The Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences provides high-quality academic and clinical instruction in an undergraduate program integrated with an accredited graduate program in speech-language pathology.
The department operates a speech-language-hearing clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders. These services are offered to both EIU students and members of the community.
Undergraduate Clinic In Illinois, EIU is the ONLY public university to give all undergraduate students (who are in the major for more than two years) a client to treat. You will shadow another clinician and help in the therapy room for one semester, then you will have your own client for one semester. Two or three private universities in Illinois also provide undergraduate clinical experience, but the tuition is 3 to 5 times more expensive than EIU. Undergraduate clinical experience in speech pathology or audiology is an important opportunity for undergraduate students to have extended experiences providing services with one-to-one mentoring of a faculty clinical instructor. Being an undergraduate clinician helps students solidify their knowledge of what it is like to be a speech pathologist or audiologist prior to graduate school. Students are also able to have letters from their faculty clinical instructors about their clinical skills and aptitude for graduate school applications.
The same CDS professors who teach in the classroom also supervise student clinicians in EIU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Faculty regularly use clinical cases that they supervise as projects or examples in classes. Faculty also share resources from classes with their student clinicians. These dedicated faculty members effectively integrate classroom and clinic experiences for optimal learning for EIU students. At EIU our first priority is providing excellent teaching and mentoring in classes, clinic, research, and advising relationships.
Many other undergraduate programs in Communication Disorders and Sciences have removed course work about how to evaluate and treat speech, language, and hearing disorders from the undergraduate curriculum. Although a graduate degree is required to work as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist, faculty at EIU believe that exposing undergraduate students to applied case-based classes about how to evaluate and treat individuals with communication disorders is important. Undergraduate students at EIU have courses such as how to Evaluate and Diagnosis Communication Disorders, Assessment and Treatment of Articulation and Phonology Disorders, Assessment and Treatment of Child Language Disorders, Clinical Techniques applicable to a variety of disorders, Aural Rehabilitation with the Hearing Impaired, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication techniques for individuals with limited ability to speak. These are in addition to a case-based capstone course and clinical practicum at the undergraduate level. Students are guaranteed to have seats available in all CDS courses.
Undergraduate students have numerous opportunities for research and volunteer activities. The department has an undergraduate honor’s program where students work with a faculty mentor for more than a year to complete a thesis project. There is also the option to enroll in an independent study to participate in research or explore an area of interest with a faculty member for one or two semesters. Volunteer opportunities include the STEP program for college students with Autism where many CDS students volunteer as a mentor for students in this program. There are many opportunities for volunteering through the volunteer office including youth mentoring, elderly care/support, working with individuals with disabilities, and assisting at the local hospital. Your CDS faculty advisor will give you ideas about options for research or volunteer activities that best align with your areas of interest.
Faculty in CDS are in their offices with the doors open throughout the week so that students are welcome to stop by and interact on a regular basis. Individual attention and close student/instructor interaction is a key factor to success in the department. When walking the halls, you can be sure to see many “open doors” with students sitting with faculty discussing class, clinic, study abroad opportunities, or a research project. Students are our highest priority.
The Autism Center at Eastern Illinois University is housed within the Department of Communication Disorders & Sciences as an extension of the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Its mission is to provide support services to individuals and their families who are dealing with the challenges of an autism spectrum disorder. Click here for more information on this service.
The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at Eastern Illinois University was the first clinic for persons with communication handicaps to be established in east central Illinois. A full range of diagnostic and treatment services for persons of all ages is available at the Clinic. Click here for more information on this service.
Dr. Ramrattan and Dr. Anthony are both interested in how hearing and language interact. Dr. Anthony is an undergraduate alumni of EIU and then she received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Gallaudet University, where the majority of students are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Dr. Ramrattan conducts research on hearing and dementia. She is a veteran herself and enjoys conducting hearing evaluations for veterans and ROTC candidates. Dr. Anthony and Dr. Ramrattan work together on Central Auditory Processing and Language Processing Evaluations.
Jill Fahy is a nationally known expert in executive dysfunction. She has written books and articles about executive dysfunction for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and has presented to SLP groups across the country and internationally. She infuses her knowledge of executive dysfunction in her undergraduate and graduate courses as well as in her clinical supervision with graduate and undergraduate student clinicians. She has received multiple teaching awards for her excellent classroom and clinical instruction.
Dr. Mulvey is fascinated by child language development and disorders. She always mentors students as she investigates topics such as social skills and bullying or pragmatic language analyses in language transcripts. She has received multiple teaching awards for her excellent classroom and clinical instruction as well as awards for mentoring students in research. She has been a leader in the national speech-pathology professional organization’s (ASHA) Special Interest Group for Language Learning and Education and has numerous presentations and publications about child language.