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Distance Education Master's Degree Program in Speech-Language Pathology

The Department of Communication Disorders & Sciences offers a distance education master's degree program in speech-language pathology intended for individuals with a bachelor's degree in communication disorders who have obtained significant relevant work experience with children or adults since graduation. (See frequently asked questions below about specific qualifications and necessary relationship with a school district.) Many qualified individuals have taken positions in the public schools, early intervention settings, private clinics,  or skilled nursing facilities, etc. to gain additional valuable experience with individuals who have communication disorders. Those experiences will contribute to  success in the program, which is geared for people who are working with individuals on a day-to-day basis. Preference for the program will be given to residents from Illinois, however students from other states have been accepted in the program. The program is intended to help address the critical shortage of certified master’s level speech-language pathologists without requiring individuals currently employed to vacate their position. Click here to see application requirements of the program. 

  • Three-year program
    • Students are on campus three summers for six weeks each
    • Students must begin program in summer term on campus 
    • Take online classes during the fall and spring semesters.
    • Full-time 14-week medical internship and 14-week educational internship during the final two semesters of the program
      • May be employed while taking courses and obtaining supervised clinical experiences at school partnership site during first two years of the program.  
        • Online courses mirror the content offered in the on-campus graduate program and allow for interactive discussion with peers and faculty on a weekly basis (see below for description of unique on-line delivery).
    • Approximately 15 students are admitted to a cohort  
      • New cohorts will begin every 2-3 years; the first cohort began Summer 2012, second cohort is anticipated to begin Summer 2015.
    • The distance graduate program (and the traditional graduate program) in CDS are certified by the Council on Academic Accreditation.

The program sequence included below provides an overview of the likely graduate courses and timeframe. Please see the EIU Graduate Catalog for details of the program requirements and course descriptions.

 Summer 1

(2) CDS 5000– Research Methods

(2) CDS 5091- Adv. Clinic Techniques

(2) CDS 5220- Language and Literacy

(6 semester hours)

 Fall 1

(2) CDS 5400- Neurology

(3) CDS 5250- Adv. Language

(1) CDS 5900- Practicum

(6 semester hours)

 

 Spring 1

 (3) CDS 5100 Motor Speech Disorders

(1) CDS 5001- Research Experience

(1) CDS 5900- Practicum

(5 semester hours)

 Summer 2

(1) CDS 5910/5920 Diagnostics

(2) CDS 5150- Fluency

(2) CDS 4800 AAC

(1) CDS 5900- Practicum

(6 semester hours)

 Fall 2

(3) CDS 5170- Voice Disorders

(3) CDS 5300- Acquired Lang

(1) CDS 5900- Practicum

 (7 semester hours)

 

 Spring 2

(3) CDS 5500- Dysphagia

(2) CDS 5350- Cognitive Communication

(1) CDS 5900- Practicum

(6 semester hours)

 Summer 3

(2) CDS 5600- Pro Reg (intersession-distance)

(3) CDS 5800- Grand Rounds

(1) CDS 5910/5920- Diagnostics

(6 semester hours)

 Fall 3

CDS 5970 or 5980 Educational or Medical Internship

(Students register for 9 semester hours; a maximum of three semester hours may be applied to the degree)

 Spring 3

 CDS 5970or 5980 Educational or Medical Internship

 (Students register for 9 semester hours; a maximum of three semester hours may be applied to the degree)

Laptop Requirement

Graduate students in Communication Disorders and Sciences need access to a laptop computer for most class and clinic responsibilities on and off campus.  Students are expected to maintain the minimum hardware requirements and reliable access to high speed internet. Minimum specifications for laptop requirements can be found at http://www.eiu.edu/commdis/laptop_program.php.    

· Course lectures are recorded and streamed

· Course management software is used to share and organize class materials and discussion

· On-campus clinical experiences are digitally recorded and paperless

Same Faculty for the Distance Program as the Traditional Program

Eastern Illinois University prides itself on its dedicated faculty. Their interest in your success is second to none. You can be assured that the faculty in CDS live up to that reputation. Our faculty teach and supervise, have an open-door policy and are available in on-campus and on-line office hours. Visit www.eiu.edu/commdis/faculty.php to meet the outstanding educators in our department.

