Program Overview

Communication Disorders Graduate Program

Welcome to the Communication Disorders program at New Mexico State University

 Ristras at the farmer's market - downtown Las Cruces. (photo by Darren Phillips)

Ristras at the farmer’s market – downtown Las Cruces. (photo by Darren Phillips)

The CD program is part of a combined department, Special Education/Communication Disorders (SPED/CD), housed within the College of Education, which offers training in Developmental Disabilities, Bilingual Special Education, School Psychology, Educational Diagnostics, Early Childhood Special Education, Deaf Education, and the Visual Impairment/Orientation and Mobility Program. In addition, the Department offers doctoral training in Special Education.

Housed in the SPED/CD Department is the NMSU Edgar R. Garret Speech & Hearing Center. The primary purpose of the Center is to provide training opportunities for CD students, but it also provides a service to the community by offering supervised speech, language, hearing, and swallowing services to persons with communication disorders. The Coordinator of Clinical Services, who is also a CD faculty member, and the Center Secretary schedule student clinical training activities and coordinate the daily administration of the Center.

Much of your coursework and clinical activities are completed in the Speech Building on the NMSU Campus. The Departmental office is located in the Speech Building, Room 245. Many of the CD faculty offices are also located on the second floor of the building, with other faculty. The Speech and Hearing Center office (Room 158), student mailroom and materials room (Room 163), Student Work Room ( Room 188) instrumentation training laboratories and clinical service facilities, including an Audiology Suite and AAC Lab (Room 190), are located on the first floor of the Speech building. Since you are also a student in the Graduate School and College of Education, there are several other places you will want to locate. The Graduate School offices are located in the Educational Services Building. Hadley Hall houses the offices of much of the university-wide administration, including the office of the NMSU President. The bookstore and many of the other facilities that serve students, including eateries, are located in Corbett Center. There are two library buildings at the center of campus, the Zuhl Library and Branson Hall. Both libraries house electronic and print media available for use by CD students.

The Master’s education program in speech-language pathology at New Mexico State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. The requirements set forth by this governing body determine your course of study.  ASHA issues the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) to professionals who have met a set of defined standards (see Appendix A, ASHA Professional Standards, pp. 21-35).  As of January 1994, only students who are graduates of a CAA-accredited training program are eligible for the CCC. The CD Program at NMSU has been accredited based on the expectation that our program complies with all accreditation standards over the term of accreditation. The academic coursework you take includes curriculum and clinical practica in a number of specific areas. Appendix B (pp. 36-40) includes the Advising and Tracking Form that will be used to document your progress through the program. We are required to provide you with the clinical education that includes working with specific types of persons with a variety of communication disorders, and that these experiences occur in distinctly different kinds of work settings. You will meet these requirements through your clinical practica before you graduate. The Clinical Program Manual, which you purchase for the practicum course CD 589, is designed to provide you with detailed information and forms that are needed to complete your clinical education successfully.

The CD Program has a list of 10 competencies that you will demonstrate through your academic and clinical work in the program. A table listing the competencies, how each relates to the ASHA Standards, and where within the curriculum each competency is addressed is presented here.

Another factor determining your individual requirements for graduation from the CD Program is the NMSU requirements. At all levels of the university, including the Department and Program, there are rules and requirements that must be followed by all students. You can find specific statements of those requirements in several publications, including the NMSU Graduate Bulletin and the Student Handbook. A few of these are restated here for your attention.

  1. All graduate students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in order to remain in good standing with the Graduate School. If you fall below this GPA you will be placed on academic probation the following semester. If you are unable to improve your GPA, you will be subject to disenrollment and will not be able to apply for readmission into the program for 5 years.
  2. CD graduate students must earn a grade of “B” or higher in all CD courses in order for that course to apply toward graduation. If you earn a grade of “C” or lower, you may repeat the course once in an attempt to improve that grade. Any other arrangements regarding grade improvement will be subject to the review and approval of your Academic Advisor, the CD Graduate Faculty, the CD Program Director and the SPED/CD Department Head. A departmental Selective Review Committee may be formed to consider your options for further progress in the CD Program.
  3. In order to participate in clinical practica, CD graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. If your GPA falls below 3.0, you will not be allowed to enroll in CD 589 or do any clinical work to earn clock hours until the 3.0 has been re-established.
  4. All CD graduate students must successfully complete all Academic and Clinical Program requirements prior to graduation. Graduation from a CAA-accredited program implies that you have completed the Academic and Clinical Program that the CAA and ASHA approved. The CD Program Director must certify that you are academically qualified by signing the forms that you submit to ASHA as a part of the requirements for obtaining your Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech and Language (CCC-SLP). That signature will be given only after all Program requirements have been completed prior to obtaining the Master of Arts degree from NMSU.