Goals specific to the undergraduate CSD program are to:
- provide students with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the development and use of communication;
- introduce students to the basic communication disorders that may occur across the life span;
- provide students with skills for ethical and professional practice; and
- provide eligible students with optional, supervised, one-to-one practicum experience working with individuals with communication disabilities through the Nazareth College Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.
Students who follow the major sequence, who qualify for and complete additional coursework, and who satisfy specific minimal competencies meet the New York State Education Department requirements for initial certification as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (Pre K-12 - All Grades). This is an entry level credential specific to employment in the public school setting. It must be converted to a professional certificate through completion of a graduate degree within the professional area and work experience in the school setting.
In the first year students receive preparation in normal speech-language development and communication.
During the second year students expand their study of normal speech, language and hearing and take introductory courses in communication disorders and therapeutic treatment of those disorders.
Beginning in the third year, eligible students are provided opportunities to apply their knowledge through clinical experiences in the Nazareth College Speech and Hearing Clinic and in off-campus clinical situations.
Through the fourth year, study of normal and disordered communication continues with reflective seminars that promote the integration of liberal arts and sciences and the major by encouraging critical thinking, problem solving, and discussion of ethical and cultural issues. Students pursuing initial teacher certification complete a full-time student teaching experience during the fourth year.
In keeping with the program's accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, students pursuing initial certification as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities meet the following Claims of Student Learning:
"Teachers prepared at Nazareth College:
- demonstrate the knowledge to be successful educators;
- design and implement effective instruction for diverse learners in various settings;
- and reflect critically on their practice and profession."