Xavier University Launches Master’s Program in Speech Pathology

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) has been awarded candidacy for the accreditation of its new Master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). The new Master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology will play a significant role in the university’s efforts to respectfully and compassionately address speech, hearing, and language difficulties across diverse communities.

The CAA’s evaluation was based upon a thorough review of all candidacy materials for the program including the application, site visit report, and the program’s correspondence throughout the review period. The organization determined that the new program demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards for Accreditation as outlined in the Standards Compliance Continuum.

The mission of the new Master’s program is to produce professionals who are clinically competent as defined by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to meet the needs (i.e., prevention, identification, treatment) of individuals who are currently experiencing communicative disorders or differences, as well as those who are at-risk of such problems within and across diverse communities, settings, and contexts.

“Exposure to individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse communities during training is essential for professionals to become competent in recognizing and addressing the unique needs of underserved populations,” says XULA Senior Vice President and Provost Dr. Anne McCall. “The program will create a culture of evidence-based educational and clinical practices among its faculty, staff and students and will reflect the department’s long-standing core values of compassion, professional excellence, community engagement and life-long learning.”

The addition of this program brings the number of master’s degree options now offered by Xavier to 14, the others being in the areas of education, public health, and theology.

“Professionals graduating from the new program at Xavier will be provided with special training that will equip them in four key areas including implementation of evidence-based, case-centered care, knowledge and sensitivity about cultural and linguistic diversity matters, interprofessional collaboration/team case management skills, and knowledge and practical experience with working at the top of the profession,” says Speech Pathology Department Chairperson and Graduate Program Director Dr. Gloriajean Wallace.

Wallace said that students will also be exposed to social justice matters and social determinants that impact communication disorders.

“Twenty-one students who are currently enrolled in Xavier University’s Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology Program are expected to graduate in 2021 which is why we coined the slogan 21 in 2021,” Wallace adds.

As an addition to the new program, the department also announced the opening of Xavier University’s newly renovated Speech and Hearing Clinic that will also provide speech, language, cognitive and hearing screening assessments for residents of the Greater New Orleans Community. The clinic is designed to provide training opportunities for the program’s new Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology students. The clinic will open this month, offering speech, language, swallowing and hearing habilitation and rehabilitation services to adults and children who have a variety of communication disorders. This includes developmental speech and hearing disorders for preschoolers through young adults.

The clinic will also offer services for people with fluency and voice disorders as well as communication and swallowing disorders resulting from medical conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. The Clinic plans to eventually expand to provide services in rural and international locations. Clinical services will be provided by students who will be supervised by Speech-Language Pathologists who are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, CCC-SLP), licensed by the Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Board certified by the Academy of Neurologic Communication Sciences and Disorders (BC-ANCDS).

Although the deadline to apply for the fall 2019 semester has passed, Xavier is now accepting applications from prospective students who are interested in pursuing the new Master’s degree program for the fall 2020 semester. Admission is open to applicants who hold a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum 3.2 GPA in your field of study. Minimum combined GRE score of 280 (combined Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning). Applicants are also required to submit three letters of recommendation and a personal statement on why they have chosen the program. Applications (and more information relating to admissions) are available at https://gradapply.xula.edu/register/inquiry.

About Xavier University of Louisiana
Xavier was recently ranked as the nation’s #2 HBCU (Historically Black College and University) by College Consensus, a unique college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, in its newly released publication, Best HBCUs for 2018. Xavier was also among the four colleges selected by Beyonce and her BeyGood Foundation as the recipient of a Homecoming Scholars Scholarship Award announced after her much-lauded performance at Coachella, while actor and comedian Kevin Hart has joined forces with UNCF and KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) to help 18 more KIPP students earn a college degree—three of whom were Xavier students.

That’s just the latest in national accolades Xavier has received as one of the best universities in the country. Most notably, XULA is ranked as the best value among southern regional colleges and universities in the 2018 edition of “Best Colleges” by the U.S. News Media Group. Xavier also ranked No. 1 in its grouping, heading the list of only 15 schools that qualified for the Southern Region category listed under “Great Schools, Great Prices.”

At Xavier eXcellence awaits yoU. For more information about Xavier University of Louisiana visit online at www.xula.edu.

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