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Speech Pathology & Audiology

Diagnosing & Treating Communication Disorders

Speech-language Pathology and Audiology are exciting and rewarding professions that provide services to individuals with communications disorders and their families. There are approximately 46 million people who have some type of communication disorder. Some of these individuals may have difficulty producing speech sounds, expressing and understanding language or difficulty hearing due to conditions present at birth, acquired diseases or accidents. People of all ages experience these disorders. Speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists are all specialists trained at the graduate level to help improve the quality of life of persons with communication and swallowing disorders.

       Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work in a variety of work settings, including schools and hospitals.  There are an estimated 100,000  ASHA   certified speech-language pathologists.  These professionals assess and treat a variety of speech, language, and swallowing disorders in persons of all ages.  Speech disorders   may included problems with speech sound production (articulation), fluency (stuttering), and voice disorders.   Language disorders   may be characterized by difficulties in the comprehension or expression of organized symbols.  SLPs also help clients with swallowing disorders, possibly due to a stroke or surgery, that my lead to life threatening conditions.

    Audiologists also work in a variety of settings and serve individuals from birth to older adulthood.  Audiologists are trained at the doctoral level to diagnose and treat individuals with hearing and balance disorders .  Speech, language and hearing scientists investigate and develop evidence based methods for diagnosing and treating communication disorders.  Although these scientists may practice with a master's degree or clinical doctorate, most acquire a research doctorate in the discipline of speech-language pathology or audiology .

    Tennessee State University offers a undergraduate concentration in Communication Sciences and Disorders under Health Sciences , and  Master of Science degree  in Speech and Hearing Science (concentration speech-language pathology).  Certification to practice speech-language pathology requires a Master's degree as entry level.  The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology's graduate program has maintained accreditation by the Council of Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association ASHA ) since 1985.

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