Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan 2008-2014:

Outcomes and revisions from annual retreats in 2010, 2013 and 2014

VISION STATEMENT: to become the premier graduate educational institution for speech-language pathology in the state of Kentucky

MISSION STATEMENT: (revised, 7/11/2014)

The mission of the speech-language pathology program is to provide the highest quality academic education, facilitate student access to a variety of clinical populations and settings, expand the scientific base of speech-language pathology through basic and applied research and maintain student diversity and community partnerships.

The mission statement for the Speech Pathology Section incorporates the general missions of the University and the School of Medicine and focuses them within the discipline of speech-language pathology.  As an educational program accredited in speech-language pathology, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, we strive to provide the academic background and clinical experience which will enable our graduates to meet the diverse communicative needs of the citizens within a multicultural and metropolitan society.  The preparatory phase portion of the program supports students as they earn prerequisites to enter the degree program.  The core phase of the program provides didactic and clinical applications across the discipline.  It is also designed to prepare future speech–language pathologists who are ethical in the provision of services, as well as issues of cultural diversity (e.g., dialectal differences among speakers, deaf culture) and ethnicity.  Our goal is to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art practices in speech-language pathology in collaboration with other disciplines and community resources in the Louisville metropolitan region.  Finally, we see as our mission, contribution to the scientific knowledge base in communication sciences and disorders through basic and applied research on the part of each of our faculty.

Focus Area One: Clinical preparation of students

Issues: The forced closure of the Myers Hall Speech-Language Clinic due to budgetary constraints had the potential to negatively affect new core students’ clinical preparation, which in turn had the potential to jeopardize future, full-time placements.


  1. Earn initial clinical hours in a supervised, part-time clinical setting.
  2. Earn clinical competencies needed for the skills portion of KASA.

Indicators of Success:

  1. Students will earn a minimum of 25 initial hours per semester

In 2009, students earned an average of 42.55 clinical hours in the spring semester placement in our community partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools. Therefore, in 2011, initial placements were reduced from two semesters to one semester, because students earned approximately 25 hours or more in one semester.  Goal Met (2011)

    2a.    In 2009, students earned more than 5 competencies in the spring semester placement in our community partnership with     Jefferson County Public Schools. Goal Met (2009)

      However, once the faculty determined that it was more optimal to have the initial student hour placement one semester, the faculty determined that this outcome was no longer appropriate. A review of graduating students’ competencies supported the decision to drop the expectation for competencies from the initial 25 hours. due to the reduction to a single semester, students now receive clinical competencies from this placement only under exceptional circumstances, as approved by the clinic director.

      2b.    In 2013, practical labs and standardized patient experiences were introduced into multiple courses to increase students' ability to obtain clinical competencies in underrepresented patient populations.  Goal Met (2014)

      Long Term Goal:

      By January, 2011, the speech-language pathology section will increase community partnerships with public schools to include districts in the Ohio Valley Educational Consortium.

      • Placements are now possible within the Ohio Valley Educational Consortium for the beginning placement.  Goal Met (2011)

      Focus Area Two: program development within specialty areas such as autism, rural settings, early intervention, multi-cultural, pediatric feeding and swallowing, and the elderly.


      1. develop concentrations of practice in specialty areas such as the elderly, pediatric feeding, multi-cultural, rural populations, early intervention, social group communication and inner city populations.
      2. increase funding resources for students to pursue the targeted concentrations.
      3. ensure the program continues to be a competitive institution for speech-language pathology at the state and national level.

      Indicators of Success:

      1. The program will be able to offer increased assistantship monies for students.  Goal Met (2008-2013)
      • The program funded two additional student assistantships.
      • An outside benefactor created an annual scholarship for a student in financial need.
      • Students are eligible for tuition assistance for student teaching from the College of Education and Human Development, as well as for on-line courses required for teacher certification. The student teaching award was granted to a student in 2013.

        2.  The program will offer an expanded program of study in specialty areas. Goal Met (2010)

        • The program hired a new faculty member with expertise in pediatric feeding and swallowing;
        • The program amended the curriculum, by expanding a one day seminar into a 3 credit hour Special Topics course in pediatric feeding and swallowing impairments, autism, neurological rehabilitation, tracheostomy and ventilator dependent patients.

