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 EIU’s undergraduate program is unique in that ALL undergraduate students shadow and co-treat a client in EIU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Additionally, all students who take coursework in CDS at EIU over 2 ½, 3, or 4 years treat a client in EIU’s Clinic for a full semester as the primary clinician. This is a great opportunity for undergraduate students to have an extended experience providing speech pathology services with the one-to-one mentoring of a faculty clinical supervisor. Many programs in Communication Disorders and Sciences do NOT give undergraduate students the opportunity to treat clients. Being undergraduate clinician helps students solidify their knowledge of what it is like to be a speech pathologist prior to going on to graduate school. Students are also able to have letters from their faculty clinical supervisors about their clinical aptitude and likely success in this area for graduate school applications.
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.
The 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 the opportunity to explore specific interests through an independent study under the mentorship of a CDS faculty member. Students also have the opportunity to work on an individual research project for an honor’s thesis with a faculty mentor over a 2-year period. Students often partner with clinicians in school or hospital settings or in the EIU clinic to collect data on clinical research questions. Undergraduate students who complete a thesis in the undergraduate honor’s program typically present results at the Illinois Speech Language Hearing Conference, at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research, and sometimes at the American Speech Language Hearing Conference.
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.
Ms. Fahy specializes in the assessment of executive dysfunction, particularly as it is associated with concomitant disorders of language, cognition, or social/pragmatics. Many of her clients typically have multiple comorbid diagnoses and are seeking diagnostic insight and recommendations for home, school, and vocational needs.