Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Effective Fall 2018, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Program in Dental Hygiene have merged to become the Department of Communication Sciences and Oral Health led by Dr. Erika Armstrong.
Chair: Erika Armstrong, Associate Professor
Location: MCL 820
Undergraduate Degrees Offered
- B.S. in Communication Sciences (Deaf Education)
- B.S. in Communication Sciences (Speech-Language Pathology)
The undergraduate program in Communication Sciences prepares students for graduate level work and related career opportunities in the fields of speech-language pathology, education of the deaf, and audiology by providing foundational knowledge in the areas of typical communication development, differences and disorders of communication for children and adults, and intervention strategies for helping children and adults become successful communicators.
For detailed information about the graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology or Education of the Deaf, refer to the Graduate Catalog.
Students must apply to the Department for admission into the Communication Sciences Program (COMS) under either the deaf education track or the speech-language pathology track:
- Deaf Education: Courses in this track prepare students for graduate level work and related career opportunities in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Speech-Language Pathology: Courses in this track prepare students for graduate level work and related career opportunities in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
Students must have completed 30 semester hours prior to submitting an application to the Department. Students applying to the speech-language pathology track must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 or a GPA of 3.25 over their last 30 semester credit hours of course work, with prerequisite coursework in biology, physics or chemistry, and statistics. Students applying to the deaf education track must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or a GPA of 3.0 over their last 30 semester credit hours of course work.
Additional Requirements for Students in the Deaf Education Track
Students must also take six (6) education pedagogy courses for the Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences with emphasis in Education of the Deaf. Undergraduate students completing a degree in Communication Sciences with emphasis in Education of the Deaf have the option to complete coursework to prepare them for Early Childhood (EC) through 6 certification or for a Generalist 4 through 8 certification. Completion of the recommended courses on the plan of study will prepare students for the state exam for EC through 6 teacher certification. Students must complete an interview with the COMS advisor and apply to the College of Professional Education to be enrolled in the education courses.
Student Retention Requirements
Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 once admitted to the program. If the student’s GPA falls below 3.0 in classes taken within the department, the student will be placed on academic probation within the COMS department for the next semester the student is enrolled at TWU. During the probationary period, the student must meet with the COMS academic advisor to revise the student’s degree plan. If the GPA in classes within the department remains below a 3.0 after the probationary period, the student may no longer major or minor in Communication Sciences. No more than two grades of C will apply toward the major, nor will credit be awarded toward the major for a grade of D or F. Classes within the COMS department may be repeated one time to replace a grade.
Undergraduate SLP Practicum
The Undergraduate Practicum in Communication Sciences provides opportunities for outstanding SLP-track students intending to attend graduate school to gain practical experience. These limited positions are available for selected students during their senior year. Students apply for the Undergraduate Practicum during the spring of their junior year for the following fall and spring semesters of their senior year.
A minor in Communication Sciences (COMS) is available to undergraduate students from other majors. Students must have completed 30 credit hours and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (cumulative or over last 30 credit hours). The minor consists of COMS 2223 plus 5 additional COMS courses, to be selected in consultation with the COMS undergraduate advisor, that best suit the student's major and overall career goals. Eighteen (18) course hours total are required for the minor.
