Lebanon Valley College’s Speech-Language Pathology 3+2 Program Awarded Initial Accreditation

A child receives treatment at Lebanon Valley College's master in speech pathology program lab

The SLP program had supporting documents for all 168 standards and had no areas of non-compliance and no areas for follow-up with the Standards for Accreditation.

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) voted to award initial accreditation for the five-year Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) Program at Lebanon Valley College for a period of five years beginning July 1, 2023.

Speech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) assess and treat people who have speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) LVC’s 3+2 program gives graduates a career edge by producing skilled clinicians in just five years. Majors earn a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders and a master’s in Speech-Language Pathology.

“Students in LVC’s SLP program achieve 100% pass rates of the Praxis Exam in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology because of a rigorous curriculum, vast laboratory and clinical experience with guaranteed placements, and supportive faculty. Our students find a real connection with faculty in a warm and personal setting starting in their first semester on campus,” said Dr. Michelle Scesa, chair and associate professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders and Speech-Language Pathology. “CAA Initial Accreditation reflects the excellence of our education of students to fulfill an important societal need.”

The LVC Communication Sciences & Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology Program graduated its first group in May 2022. That class, and the second (May 2023), had 100% of the graduates passing the Praxis Exam in Audiology and Speech-Language. Additionally, 100% of the graduates who sought employment were employed full-time.

“I’m thrilled to be graduating from Lebanon Valley College’s initially accredited Speech-Language Pathology Program because it equips me with the essential skills I will need to make a meaningful impact on individuals’ lives while significantly improving my employment prospects in a field where expertise is highly valued,” said Emily Reaman ’24, M’25, who is participating in a clinical at the College’s on-campus Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders this semester.


Master’s in Speech-language Pathology Clinical Site

LVC’s Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders is a free clinic for children and adults with communication and swallowing disorders. Evaluations and interventions are provided by graduate student clinicians who are supervised by highly trained clinical educators with years of clinical experience. LVC graduate students gain hands-on, professional experience through evaluating and treating individuals under the direct supervision of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist and an audiologist.

In addition to having the option of doing a community-based specialized group session in the clinic, all master’s in speech pathology students are required to do a semester-long school placement and a semester-long medical placement in their second year of graduate school. The faculty has over 75 affiliation agreements in Pennsylvania and states where students reside, and new placements are regularly added.

“There’s a great need for speech-language pathologists in school and medical settings because the caseloads are so high,” added Dr. Scesa. “Part of it is the growing elderly population that needs services after strokes. And in schools, more children are being diagnosed with language disorders and autism.”

This fall, 84 students are enrolled in the bachelor of Communication Sciences & Disorders undergraduate program, and 35 are enrolled in the master of Speech-Language Pathology master’s program.


About the Speech-Language Pathology Program’s Accreditor

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) offers voluntary accreditation to graduate degree programs in audiology and in speech-language pathology housed within institutions of higher education. The CAA is the entity within ASHA that has the authority to establish and enforce a set of standards for the accreditation of graduate education programs in audiology and in speech-language pathology. The CAA has the authority to make accreditation decisions.

The CAA’s accreditation program is designed to:

  • Promote excellence in preparing students to enter the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology.
  • Protect and inform the public by recognizing programs that meet or exceed accreditation standards.
  • Stimulate improvement of programs’ educational activities by means of self-study and evaluation.

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