            3. The program will increase the level of care for specialty population(s) in the community. Goal Ongoing

            • Faculty members offer early intervention experience in their private practice, both privately and in affiliation with Kentucky First Steps program.
            • Faculty member has conducted continuing education courses for in areas relating to infant-toddler outcomes, and this information is available to students as well as professionals.
            • Students are placed in inner city schools for initial practicum placements in our community partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools.
            • Students are placed with the STAR program, for individuals with autism, and courses include guest lecturers from professionals from STAR and from the private school for autism, The Bluegrass Autism Center.
            • Students have been placed in rural communities for full-time placements, using Ohio Valley Educational Consortium as well as program contracts with rural counties in Kentucky in multiple settings.
            • Training in areas related to the elderly have benefited from faculty member Alan Smith’s use of the U of L standardized patient program. Students complete cognitive assessments, with specially trained standardized patients. Students can obtain competency in the scoring of the assessment, as well as the administration, via digital recordings of the assessment.
            • Practicum placements where elderly are concentrated (hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers) have been maintained and expanded.
            • Faculty member has increased client caseload to facilitate student exposure to patients with cochlear implants.
            • Faculty member collaboration with Audiology to facilitate student learning to aural rehabilitation and hearing aids in schools.
            • Community partnerships have improved access to intensive augmentative and alternative communication technology in both assessment and intervention.

            Long Term Goal:

            By April, 2011, the faculty will establish a formal partnership with a funding source, via the University of Louisville signature partnership in the west end of Louisville. To date, this long term goal has been explored but has not been met.

            Focus Area Three: Community Clinic

            The program has a commitment to meet clinic needs in the community, by re-establishing the university training clinic. Steps to re-open the university training clinic were hampered by financial and physical location issues.

            • Prior to June, 2012 the program was in a building slated to be closed whenever a new location could be provided. It was not prudent to open a clinic without the assurance that the move would include clinical space.


            • In June, 2012, the program was moved into a new location, but the university did not provide any space for an on-site, clinical component.
            • Repeated investigations into obtaining Kentucky Medicaid certification for billing have not been successful. Kentucky Medicaid continues to restrict credentialing to rehabilitation settings, where both medical and related therapies, such as OT or PT, are provided. Since we only offer Speech therapy, and the majority of our clients require Kentucky Medicaid assistance, we are unable to fund and staff a University Speech clinic.
            • With changes to  Kentucky Medicaid, the program will continue to investigate various options.

            Focus Area Four: Increase educational experiences for both graduate students and professionals

            The program regularly examines the graduate curriculum to ensure that the depth and breadth of courses reflect the changing demands of the profession. The faculty is committed to continue this practice, as well as to demonstrate leadership within the community, to reflect state and national (ASHA) standards in clinical care.


            1. Review course progression and required courses for the program on a biannual basis.
            2. Encourage student participation in state and national conventions and locally sponsored ASHA CEU opportunities.

            Indicators of Success:

            1. The program reviews courses regularly. The graduate core course sequence reflects the most common curriculum needs for practicum placements by placing the majority of courses within the first year of the program.
            2. Course schedules are adjusted to allow students to attend the state and national conventions. Some students attend the state convention each year. Most students attend the national ASHA convention about every other year. There is partial assistance from the Graduate School to fund students’ attendance at the National ASHA Convention. Students were excused from class to attend the regional course on Lee Silverman Voice Treatment in 2012.

            Long Term Goal:

            By December 2014, Speech-pathology will partner with Audiology to develop short term and long term plans to offer continuing education units to professionals.

              Focus Area Five: Maintain opportunities for cultural diversity within the curriculum. Goal:  Ongoing


              1. Infuse ethnic, economic and cultural considerations into academic courses.
              2. Maintain placements in school, hospital and rehabilitation settings with diverse cultural, economic and ethnic populations.
              3. Improve recruitment efforts to obtain qualified applicants of diverse cultural, economic and ethnic backgrounds for the graduate program.

              Indicators of Success:

              1. Lectures, presentations and research in each course reflect current understanding of the influence that cultural, economic and ethnic factors bring to normal development as well as to assessment and treatment of various disorders.
              2. Placements within the Kentuckiana region and rural areas in this and adjoining states reflect cultural, economic and ethnic diversity.
              3. The faculty recruited future graduate students in the Arts & Sciences undergrad programs at a general assembly. The program will continue to accept the best qualified applicants, regardless of cultural, economic or ethnic background.
              4. As an assignment within the Professional Issues course, beginning in the fall 2014, students will be required to attend the Health Science Campus Cultural Competency Workshop, a one-day seminar.

              Focus Area Six: Provide relevant cutting edge technology in academic, clinical and research areas


              1. Maintain teaching practices which utilize cutting edge technology.  Goal (Ongoing)
              2. Develop a laboratory with appropriate cutting edge instrumentation. Goal Met (2013)
              3. Maintain practicum placements with cutting edge instrumentation. Goal (Ongoing)

              Indicators of Success:

              1. Courses will continue to utilize the possibilities within Blackboard to enhance teaching. Such options include course notes, student discussion boards, Tegrity that is used to record and allow access to lectures, wikis, blogs and portfolios.
              2. Students and faculty will begin to use outlets such as Google docs to create shared space for presentations and on-going projects.
              3. Students are utilizing the Computer Speech Lab (Kay Pentax) to access and analyze various types of speech and voice disorders.
              4. Practicum placements utilizing cutting edge instrumentation for dysphagia, aphasia, autism, augmentative and alternative communication, and neonatal issues will be maintained and expanded.