The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders was formed in 2013 at which time undergraduate pre-requisite courses were offered for the first time at Jacksonville University. In August 2014, the inaugural class for the Master’s of Speech Language Pathology started at Jacksonville University. Since that time, the program has grown enthusiastically, enjoying all areas of success in education, clinical training and community service. We are proud of our student achievements and look forward to your discovery of our program from the information found on our website. Any program specific questions can be directed to Dr. Judith Wingate, department chair.
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Recognizing the value of using all available human resources, Jacksonville University affords equal opportunity for students and in employment without regard to race, color, age, veteran status, gender, national origin, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or presence of a disability. This non-discrimination policy applies to all aspects of educational and employment decisions, including recruitment, admission, hiring as well as retention, compensation, transfer and opportunities for advancement.
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Procedures for Complaints Against Graduate Education Programs
A complaint about any accredited program or program in candidacy status may be submitted by any student, instructional staff member, speech-language pathologist, audiologist, and/or member of the public.
Criteria for Complaints Against Graduate Education Programs
For a complaint to be considered by the CAA, it must:
- be against an accredited education program or program in Candidacy status in speech language pathology and/or audiology,
- relate to the Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, and specify where possible the relevant standards, and
- include verification and documentation (e.g., copies of grievance processes, communications verifying completion of processes, etc.) if the complaint is from a student or faculty/instructional staff member at that institution, that the complainant exhausted all relevant institutional grievance and review mechanisms before submitting a complaint to the CAA, if relevant to the complaint.
The complaint must clearly describe the specific nature of the complaint and the relationship of the complaint to the accreditation standards, and provide supporting data for the charge. The burden of proof rests with the complainant. All written testimony must include the complainant's name, address, and telephone contact information and the complainant's relationship to the program in order for the Accreditation Office to verify and communicate with the source of the complaint.
Complaints against a program may be submitted even if separate action is pending against the program by another body, except as outlined above.
All complaints must be signed and submitted in writing to the Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Complaints will not be accepted by e-mail or facsimile.
Determination of Jurisdiction
Within 15 days of receipt of the complaint, Accreditation Office staff will acknowledge receipt of the complaint and will forward a redacted copy of the complaint to the Executive Committee of the CAA. The original letter of complaint is placed in an Accreditation Office file separate from the program's accreditation file.
The Executive Committee determines whether the complaint meets the above-specified criteria. Staff, because of the need to redact the complaint, verifies the accreditation status of the program against which the complaint is filed, and communicates this information to the Executive Committee with the redacted complaint. Although complainants are encouraged to specify the accreditation standards as the basis for the complaint, the Executive Committee will verify the relevant standards related to the complaint as part of its jurisdiction review.
An affirmative vote by two-thirds of the voting members of the Executive Committee, exclusive of the chair, is required to proceed with an investigation of a complaint.
If the Executive Committee of the CAA makes the determination that the complaint does not meet the above-listed criteria, the complainant is informed within 30 days of the letter transmitting the complaint to the EC that the CAA will not review the complaint.
Evaluation of Complaint
If the Executive Committee of the CAA determines that the complaint satisfies the above-listed criteria, the CAA will evaluate the complaint.
The chair of the CAA informs the complainant within 30 days of the letter transmitting the complaint to the chair that the Council will proceed with an evaluation, including the specification of the standards upon which the investigation will be based. Because it may be necessary to reveal the identity of the complainant to the affected program or to other potential sources of relevant information, the complainant will be required to sign a waiver of confidentiality within 30 days of the letter indicating that the CAA will proceed with its evaluation. The complainant is given the opportunity to withdraw the complaint during that time. If the complainant does not wish to pursue the matter, the investigation is concluded. If the complainant does not wish to withdraw the complaint, the complainant is asked to keep the initiation of an investigation confidential. Within 15 days of receipt of the waiver of confidentiality, the chair of the CAA notifies the program director and the institution's president or president's designee by certified return receipt mail that a complaint has been registered against the program, including the specification of the standards upon which the investigation will be based. The notification includes a redacted copy of the complaint without revealing the identity of the complainant. The program's director and the institution's president or president's designee are requested to provide complete responsive information and supporting documentation that they consider relevant to the complaint within 45 days of the date of the notification letter. Within 15 days of receipt of the program's response to the complaint, the chair of the CAA forwards the complaint and the program's response to the complaint to the CAA. The materials are redacted and the identity of the complainant and the program under investigation is not revealed to the members of the CAA or to recipients of requests for information, unless a majority of CAA members consider such disclosure necessary for the proper investigation of the complaint. If the majority of Council members conclude that individuals other than the complainant, the program director, and the institution's president or president's designee may have information relevant to the complaint, the chair of the CAA requests such information. After reviewing all relevant information, the CAA determines the course of action within 30 days.
