed into the graduate program in speech-language pathology. For 2016, all graduate students in the existing M.S. in speech-language pathology participated in two or more high-impact learning experiences prior to graduation.

2017 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

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Some baseline data have been collected.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Inclusion advocates are included with each position search.

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

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Advisory boards need to be reconstituted.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Audiology Advisory Board was constituted and met twice during 2017. Potential members of SLP Advisory Board have been identified.

Objective 1.C.2

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

Baseline

No data.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Baseline data for number of external placements has been collected.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Continue to refine procedures for tracking extern placements. Records were updated during 2018 with a final compilation being completed and shared with accreditor. Ongoing discussion regarding the quality of placements.

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

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty are encouraged to participate in workshops, presentations, and discussions regarding innovative technologies.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Faculty members actively pursuing opportunities to participate and conduct research in telemedicine/telepractice/telehealth.

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

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The M.S. in speech-language pathology program is in its fourth year of the five year candidacy accreditation cycle. The proposed doctor of audiology program continues to move through institutional approvals.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Self-study in SLP was submitted as part of application for full-accreditation. Council review identified no areas of concern. Site visit was conducted on February 22-23, 2018 and no areas of concern were identified. Program is awaiting final council decision which should be received in August, 2018. Final institutional approvals have been achieved for the Doctor of Audiology degree program and the self-study associated with applying for candidacy accreditation status is under development.

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

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
All faculty eligible for certification hold and maintain their Certificate of Clinical Competence.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
All faculty participating in clinical activities maintain certification and licensure.

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

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Not yet initiated. Targeted for 2018 year of strategic plan.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty discussions and advanced planning.

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

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Approximately half of the program faculty have completed the university endorsement to teach online or hybrid courses.

2017 Status
Achieved
All departmental faculty have 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

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Some discussion of intra- and inter-departmental mentoring relationships. There are quite a number of collaborative research projects both within the department as well as with faculty from other departments.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Department representative to college research committee. Ongoing faculty discussions.

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

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Progress toward achievement of this objective is slated for 2017.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Continued discussion and development of position descriptions.

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

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
This objective has received considerable attention but minimal progress has been made at this point.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Ongoing discussion and review of possible mechanisms.

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

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is in the final stages of approval within the institution. This will create a major in CSD in place of the existing emphasis under Allied Health Sciences. The doctor of audiology (Au.D.) degree program is expected to receive final institutional approval early in 2017.

2017 Status
Achieved
B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders received final institutional and HLC approval in 2017. Program will be implemented in Fall, 2018. Doctor of Audiology program received final institutional and HLC approvals in 2017. Program is applying for professional accreditation and will be implemented as soon as possible.

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

2016 Status
Achieved
Forty-seven students sat for the SLP National Praxis Examination during 2017 and all 47 achieved a passing score.

2017 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

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Baseline data for graduate students have been collected to use for measuring future improvement.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Ongoing high GPA and GRE scores for accepted 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

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Program holds and maintains membership.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Departmental representation at the profession's major academic meetings.

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

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
A complete redesign of the departmental website was conducted in 2016, which has resulted in a more user-friendly website.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Continued to maintain currency and accuracy of departmental website.

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