SLP Strategic Plan, Goals, & Outcomes

Strategic Plan 2023–2025
Mission of the Communication Sciences and Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology Program

The mission of the Communication Sciences and Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology (CSD/SLP) program at Lebanon Valley College is to support the critical thinking and reflective capacity of our students through closely mentored relationships which enable all students to grow to their potential. This departmental mission aligns with the student-centered mission of Lebanon Valley College that embraces differences and seeks to empower students with a liberal arts education.  We believe in the mission of the College to provide immersive learning experiences that will aid in the development of analytical decision-making skills using reflective practice and evidence-based approaches. We educate students to be clinically and culturally competent clinicians that serve the diverse needs of people with communication and swallowing disorders. The rigorous curriculum offers courses to help students think critically and comply with ethical standards expected by those holding the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Certificate of Clinical Competence. We encourage the students to pursue citizenship and lifelong learning.


Vision Statement

The vision of the CSD/SLP department is to maintain full accreditation with the CAA. The CSD/SLP program seeks to be a resource and a model to support the campus and local community, prepare our students to provide the highest quality innovative and evidence-based services.


Executive Summary

The strategic plan of the CSD/SLP department aligns with the missions and visions of the department and the college, including the commitment to reflective, evidence-based practices and pedagogies, high-impact learning experiences, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.  Our program goals for 2023-2025 focus on critical and reflective evaluation as a result of our CAA accreditation site visit, formal measures of student success, student and community partner feedback, and continued professional development. We will expand our community collaborations through seeking expanded opportunities for externships, research collaborations, and developing and offering continuing education opportunities. Our students will benefit from increased clinical opportunities providing individual and group services in all nine major areas assessed by ASHA.  We will create a culture of increased accessibility, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging through systematic assessment of our recruitment and retention practices as well as increasing the affordability of our program through use of OER and offerings of fellowships and stipends. The strategic planning committee will meet monthly to evaluate our progress. Updates and progress toward our strategic plan goals will be made available to our department faculty and students each July. We appreciate the input of students and faculty to our strategic plan. If you have questions about or would like to offer feedback on our strategic plan, please e-mail one of the members of the strategic planning committee: Dr. Laura Richardson at or Dr. Michelle Scesa at

1. The program will maintain full accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) with 100% compliance, as measured by completion of the following objectives:

  • Respond to Full Accreditation Report in Summer 2023
  • Prepare and submit annual progress reports to the CAA each August (measured as complete/incomplete)
  • Pay all accreditation fees to CAA (measured as complete/incomplete)
  • Review and update all policies, procedures, handbooks and website with current CAA status annually in August 2023, 2024, 2025 (measured as complete/incomplete).


2. The program will continue to support faculty and staff development

  • Provide funds annually for each full-time faculty member to maintain expertise in clinical knowledge and skills to fit the program’s needs.
  • By Spring 2025, we will develop and/or participate in 1 interprofessional education/practice events per academic year.
    • We are aiming for one medical and one education graduate level IPE event per academic year (complete/incomplete).


3. The program will maintain and update academic and clinical handbooks and the department strategic plan

  • The strategic planning committee will meet monthly to review progress toward the strategic plan and provide updates to the department and students each July (measured as complete/incomplete).
  • Annually review and update the department’s academic and clinical handbooks in July (measured as complete/incomplete).
  • Track progress toward the strategic plan on an annual basis in July (measured as complete/incomplete).
  • Schedule an annual summer retreat to discuss course evaluations, exit surveys, and program needs and revisions (measured as complete/incomplete).


4. The program will provide a comprehensive academic and clinical curriculum that promotes student growth to become culturally and clinically competent speech language pathologists

  • The academic and clinical curriculum will be reviewed annually in May using the following criteria:
    • At the graduate level, Praxis scores will be assessed annually in May. Customized reports will be analyzed to identify patterns within and across cohorts from the previous two (2023) or three (2024 and subsequent) years. Content areas with scores averaging less than 80% will result in a targeted course modification plan at the discretion of the course instructor(s). If student performance averages less than 80% in a content areas for three consecutive years, course revisions may be implemented at the discretion of the course instructor(s) and program director.
    • CALIPSO ratings from on-campus and off-campus clinical education will be reviewed annually in May. If student performance in a given area averages less than 3 in Clinic I or 4 in Clinic II, III, or externships, the clinical director and content area expert(s) will review the need for curricular and/or clinical modifications which may include: additional explicit instruction in a content area, additional simulation experiences, targeted attempts to recruit specific clinical experiences.
  • Use college reporting requirements (i.e., TracDat) and CALIPSO to establish entry, mid-point, and exit data points for the following skills, and increase them from entry to mid-point and mid-point to exit for 80% of students:
    • Knowledge and application of APA format
    • Critical appraisal of research
    • Knowledge of typical speech, language, and swallowing development
    • Knowledge of anatomical and neurological bases of speech, language, and swallowing


5. The program will expand clinical education experiences prior to externships through a combination of classroom, clinical, and extracurricular experiences including opportunities for screenings, simulation, service learning, on- and off-campus clinical experiences.