COMS 2223. Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders. Issues in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology, biological foundations for speech, language and hearing, English sound systems, and basic acoustics and acoustic characteristic of sounds. Overview of the etiology and treatment of disorders of articulation, fluency, voice, swallowing, language, and hearing. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 2233. Anatomy and Physiology for Speech and Language. The relationship of anatomy and physiology of the brain, central nervous system, and the respiratory system with articulation, phonation, and hearing. For COMS majors only. Prerequisite: Biology course. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 2513. Deaf Culture. History of deaf community, its art, literature and language (American Sign Language), including current attitudes, movements, policies, and trends which affect the Deaf as a minority. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 3063. Preschool Language Development. Nature of language, language-learning theories, and milestones of speech and language development; emphasis on preschool years. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 3333. Phonetics. Classification and phonetics of English phonemes using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), diacritical markings, and phonological processes. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 3503. Speech Disorders and Intervention. Normal speech development; etiology, diagnosis, and treatment for speech disorders as they relate to children and adults. Factors involved in the learning and teaching of speech to the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Prerequisite: COMS 3333. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 3523. Audiology. Introduction to anatomy and physiology of the auditory system, assessment of hearing, and the effects of hearing loss on communication across the lifespan from infancy through old age. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 3553. School-Age Language Development. Nature of oral and written language, the relationship of language to academic learning, and language development in the school-age years. Prerequisite or co-requisite: COMS 3063. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 3563. Language Disorders and Intervention. Etiology, diagnosis, and therapy strategies for language disorders across the lifespan with emphasis on evidence based practice for preschool and school aged children. Prerequisite: COMS 3553. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 3633. Aural Habilitation. Effects of hearing differences on communication, current hearing technologies, development of auditory-based skills in individuals who are deaf/hard-of-hearing, and related clinic and classroom-based support strategies. Prerequisite: COMS 3523. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4101. Study in Speech and Language Development. A course of study designed to enhance a student's knowledge of speech and language development in designated domains. Prerequisite: COMS 3063. One seminar hour a week. Credit: One hour.
COMS 4203. Diagnostic Procedures. Instruction in current evaluative procedures of speech and language, both formal and informal; using test data to plan for intervention strategies. Prerequisites: COMS 3063 and a statistics course. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4223. Observations of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students in the Educational Environment. Instruction about and scheduled observations of educational programs designed to educate deaf and hard-of-hearing children at the preschool, elementary, and secondary levels. The course will cover the following methods of instruction: total communication, auditory-verbal, and teaching English as a second language. Prerequisite: Permission of department. One lecture and four practicum hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4303. Introduction to Clinical Processes. Instruction in clinical processes and observation of speech therapy sessions. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Three practicum hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4483. English Sign Systems. The use of various manual code systems (SOS, MSS, Cued Speech) to facilitate the development of English by teachers of the hearing impaired. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4553. American Sign Language I. A first course in American Sign Language (ASL). Development of a minimal working vocabulary of signs taken from ASL and to develop some understanding of and the ability to use ASL grammar. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4613. American Sign Language II. A second course in American Sign Language (ASL). Expansion of ASL vocabulary and grammar. Enhancement of ability to understand ASL. Prerequisite: COMS 4553. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4623. The Brain and Language: an Introduction. An introduction to the neurology of speech and language mechanisms in children and adults. Emphasis on the neuronal bases of speech and language with focus on clinical syndromes of speech motor systems and central language mechanisms. Prerequisite: COMS 2233. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4633. Speech and Hearing Science. Scientific basis underlying evaluation and treatment skills in clinical procedures for perception and production of respiration, phonation, articulation, resonance, prosody, and hearing. Prerequisites: COMS 2233 and a course in Physics or Chemistry. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4643. American Sign Language III. Development of complex linguistic features of Advanced American Sign Language (ASL) and of advanced level proficiency in receptive and expressive ASL skills. Prerequisites: COMS 4553 and COMS 4613. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4653. Literacy for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Linguistic and literacy development in early childhood through eighth grade; integration of research in reading, writing, speaking, and listening development of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Practice applications including planning and implementing literacy instruction. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4663. Using ASL to Teach English. Instructional strategies for using ASL to teach English grammar and syntax to students who are deaf; exploration of the linguistic features of ASL and methods to teach English grammatical structures. Prerequisites: COMS 4553 and COMS 4613. Three lecture hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4693. Undergraduate Practicum Experience. Instruction in clinical and educational processes with beginning practicum experiences. Requires permission of instructor. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: COMS 4303 or COMS 4223. One lecture and four laboratory hours a week. Credit: Three hours.
COMS 4913. Independent Study. Individual study of specific problems. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Credit: Three hours.