Unique Online Delivery

Faculty want students in the distance cohort to have the SAME education/experience as our traditional face-to-face students. Distance cohort students take classes with the traditional graduate students during the 6-week summer terms.  During the fall and spring semesters, face-to-face classes are recorded with a high quality digital camera and microphone and streamed for the distance students to watch. In this manner, distance students have a "seat in the back of the class".  They see and hear everything our traditional students experience in the classroom including lectures, example videos, case discussions, student questions and answers, practice activities, etc. Distance students then have the opportunity to participate in those case discussions and have their own questions answered in synchronous distance cohort class meetings with the instructor on Monday evenings.  We use BlackBoard Collaborate to talk with the distance students, answer their questions, and discuss projects and activities. The first cohort of distance students report that the interaction with faculty on and off campus has been very good.  They were concerned that the distance classes might feel like an independent study, but this has not been their experience.  The recording of face-to-face classes gives distance students exposure to everything happening in class.  Blackboard Collaborate allows distance students to work on group projects, talk to each other,  share their computer screens to ask the instructor questions, talk to instructors, etc.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 Do I have to be employed in the school setting in Illinois to apply for the program?

You must have an agreement with a school district in which the school district agrees to provide

1) Supervision by an ASHA certified, and ISBE certified or IDFPR licensed, speech-language pathologist (or appropriate credentials for other state);  2) Access to speech-language pathology assessments and materials related to the applicant’s clinical practicum at the school;  3) Access to clients for clinical experience; 4) Release time from responsibilities at school for up to 3 days per academic year for on-campus requirements; OPTIONAL support includes employment in the district.

Therefore you may be employed as a paraprofessional or any type of aide in the district, or you may have another type of employment not associated with the school district -- the agreement and clinical experiences within the school district supervised by an SLP with ASHA CCCs employed by the district are mandatory for this program.

The program has been developed to specifically address the shortage of master's level speech-language pathologists in Illinois.  Priority will be given to Illinois residents with school district agreements in with Illinois schools; however students from other states have been admitted to the program.

Can I have an agreement with a private clinic or early intervention setting where I could obtain clinical hours rather than a school?

We would like students to obtain experience with a variety of ages and disorders during their clinical practicums.  The faculty decided that the school setting would be most likely to mirror the variety of experiences our traditional students receive, therefore the agreement must be with a school district/setting.

What would the summer class schedule be?  When would the summer classes start? Would I live on-campus? 

The 6-week summer term typically begins Monday of the second week of June and finishes at the end of the 3rd week in July.  Courses and clinic are typically Monday-Thursday, but sometimes there are Friday classes as well. We would recommend that you live on campus for 6 weeks or close enough for a comfortable commute.

Is  housing available during the 6-week summer term?

There are furnished 2 bedroom university court apartments that can be rented for the 6 weeks which include phone, internet, cable, water, trash (everything but electric) for a cost of $750 for one person or $375 if you share the 2 bedroom with another graduate student.  Click here for application and more information or call 217-581-8000 with questions. Other options could include 1) residence hall room from the university with a 12-meal per week plan for $1,068 for the 6-weeks; 2) apartment sublet from students who are not on campus in the summer (check adds in the Daily Eastern News);  3) Days Inn in Charleston (217-345-7689) has a $39.99 rate per night rate special which includes free breakfast, free wireless, and a small refrigerator and microwave in the room - for 4 nights per week for 6 weeks, with taxes the total would be $1,065. 

 Internships----Due to the full-time internship schedule, I would assume that I would be unemployed for 28 weeks.   Would the internships be close to my residence?

Students work with internship coordinators and suggest general location and preferable sites for the medical and educational internships.  Internship sites must employ a speech-language pathologist with current ASHA CCCs who can provide supervision during the internship experience.   You could choose to work, without enrolling in any classes, during Fall year 3 so you could still remain employed during that fall.  You would need to complete the educational practicum during 14 weeks in the spring and then you could complete your 14 medical week internship in Summer after year 3 (when you normally would not be employed if you work at a school).  The internships are unpaid experiences; it is expected that the student intern will take over responsibility for the SLP's caseload while the SLP provides supervision and guidance.  Educational internships must be in a different district than where you completed your practicum experiences.