  • The program will incorporate service learning and simulation into courses to ensure a minimum of 5 evaluation and/or treatment clinical clock hours in each of the following areas: voice and resonance, fluency, AAC, hearing disorders, articulation, language disorders, and swallowing, cognitive aspects of communication, and social aspects of communication.
  • The program will establish on- and off- campus opportunities for students to obtain 3 hours of group therapy experience.
  • The program will establish advanced specialty clinics to ensure opportunities for specialization and clinical clock hours with low-incidence conditions.
    • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
    • Pediatric Feeding Disorders
    • Voice including a Transgender Voice Group
    • Establish a partnership with an ENT practice to participate in specialty voice clinic (complete/incomplete).
    • Neurodiversity
    • Adult cognitive
    • EFFORT


6. The program will establish and maintain reciprocal relationships with external clinical placement supervisors that result in mutually fulfilled expectations

  • Establish community collaborations with 3 new SLPs per year for 2023-2025.
  • Review list of external clinical placement supervisors annually based on student reviews, maintenance of ASHA certification, and externship coordinator feedback (complete/incomplete).
  • Develop and maintain classroom content and practice experience profiles for each primary content area that students will maintain portfolios to ensure varied and comprehensive educational and practice experiences.  Students will maintain these with 80% compliance beginning Fall 2023.
  • Develop Canvas modules that students with missing content and experience related to a given topic area due to programming sequence will complete with 80% accuracy prior to externship experiences in this area.


7. The program will ensure that students can demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary for ASHA credentials with 80% of students passing Praxis

  • Offer SLP744 for elective credit each Spring semester (complete/incomplete)


8. The program will maintain a web-based tracking system for each student’s knowledge and skills, clinical hours and accreditation forms (to be updated each semester; complete/incomplete)


9. The program will maintain a support and/or remediation plan for students who are not meeting academic or clinical expectations. Support plans will be reviewed at mid-term and the end of the semester each semester.  Academic remediation plans must be completed for a final grade to be entered on the student’s transcript (complete/incomplete).


10. The program will provide opportunities for scholarship to ensure understanding of research as it relates to evidence-based practice at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • 100% of students will take CSD110 introduction to research and writing to learn academic writing, APA, and basics of research design and internal and external validity.  Students will demonstrate mastery of research design and basic critical appraisal with 80% accuracy.
  • Students will be offered CSD550 as an immersive learning experience during the undergraduate program; Beginning in Fall 2023, 75% of students who participate will present their work at a regional or national event.


11. The program will provide the technological resources necessary for student success, with each of the following being reviewed annually in May in terms of utility, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility (complete/incomplete):

  • The program will maintain labs (speech and voice, AAC) with up-to-date technology for student learning (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will maintain an electronic medical record system for clinical education (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will maintain a web-based management system to maintain academic and clinical education data (CALIPSO) (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will maintain electronic simulation-based learning programs such as Simucase to enhance student learning (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will infuse critical appraisal of technological resources and programs into the curriculum (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will use the appropriate learning management system(s) (i.e., Canvas) for communication and course management (complete/incomplete).


12. The program will increase enrollment to 40 students per cohort in a gradual fashion and aim for 80% of students to graduate within the expected timeframe.

  • The program will strive to have a first-year graduate class of 36 students in Fall 2023 (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will strive to have a first-year graduate class of 38 students in Fall 2024 (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will strive to have a first-year graduate class of 40 students in Fall 2025 (complete/incomplete).
  • Eighty percent of graduate students will complete the program within five semesters. (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will offer courses as stated in the program map 100% of the time (complete/incomplete).


13. The program will increase diversity in the student body

  • The program will increase admission of students at the undergraduate and graduate level to include: a minimum of 4 prospective students per cohort self-identifying as any of the following: male, LGBTQ+, persons of color, culturally and linguistically diverse, veterans, nontraditional, neurodiverse, and/or students with disabilities (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will retain diverse students as described in Objective A with an 80% graduation rate beginning with cohorts entering Fall 2024 (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will survey current and recent students, faculty, and staff every 3 years on DEI and act based on the findings (next review: Spring 2025) (complete/incomplete).


