Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN COMMUNICATION DISORDERS
The B.S. (Bachelor of Science) education program in Communication Disorders at Western Kentucky University prepares students academically for graduate study in speech-language pathology, audiology, or related areas. A master's degree is required for national certification in speech-language pathology and a clinical doctorate is required for national certification in audiology. Licensure is also necessary in Kentucky but other states have various mandates for practicing professionals. All coursework follows guidelines recommended by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
The major for students in Communication Disorders (reference number 595P prior to being accepted to the program and reference number 595 after being officially accepted to the undergraduate program) is a pre-professional program which requires 58 hours in the specialization areas of speech-language pathology and audiology.
All undergraduate students are required to complete supervised clinical clock hours working with people having communication disorders (Clinical Internship). Students are required to undergo criminal background checks and provide proof of a recent physical examination, professional liability insurance, and a tuberculin skin test prior to beginning any clinical experiences.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN COMMUNICATION DISORDERS
Speech and hearing sciences career opportunities are expected to grow faster than average through the end of calendar year 2022. This is due to several factors including an aging baby boomer population with increased possibilities of oncoming neurological disorders with accompanying speech, language, swallowing, and hearing impairments. Employment opportunities are also increasing due to improving survival rates of premature infants and trauma and stroke patients in need of assessment and intervention. Additionally, federal legislation guarantees services to all children with disabilities. Private practice opportunities will also increase due to the increase in contracted services with schools, nursing care/rehabilitation facilities, and hospitals.