Philosophy of the Communication Disorders Program
Vision and Mission Statements
To prepare professionals to positively impact the lives of a diverse community of individuals with exceptionalities.
•Visionary Excellence •High Standards •Compassionate Support •Team Work •Collegiality •Unity
•Professionalism •Ethics •Integrity •Respect for Diversity
The NMSU Communication Disorders Program Logo represents how the three individual characteristics and the three major components of the program (Communication/Personal, Knowledge/Academics, and Skills/Clinical Experiences) interact in the transition from being students to developing scholarship and professionalism.
Communication – the competent use of verbal, nonverbal, oral, and literate communication to negotiate meaning is the key to developing and using functional knowledge and skills in the professional, administrative, clinical, educational, and research roles of the Communication Disorders profession.
Knowledge – usable information about basic human communication and swallowing processes; the nature of speech, language, hearing, and communication disorders and differences, and swallowing disorders; and principles and methods of prevention, assessment, and intervention for culturally and linguistically diverse people with communication and swallowing disorders.
Skills – demonstrated clinical competence in evaluation and intervention with culturally and linguistically diverse people with varied types and degrees of hearing, speech, language, and swallowing disorders.
Communication-Knowledge Interaction (self-advocacy) – using competent communication to identify, explore, develop, and use areas of knowledge that will facilitate personal breadth and depth of understanding, thinking, learning, and knowing relevant to areas of communication and disorders.
Communication-Skills Interaction (other-advocacy) – using competent communication to identify, explore, develop, and use areas of “best practice” knowledge and skills that will facilitate the evaluation, intervention, and management of clients’/patients’ communication and its impact on others.
Knowledge-Skills Interaction (scholarship) – synthesizing usable knowledge and skills into unique ways of thinking about and implementing ideas, concepts, hypotheses, and complex phenomena. Scholarship (discovery, application, teaching-learning, and integration) develops within self-directed constructive thinkers, problem solvers, and decision makers.
Communication-Knowledge-Skills Interaction (professionalism) – integrating competent communication, knowledge, and skills in ways that allow members of the Communication Disorders professions to provide services to society as distinguished by superior, on-going understanding, thinking, learning, and knowing. Professionalism earns the respect of society for contributions to using and refining the “best practices” knowledge and skills necessary to assess, treat, and manage individuals with speech, language, hearing, and swallowing disorders.
The Transition from Students to Scholars to Professionals
Students. A student acquires declarative and procedural knowledge and skills (“what” and “how”). Understanding, thinking, learning, and knowing primarily occur through memorization, rote and paraphrased recall, and basic demonstration of familiar concepts through a student’s personal language core and sensemaking. Students represent Perry’s Dualism level of intellectual development where knowledge is black and white, every problem has one and only one correct answer, the teacher has all the solutions, and the job of the student is to memorize and repeat them. Dualists want facts and formulas and don’t like theories or abstract models, open-ended questions, or active or cooperative learning. [From: Perry, W.G. (1970). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc.]
Scholars. A scholar acquires declarative, procedural, and structural knowledge and skills (“what,” “how,” and “why”) through contemplation, questioning and hypothesizing, and careful examination and analysis of elements that make up familiar and unfamiliar rules, methods, concepts, principles, laws, and theories, as well as identifying and changing one’s feelings, interests, and values while interacting with others. Scholars operate at varying degrees of Perry’s Multiplicity level of intellectual development. They create new ways of thinking about concepts and explore how and why rules, methods, concepts, principle, laws, and theories can help them become better at understanding, thinking, learning, and knowing complex phenomena. They become self-directed constructive thinkers, problem solvers, and decision makers. Scholars start using supporting evidence to manage issues in productive ways rather than relying completely on what authorities say. They see that knowledge and values depend on context and individual perspective rather than being externally objectively based. Developing Scholars count preconceptions and prejudices as acceptable evidence and once they have reached a solution they have little inclination to examine alternatives. Advanced Scholars see that knowledge and values depend on context and individual perspective rather than being externally and objectively based. Using real evidence to reach and support conclusions becomes habitual and not just something professors want them to do.
Professionals. Professionals represent what Perry refers to as commitment to relativism, i.e., they begin to see the need for commitment to a course of action even in the absence of certainly, basing the commitment on critical evaluation rather than on external authority. Professionals begin to make commitments in personal direction and values, evaluate the consequences and implications of their commitments and attempt to resolve conflicts, and finally acknowledge that the conflicts may never be fully resolved and come to terms with the continuing struggle. According to Thomas D. Miller, “Professionals render services to society as distinguished by their superior [on-going] knowledge, training, and/or skill. Thus, they earn the respect of society for services provided. To maintain that respect, professionals are responsible for conforming to stated or implied minimum standards of conduct imposed by society and/or by the profession. The professional assumes legal and ethnical liability for demonstration of the ability and competence of an ordinary member in good standing in the profession,” p. 88, in Lubinsky, R., & Frattali, C. (2007). Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (3rd ed). San Diego, CA: Singular/Delmar/Thomson Learning, Inc.