14. The program will establish opportunities for specialization through graduate concentrations and certificates (complete/incomplete with target date of Spring 2025).

  • The program will conduct feasibility studies for graduate certificates in infant mental health, assistive technology, Autism, and universal design and/or brain-based learning (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will establish optional graduate concentrations in early childhood, geriatrics, neurodiversity, and medical speech-language pathology through elective offerings (complete/incomplete).


15. The program will become an ASHA Continuing Education (CE) provider (complete/incomplete with target date of Fall 2024).

  • The program will establish a CE administrator (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will apply to become a CE provider (Submit Spring 2023; complete/incomplete).
  • The program will offer two continuing education events per academic year beginning Fall 2023 (complete/incomplete).


16. The program will increase the affordability and accessibility of a graduate education through offering fellowships and stipends and encouraging use of high quality open educational resources.

  •  The program will use open educational resources for Research Methods, Pediatric Dysphagia, and Motor Speech Disorders (complete/incomplete Fall 2023-Spring 2024).
  • The program will offer 4 graduate fellowships to incoming graduate students (complete/incomplete).
  • The program will apply for 2 extramural funding sources per year to provide stipends for graduate students (complete/incomplete).

The following student learning goals support our ASHA accreditation requirements.


Program Goal 1: Students will demonstrate the following skills and competencies with 80% of students completing associated assignments/ course elements with B-‘s or better. 

  • Knowledge of human anatomy or biology, chemistry or physics, statistics, psychology and lifespan development (CFCC IV-A) 
  • Background knowledge in communication sciences and disorders
    • 25 observations hours before SLP coursework 
    • Ability to integrate information related to normal and abnormal development and/or functioning across the lifespan 
  • Professional practice competencies in clinic (ASHA 3.1.1B) (CFCC IV-E, IV-F, IV-G) 
    • Accountability  
    • Integrity 
    • Effective communication skills 
    • Clinical reasoning and decision-making skills  
    • Understanding of evidence-based practices 
    • Concern and respect for clients, caregivers and professionals 
    • Cultural competency 
    • Concern for individuals served 
    • Professional duty and understanding of the profession 
    • Collaborative practice 

Program Goal 2: Students will demonstrate knowledge in the foundations of communication and swallowing disorders related to etiology (ASHA 3.1.2B) (CFCC IV-B) 80% of students completing courses with B-‘s or better. 


Program Goal 3: Students will demonstrate knowledge in identification of communication and swallowing disorders (ASHA 3.1.3B) (CFCC V-B) 80% of students completing courses with B-‘s or better. 


Program Goal 4: Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in evaluation processes of communication and swallowing disorders (ASHA 3.1.4B) (CFCC V-B) 80% of students completing courses with B-‘s or better. 


Program Goal 5: Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in intervention of communication and swallowing disorders (ASHA 3.1.5B) (CFCC V-B) 80% of students completing courses with B-‘s or better. 


Program Goal 6: Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills related to professional practice in courses (ASHA 3.1.6B) (CFCC V-B) 80% of students completing associated assignments/ course elements with B-‘s or better. 

  • Ethical conduct of SLPs 
  • Integration and application of knowledge of the speech, language and hearing mechanisms 
  • Contemporary issues and advocacy for clients and the profession 
  • Process of clinical education and supervision 
  • Professional behavior expected of SLPs 
  • Collaboration skills 
  • Self-reflection and evaluation of the effectiveness of their practice 

Goal 1: Acquire and develop knowledge in the field of communication sciences and disorders

  • Students will demonstrate and apply knowledge about the basic acoustical, anatomical, and neurological developments of normal speech, language acquisition, and hearing.
  • Students will demonstrate the etiology and characteristics of various communication disorders.
  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of how individual, cultural, and linguistic differences contribute to our understanding of language and communication.


Goal 2: Develop technical skills related to the field of communication sciences and disorders

  • Students will develop the skills to screen and remediate speech and language disorders.
  • Students will be able to use therapeutic instruments and procedures as well as current technologies in clinical settings with the guidance of a certified speech-language pathologist.


Goal 3: Develop professional skills and dispositions critical to the field of communication sciences and disorders

  • Students will demonstrate competence in research and clinical methods.
  • Students will demonstrate the skills required for professional reporting.
  • Students will apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to real-life situations in the field of communication sciences and disorders.

Student Outcome Data

Speech-language pathology (SLP) is a high-demand career that helps people. Learn about Lebanon Valley College’s SLP student outcomes.