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Speech & Language Disabilities

Speech-language pathologists work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools, private practices, and health departments to identify and treat developmental and acquired communication disorders, including speech, language, swallowing, and voice disorders. Audiologists also work in hospitals, medical practices, schools, and private practices to diagnose hearing problems, fit hearing aids, and counsel clients about their hearing losses. In addition to diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders, both audiologists and speech-language pathologists are involved in prevention activities.

The Speech and Language Disabilities major leads to eligibility for the New York State Initial Teaching Certificate in Speech and Language Disabilities. It also provides students with a sound basis for graduate study and, ultimately, for credentialing by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and State professional licensing agencies. This major includes coursework in normal development, disorders of communication, and educational pedagogy.

Students get considerable supervised practicum experiences in the campus Speech and Hearing Clinic, usually beginning in their junior year. The Elmira College Speech and Hearing Clinic offers a full array of clinical speech-language pathology and audiology services to individuals of all ages in the Elmira region. Speech and Language Disabilities majors complete a 12-week student-teaching experience in an area school district during their senior year.

Students majoring in other areas may choose to complete the 24-credit Speech and Hearing minor. Completion of the minor provides students with a basic understanding of communication and its disorders and complements study in fields such as psychology, human services, nursing and education.