Undergraduate Catalog

2011 – 2012

Current Undergraduate Catalog

Office of Admissions
Emil H. Messikomer Hall
100 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-3411
Fax: 610-436-2907

Revised September 2011

Academic Programs

Department of Communicative Disorders

201 Carter Drive
Michael Weiss, Chairperson

PROFESSORS: Gunter, Weiss


ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: Grillo, Swasey-Washington


The Department of Communicative Disorders offers a program leading to a B.A. in communicative disorders. It is a preprofessional program that provides students with basic knowledge of human communication and communication disorders in preparation for graduate study in audiology, speech-language pathology, speech and hearing science, or related health science or communication fields.

Students will be provided with the opportunity to complete the undergraduate preparation that is applicable to fulfilling the requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The department operates a Speech and Hearing Clinic that serves as a teaching and training facility for the academic program. The clinic provides diagnostic and therapeutic services for children and adults with speech, language, and hearing problems. These services are available to individuals from the University as well as from the surrounding communities.

Academic Policies

  1. Restrictive major requirement

    To remain in the major or to transfer into the major, students must complete the following prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 and a minimum grade of C or better in each course: ENG 230/LIN 230; any 100-level MAT; SPP 101, 106, 203, 207; WRT 120; and any 200-level WRT. The restrictive major requirement began with the 2008 fall semester for freshmen and new transfer students.

  2. Letter grade requirement
    Grades of C–, D, or F earned in major (SPP) courses must be raised to C or better. A major course in which a student earns a grade of C-, D, or F must be repeated the next time the course is offered.
  3. GPA requirement
    A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and 2.5 GPA in the major courses are required for all communicative disorders majors to complete the degree program.


120 semester hours

  1. General ed. requirements, see pages 38-44 (48 semester hours)
  2. Language and culture (3-15 semester hours)

  3. Related areas (18 semester hours)
    These courses are to be selected under advisement from a department-approved list.
  4. Communicative disorders concentration (34 semester hours)
    SPP 101, 106, 163, 166, 203, 204, 207, 208, 263, 329, 333, 346, 348, 350, 363, 366, and 463
  5. Electives (up to 17 semester hours)


Symbol: SPP

101 Introduction to Communicative Disorders (3) An introductory survey of normal processes and disorders of speech, language, and hearing. Suitable for nonmajors.

106 Anatomy of Speech and Hearing Mechanisms (3) A study of embryology, normal development, neurology, and physiology of anatomical structures of the speech and hearing mechanisms. PREREQ: SPP 101. Writing emphasis course.

110 American Sign Language I (3) Students in this course will develop a fundamental vocabulary and understanding of American Sign Language. In addition, information will be provided about deaf culture, general impact, barriers, and opportunities related to hearing loss.

111 American Language 2 (3) Students in this course will develop conversational skills of American Sign Language. They also continue to expand their knowledge of deaf culture. PREREQ: SPP 110.

163 Seminar I in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information. The seminar will focus on career/professional awareness, orientation to the department, and individual studies. Suitable for nonmajors. Should be taken concurrently with SPP 101.

166 Seminar II in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information. The seminar will focus on personal adjustment, assertiveness, and active listening.

203 Speech and Hearing Science (3) This course presents students with the fundamental knowledge of acoustics related to speech production and speech perception. It also provides an opportunity for students to engage in laboratory experiences related to acoustic and psychoacoustic measurement. PREREQ: SPP 101 or linguistics minor.

204 Speech and Language Development (3) Examination of normal communication development: biological, cognitive, social, and ecological bases of language. Developmental milestones from prelinguistic communication to oral language and literacy. Normal variations in development associated with cultural diversity and bilingualism. PREREQ: ENG/LIN 230, SPP 101. Writing emphasis course.

207 Introduction to Phonetics (3) Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet and its use in transcribing normal and disordered speech. Emphasis is placed on broad and narrow transcription skills. PREREQ: SPP 101 or linguistics minor.

208 Neurology of Speech and Hearing (3) A study of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the speech and hearing mechanism. PREREQ: SPP 101, 106.

240 Development and Disorders of Language (3) An examination of normal language development and its psycholinguistic, neurological, and social dimensions. Special education considerations for children with language disorders. Suitable for nonmajors.

266 Seminar III in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information. The seminar will focus on implications of disabilities and on cultural diversity.

329 Speech and Voice Disorders (3) The symptomatology, etiology, assessment, and treatment of communicative disorders associated with speech and voice. PREREQ: SPP 101, 106, 203, 204, 207.

333 Language Disorders (3) Clinical management issues associated with developmental and acquired language disorders in children and adults. Linguistic patterns observed in the performance of individuals with various etiological conditions (e.g., mental retardation, autism, hearing loss, neurological impairment, craniofacial anomalies, learning disability). Factors indicating risk for and maintenance of language disorders. Protocols for evaluation and treatment indicated by developmental theories, processing models, and sensitivity to normal variations among culturally diverse populations. PREREQ: SPP 204.

346 Hearing Disorders (3) An introduction to audiology and its relationship to other medical and educational fields concerned with hearing impairments. Developmental, medical, social, physical, and psychological properties of hearing and sound are explored. Evaluative techniques are introduced with opportunity for limited practical experience. PREREQ: SPP 106 and 203.

348 Hearing Disorders Laboratory (1) Laboratory experience to become familiar with most common hearing testing and remediation equipment. Taken concurrently with SPP 346.

350 Clinical Principles in Communicative Disorders (3) A study of evaluative and therapeutic materials and methods applicable to the professional setting. PREREQ: SPP 329 and 333. Writing emphasis course.

363 Seminar IV in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information, focusing on principles and applications of counseling.

366 Seminar V in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information, focusing on professional resources and the legal, ethical, and political responsibilities of the professional.

410 Independent Study (1-3) Research, creative projects, reports, and readings in speech pathology and audiology. Application must be made to advisers by students one semester in advance of registration. Open to juniors and seniors only. PREREQ: Approval of department chairperson. Offered on demand.
This course may be taken again for credit.

451 Clinical Practicum in Communicative Disorders (3) Supervised practice in the Speech and Hearing Clinic. Designed to prepare students to evaluate and provide therapy for children and adults who have communication problems. PREREQ: Overall GPA of 2.75 and major GPA of 3.0; permission of the department.

463 Seminar VI in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information, focusing on employment opportunities and graduate education.

469 Clinical Instrumentation (3) Evaluation, selection, use, and maintenance of electronic aids for the speech and hearing clinician. Emphasis on demonstrations and practical experience. Open to communicative disorders students with senior standing. Also offered as SPP 569 for graduate credit.

498 Workshop in Communicative Disorders (3)
This course may be taken again for credit.