If I am accepted to the program, does my school SLP supervisor have to participate in some type of training?

For the first cohort in 2012 we required supervisors to attend a 1 day orientation and training.  For the 2015 cohort - required orientation and training will be 3 recorded modules, approximately 1-2 hours in length each, and a required on-line meeting that will be held to discuss questions.  

Would I receive up to 4- 5 credits for CDS 5900 for my supervised practicum in a school district?

Yes, you would be doing tasks such as administering and interpreting assessments with children that you would not normally do if you are employed in the school as  paraprofessional, aide, or assistant. You would be able to count that supervised practicum (CDS 5900) in your school for 4-5 credits. You will be asked to treat certain types of clients each semester (e.g. child language in Fall 1, child articulation/phonology Spring 1, etc).  You will work with your school supervisor in planning for assessment and treatment of the clients in the school setting.  You will also meet every other week on Monday evenings with a clinical instructor from EIU to discuss clinical topics and assignments such as data collection, evidence-based practice, etc.

 My supervisor was wondering how many supervised speech hours I would need each school year during the program?

You would need to obtain approximately 30 supervised hours of assessment and treatment experience each semester (approximately 60 hours during the school year) that is supervised by an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. We hope that the clinical experiences will include assessment, determining treatment objectives and treatment with a variety of ages, severities and types of speech-language disorders. 

Are my GRE scores still valid if I took the exam more than 7 years ago or do I need to retake the GRE to apply?

GRE scores are only valid for 5 years; if it is longer than that they need to be retaken.

Are tuition and fee rates the same for the Traditional and Distance Education Speech-Language Pathology programs?

The tuition rate per credit hour is the same for the distance education and traditional graduate programs ($283 per credit hour when this page was posted).  The textbook rental fee is the same for both programs. Other parts of the fee structure are different. Fees for Distance Programs are typically higher because of increased costs to implement and manage the programs.  Fees for the distance program in speech-language pathology at EIU include a fee to Continuing Ed who schedules the program, a fee to the Sponsoring Agency district who collects and processes all payments for the program, a technology fee and advising fee.  See the table below for fee structure and overall estimated cost comparison.

 

Estimated   Student Cost Comparison for Residential Graduate Program

and   Distance Cohort Program

 

Residential   Program

Distance   Cohort Program

Tuition for   60 S.H. graduate program ($283 per S.H. for both)

 

$16,980

 

$16,980

Fees per S.H.   explanation

Textbook rental             $ 9.95

Activity fee                       $ 8.50

Athletic fee                     $ 8.64

Computer network         $ 4.00

Grant-in-aid                     $13.15

Health service                 $10.10

Union bond revenue     $18.67

Campus improvement $19.50

Total fees per S.H.       $92.51*

Textbook rental         $ 9.95

Continuing   ed         $ 44.00

Sponsoring agency $ 20.00

Technology             $100.00

Advising                   $ 25.00    

Total fees per S.H. $198.95*

Total Fees

$ 5,551         (*$92.51 x 60 S.H.)

$11,937         (*$198.95 x 60 S.H.)

Campus   Housing & Parking during time taking courses (University Apartment   Rent- based on two bedroom apartment shared by two students. Includes water,   trash, cable, local phone… not included electricity)

$   711     6 weeks summer 1

$ 5,676   9   month academic year                

$ 1,184 10 weeks summer 2

$ 7,571   TOTAL Rent

 

$   750   Total electricity estimate                 for 13 months

$ 190     Campus parking (2 summers-$45 each + 1 nine month academic year- $100)

$8,511 TOTAL   CAMPUS HOUSING AND PARKING

$   711  6   weeks summer 1

$   711   6 weeks summer 2

$   711   6 weeks summer 3

$ 2,133     TOTAL Rent

 

$   225   Total electricity   estimate for 18 weeks in 3 summers

$   135   Campus parking ($45 x 3 summers)

 

$2,493 TOTAL CAMPUS HOUSING AND PARKING

No campus housing during 2 internship semesters

$0

$0

 

 

 

ESTIMATED   TOTAL PROGRAM COST TO STUDENT

$31,042

$31,410

 

.