Jacksonville University’s new master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology has been pre-accredited, setting the stage to enroll students this fall for education in a field in which a nationwide shortage continues to exist.
The program in the JU College of Health Sciences, in partnership with Brooks Rehabilitation, is now a candidate for full accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). CAA is recognized as an accrediting agency for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology education programs by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
The pre-accreditation status, or Official Level II Candidacy, is an accredited status awarded to developing or emerging programs for up to five years, and means JU can now begin enrolling students. It signifies the program complies with meticulous standards for accreditation.
Over the next decade, job openings for speech-language pathologists are predicted to rise 27 percent, and employment in the field is expected to grow faster than the average for all other occupations.
“Our faculty, along with expert clinicians from the Jacksonville region, is determined to create one of the best teaching environments in the country. JU is now positioned to provide close student-faculty interaction and an extensive array of educational and co-curricular programs for this first cohort of graduate students,” said Dr. Christine Sapienza, Health Sciences acting dean and program director in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. “The shortage of speech-language pathologists has long been recognized in the region and Florida. This program is helping to deal with that shortage.”
Up to 30 students are expected in the first JU Graduate Speech-Language Pathology class this fall. The program will abide by all American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) standards, its graduates will meet the academic and clinical requirements for ASHA certification in Speech-Language Pathology, and they will be eligible to apply for Florida state licensure.
Jodi Morgan, clinical faculty and an expert speech-language pathologist at JU partner Brooks Rehabilitation, said the accreditation culminates a lengthy effort.
“Four years ago we started with the idea of developing a speech-language pathology program in the Jacksonville community,” she said. “The reason for this was the well-documented need of speech-language pathology clinicians in the health care industry and education systems. As a leader in rehabilitation, Brooks Rehabilitation took part to actively collaborate with Jacksonville University. The simple outcome is a successful program partnership.”
For more information on the program, contact Dr. Christine Sapienza at email@example.com
About Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University works to prepare each of its more than 4,000 students for lifelong success in learning, achieving, leading and serving. Its nearly 200-acre riverfront campus is just minutes from downtown Jacksonville and the Atlantic Ocean. It has been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 10 straight years, and ranks in the top 1% among all Florida colleges for Return on Investment for its graduates. With a 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio and full-time faculty percentage of 80 percent, it offers small class sizes, inviting campus grounds and engaged faculty and staff in a setting that promotes community, ambition and responsibility. JU has nearly 190 full-time faculty and offers more than 70 majors, programs and concentrations. Additionally, it offers graduate degrees in business, choreography, education leadership, marine science, mathematics, nursing, orthodontics and speech-language pathology. JU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).