5 - Number of faculty members receiving FLASHA's "Honors of the Association Award" (statewide)
248 - Number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2015-16
81 - Number of master's degrees awarded in 2015-16
~2,000 - Number of clients served by the Communication Disorders Clinic in 2015-16
11 - Number of faculty members who are fellows of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
College of Health and Public Affairs
University of Central Florida P.O. Box 162215 4364 Scorpius Drive Orlando, FL 32816-2215
Doctor of Philosophy in Education
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the
College of Health and Public Affairs offers a doctoral program in
collaboration with the College of Education, known as the Ph.D. in
Education-Communication Sciences and Disorders Track. The
focus of this program is on language and literacy in children and
(Left to right) Doctoral student Lynne
Telesca; Professor Barbara Ehren, who directs the
doctoral program; doctoral student Ruth Gorlin;
and doctoral student Erika Nicsinger
The major purpose of this program is to prepare doctoral-level
scholar/leaders to serve as (1) faculty members in colleges or
universities who will prepare the next generation of school-based
speech-language pathologists or other educators with expertise in
language and literacy; (2) researchers who will play a vital role
in advancing the knowledge base in the language basis of literacy
(3) professional developers/consultants for national, state or
local educational agencies to facilitate implementation of
evidence-based practice in language and literacy; (4) change agents
who will affect policy and procedures in language and literacy
Although the program is primarily intended for professionals in
the field of speech-language pathology, students from related
disciplines who are interested in children and adolescents
struggling with literacy acquisition and who wish to explore the
language correlates of literacy difficulties may be
admitted. Students without a master's degree in
speech-language pathology take a minimum of 6 hours of prerequisite
The department recognizes that the induction of scholars
into the field requires more than learning in individual
courses. It requires the cultivation of scholarship within a
robust research culture. Therefore, this doctoral program
consists of the following major components:
1. 81 hours of course work beyond the master's degree
Research tools (24 credits)
Language/literacy specialization (15 credits)
Interdisciplinary work in reading, special education and TESOL
Internships in college teaching, clinical supervision and
professional development (6 credits)
Dissertation (24 credits)
2. "Leadership in Language and Literacy" - a required
bi-monthly, non-credit seminar in semesters preceding candidacy
3. Individual mentoring scheduled on a bi-monthly basis
4. Production of scholarly works (Typically, students complete
course work and two preliminary research projects during the first
two years of study and the dissertation during the third year of
5. Comprehensive examinations - an 8 clock-hour written
examination and a 3-hour oral examination
The doctoral program curriculum is designed to develop student
expertise in the following competency areas: core, research,
language and literacy, leadership/system change, college teaching,
professional development, and clinical education (for those with
the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language
Pathology). The major competencies are listed below.
I. CORE COMPETENCIES
1. Communicate effectively.
2. Employ a multicultural approach.
3. Use technology effectively.
4. Maintain personal wellness.
II. RESEARCH COMPETENCIES
1. Analyze and critique published literature.
2. Design and use an observational measurement system in
3. Demonstrate knowledge of psychometric reliability and
4. Identify a research question or hypothesis and design a
research study to address this problem.
5. Conduct and describe appropriate analyses of research
6. Implement research in a community setting or natural
7. Prepare a manuscript on a research project designed and
implemented by the participant.
8. Present a research report at a state or national
III. LANGUAGE AND LITERACY COMPETENCIES
1. Integrate theoretical constructs involved in language
processes to ground approaches to assessment and
2. Evaluate language and literacy literature for technical
soundness and formulate new research questions that can lead to
3. Design and evaluate procedures for performance assessment of
language and literacy.
4. Select, implement and evaluate evidence-based practices for
students at risk for or identified with language and literacy
disabilities including those from diverse cultural and linguistic
5. Generate strategies to enhance collaboration in inclusive
6. Demonstrate understanding of design and implementation of
school-wide literacy approaches, including Response to Intervention
IV. LEADERSHIP/SYSTEM CHANGE COMPETENCIES
1. Differentiate practices and policies in the schools that
contribute to positive outcomes for students with disabilities and
those that do not.
2. Employ research-based change facilitation practices.
3. Demonstrate leadership.
V. COLLEGE TEACHING COMPETENCIES
1. Design a course syllabus.
2. Plan and conduct diversity sensitive learning activities for
3. Design methods of evaluating student performance for each
VI. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPETENCIES
1. Demonstrate knowledge of adult learning theory.
2. Demonstrate a knowledge of high quality professional
3. Design and conduct HQPD.
VII. CLINICAL EDUCATION COMPETENCIES (for
doctoral students with the Certificate of Clinical Competence in
1. Establish and maintain effective, goal-directed collaborative
relationships within a program model.
2. Supervise students within a community education program.
NSSLHA gives me the opportunity to connect with young professionals who share a similar passion as well as volunteer in our community to promote awareness about disorders and the role of a speech-language pathologist.
— Kristina D'Errico,
president of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association at UCF
Being an SLP-ELL scholar enabled me to gain the knowledge and skills I need to be a better SLP working with English Language Learners. I feel confident in my abilities thanks to the master's program and SLP-ELL grant.
— Amber Suarez ,
M.A. in communication sciences and disorders with a federal grant-funded specialization ('14)
Aphasia House offered me unique therapy not available anywhere in our region.
— Denette Schweikert,
artist, stroke survivor and former Aphasia House client
Aphasia House provided me with a unique and memorable experience where I was able to experience being a clinician, in a real world setting, working with clients and their families.
— Ashley Mignon,
M.A. in communication sciences and disorders ('14)