The Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology is offered by the Department of Special Education, Language, and Literacy (SELL) at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Through required academic coursework, as well as options for clinical observation, independent research, and student organization involvement, students develop foundational knowledge and skills pertaining to a/typical communication, swallowing, and balance function.
Housed within the SELL department, students in the Speech Language Pathology and Audiology major embark on a curriculum robustly focusing on special education law, policy, and practice. Additionally, many opportunities for interprofessional education with future special educators and teachers of the D/deaf and hard of hearing exist in and out of the classroom. Students receive exposure to content relevant to practice for all populations, including medically-based practice, supporting individuals across the lifespan, and working outside of one’s culture and/or language.
What’s next after graduating with this major?
Though many career and educational pathways exist following the BS degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, students who complete this major often pursue graduate study to become speech-language pathologists or audiologists. Speech-language pathologists support individuals with speech, language, and/or swallowing needs, while audiologists support those with hearing, balance, and/or other auditory needs. To be eligible for licensure and certification for either profession, graduate study beyond the BS degree is required.
The BS in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology provides prerequisite coursework for most masters programs (typically MA, MS, or MEd) in Speech-Language Pathology and clinical doctorate programs (AuD) in Audiology. Students interested in a particular graduate program should consult its website to inquire about its expected prerequisite coursework and/or their academic advisor.
Faculty and Advisors
Faculty advisor: Dr. Lynn Smith, CCC-A
The National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) “is the only national student organization for pre-professionals studying communication sciences and disorders (CSD) by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association” (NSSLHA, n.d.). TCNJ’s student-run chapter of NSSLHA meets regularly throughout the semester and can be contacted at: email@example.com
What does it mean to get your C’s, as in the CCC-SLP or CCC-A?
ASHA’s national certification for audiologists and speech-language pathologists is the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), in Audiology (CCC-A) or Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). This is the gold standard for audiologists and speech-language pathologists.
To be eligible for your CCC-A or CCC-SLP, you must go through a series of steps, including successful completion of an accredited graduate program. Some other steps can be completed during your time at TCNJ, including prerequisite courses and observation hours.
I’ve heard that ASHA requires certain courses outside of the major. What are these?
To be eligible for ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), the gold standard certification for SLPs, students are required to take four courses outside of the field of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology.
- Biological Science
- Physical Science
- Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences
For more information, please refer to: https://www.asha.org/certification/course-content-areas-for-slp-standards/
Am I already taking these ASHA, non-SLP/A prerequisites?
Students in the Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Major are required to take BIO 171 (Human Form and Function) and STA 115 (Statistics), which are usually accepted for the Biological Science and Statistics requirements.
Students are also required to take PSY 101 (General Psychology) and SPE 203 (Psychological Development of Children and Adolescents), which are typically accepted for the Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences requirement.
Students should plan on taking a Physics or Chemistry course to satisfy ASHA’s Physical Science requirement if they are interested in pursuing a graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology.
How do observation hours work? Do I need them to graduate or to begin a graduate program?
To be eligible for ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), the gold standard certification for SLPs, students are required to complete 25 hours of “guided observation” with a certified and licensed SLP.
Students tend to seek guided observation opportunities from state-licensed and nationally certified clinicians (i.e., SLPs and audiologists) in the greater Ewing area and/or near their hometowns.
Prior to beginning your guided observation hours, it is wise to verify that the SLP or audiologist you are observing is both:
- Nationally certified by ASHA (i.e., puts a CCC-SLP or CCC-A after their signature). You can verify national certification via ASHA’s website (link to: https://www.asha.org/certification/cert-verify/). After you search and select the clinician’s name, you should ensure that under “Clinical Instruction, Supervision, or Clinical Fellowship Mentor,” you see “[Clinician’s name] has met the 2020 ASHA certification standards…”
- Actively licensed by the state in which they practice. If your SLP or audiologist practices in New Jersey, you can verify their license via the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (link to: https://newjersey.mylicense.com/verification/Search.aspx). After you search the clinician’s name, you should ensure that a line exists with the clinician’s license number and an “Active” license status.
- If you are unable to verify the above information for the SLP or audiologist you are intending on observing, your observation hours may not count toward ASHA’s requirement.
Though not required, it is highly recommended to complete your observation hours during your time at TCNJ for at least two reasons: (1) this experience is formative for many students in determining their career and education path following the Bachelors degree, and (2) this is one less requirement that you will have to complete on top of your graduate studies.
For more information, please refer to: https://www.asha.org/certification/2020-slp-certification-standards/
I am interested in joining the major! How can I do this?
Students wishing to transfer into the program from another program within the College are required to first meet with Professor Mahra Weber. After this meeting, they may submit a change of major form to the Chair of the Special Education, Language, and Literacy Department.
Applicants for internal transfer to Speech Pathology must meet the following requirements:
- Grade of B or higher in FYS 1XX (First Year Seminar)
- Grade of B or higher in SLP 102 or SLP 108 Note: exemption from a course is considered equivalent to satisfactory completion of the course.
- Retention in the major is based on earning a grade of B or better in three critical content courses:
- SLP 102 Language, Speech, and Communication Development
- SLP 108 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech & Hearing Mechanisms
- SLP 205 Acoustic Phonetics
- Retention in the major is based on satisfactory performance in all other required coursework.
See the Speech Language Pathology and Audiology portion of the undergraduate bulletin for more information.
How can I put my interest in other languages to work as a future speech-language pathologist (SLPs)?
According to ASHA, in 2019, only 6.5% of SLPs reported being proficient in at least one language other than English. Compare this with over 20% of individuals in the United States who speak a language other than English (US Census Bureau, 2019).
Given that SLPs are charged with supporting communication skills in all individuals, speaking a language (or languages) in addition to English allows you to support more multilingual individuals holistically.
What can I minor or double major in conjunction with majoring in SLP/AUD?
There are many possibilities! To explore all of the minors TCNJ has to offer, visit: https://academics.tcnj.edu/undergraduate-study/
Here are common/related minors:
- Deaf Studies
- World languages
- African American Studies
Note that per TCNJ’s Academic Affairs policy, only one course from a student’s major may be “double counted” toward a student’s minor.
I’ve heard a lot about what my GPA should be to stay at TCNJ, in the major, and to get into graduate school. What should my GPA be?
For TCNJ’s retention policy on GPA, please visit: https://advisingresources.tcnj.edu/dismissals-probation/
To remain in good standing as an SLP/AUD major, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.3.
While TCNJ’s and the major’s retention policy is posted above, criteria for entering graduate school is often much more competitive. In our experience, students may have a difficult time receiving acceptance when their GPA is below 3.3.
Your advisor will speak with you if you fall below a GPA of 3.0.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the association that certifies professionals (SLPs and Audiologists), accredits academic programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and supports research and advocacy for individuals with communication, swallowing, and balance needs.
American Academy of Audiology (AAA)
AAA is the organization that “[represents] the interests of audiologists and future audiologists nationwide by promoting quality hearing and balance care.”
ASHA Ed Find
Ed Find is a tool developed by ASHA to find appropriate programs in Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, and/or Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. This tool allows users to filter by program (e.g., master in Speech-Language Pathology, clinical doctorate in Audiology), location, and specific program offerings.