Such actions include, but are not limited to the following:
- Dismissal of the complaint;
- Recommending changes in the program within a specified period of time and as they relate to standards (except for those areas that are solely within the purview of the institution);
- Continuing the investigation through an on-site visit to the program;
- Placing the program on probation;
- Withholding/withdrawing accreditation.
If the CAA determines that a site visit is necessary, the program director and the institution's president or president's designee are notified, and a date for the site visit is expeditiously scheduled. The program is responsible for expenses of the site visit. The site visit team is selected from the current roster of CAA site visitors. During the site visit, emphasis is given only to those standards with which the program is allegedly not in compliance. The site visit team submits a written report to the CAA no later than 30 days following the site visit. As with all other site visits, only the observations of the site visitors are reported; site visitors do not make accreditation recommendations. The CAA forwards the report to the program director and the institution's president or president's designee within 15 days. The program or institution should provide a written response to the chair of the CAA within 30 days of the date on which the report is postmarked to the program director and the president or president's designee. The purpose of the response is to verify the accuracy of the site visit report.
The CAA reviews all evidence before it, including the site visit report and the program's response to the report, and takes one of the following actions within 21 days: Dismisses the complaint;
- Recommends modifications of the program within a specified period of time (except for those areas that are solely within the purview of the institution);
- Places the program on probation;
- Withholds/withdraws accreditation.
If the CAA withholds/withdraws accreditation, the program director and the institution's president or president's designee are informed within 15 days of the CAA decision that accreditation has been withheld/withdrawn. Notification also includes justification for the decision, and informs the program of its option to request Further Consideration. Further consideration is the mechanism whereby the program can present documentary evidence of compliance with the appropriate standards and ask the CAA to reevaluate its decision to withhold/withdraw accreditation. If the program does not exercise its Further Consideration option, the CAA's decision to withhold/withdraw accreditation is final and no further appeal may be taken. If accreditation is withheld/withdrawn, the chair of the CAA notifies the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education at the same time that it notifies the program of the decision.
If the program chooses to request Further Consideration, the CAA must receive the request within 30 days from the date of the notification letter. With the request for Further Consideration, the program must submit additional written documentation to justify why accreditation should not be withheld/withdrawn. A hearing with the CAA is not provided for Further Consideration requests. The CAA will evaluate the request for Further Consideration and take one of the following actions within 30 days:
Recommends modifications of the program within a specified period of time (except for those areas that are solely within the purview of the institution);
- Places the program on probation;
- Withholds/withdraws accreditation.
- Within 15 days of its decision the CAA notifies the program and the complainant of its decision.
If the CAA decision after Further Consideration is to withhold/withdraw accreditation or candidacy, the program may appeal the decision in accord with the Appeal Procedures described in Chapter VI of this manual.
Summary of Time Lines
The following summarizes the time lines in the complaint process, beginning from the date a complaint is received.
- Complaint is acknowledged within 15 days of receipt and forwarded to CAA Executive Committee (EC)
- If EC determines that complaint does not meet criteria for complaints, complainant is informed within 30 days that CAA will not review
- If EC determines that complaint meets criteria, complainant is informed within 30 days of the determination that CAA will proceed with evaluation
- Complainant is given 30 days to sign waiver of confidentiality or withdraw the complaint
- Within 15 days of receipt of waiver of confidentiality, the complaint is sent to the program for response within 45 days
- Within 15 days of receipt of program's response, Chair forwards complaint and program response to CAA for review
- Within 30 days, CAA determines course of action If CAA determines that a site visit is necessary, it is scheduled and site visit team submits report to CAA within 30 days of visit
- Site visit report is forwarded to program for response within 30 days
- CAA takes action within 21 days of program response
- If CAA withholds or withdraws accreditation, program is notified within 15 days of CAA decision.
- The program has 30 days to request Further Consideration.
- If program does not request Further Consideration, decision is final and CAA notifies Secretary of U.S. Department of Education; if program requests Further Consideration, CAA takes action within 30 days
- CAA informs program and complainant within 15 days of decision following Further Consideration.