Communication Sciences and Disorders Undergraduate Program
Information about the professions
The discipline of communication sciences and disorders is comprised of two distinct professions: speech-language pathology and audiology. These professions are concerned with human communication and its disorders. Whichever profession you choose, your work helps people who have difficulty communicating. For more information about the professions, you will find a great deal of information on the website for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Speech-language pathologists (SLP's) help prevent, identify, assess and provide treatment for communication and swallowing disorders. These include delayed language development, acquired language disorders, stuttering, voice, and articulation disorders as well as swallowing problems. Disorders related to literacy also have become an area of focus for speech-language pathologists. They provide service to children and adults and work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, nursing homes, private practice and private clinics such as Saint Louis University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.
Audiologists help prevent, identify, assess, and treat hearing disorders. They evaluate hearing, prescribe and dispense hearing aids, assess balance, assess and provide intervention for auditory processing disorders, and teach speech (or lip) reading and listening skills. Audiologists are involved in hearing conservation (particularly in industry) as well as in monitoring nerve function during surgery. Audiologists work in a variety of settings, including physician offices, hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, nursing homes, private practice and schools.
Speech-language pathology and audiology professions offer excellent opportunities for employment. Our graduates are highly sought by employers and often secure jobs before graduation. Job opportunities in the professions are increasing as well. These professions have been listed in Newsweek and Forbes magazines as fields of tremendous projected growth, resulting in continued personnel needs in the future. According to a recent edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of speech-language pathologists and audiologists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2010.