Council on academic affairs reviews CDS department

Samuel Nusbaum, Administration Reporter

The Council on Academic Affairs heard a progress report from the department of communication disorders and sciences last Thursday.

The report covered their enrollment numbers, departmental learning goals and the confidence of students in their skills when they graduate.

Angela Anthony, department chair of communication disorders and sciences, said the clinical area is what separates Eastern from other universities in the state that offer the program.

“Many of the programs in the state do not include that clinical training piece at the undergraduate level. They really hold that for the graduate level,” Anthony said.

She said the reason Eastern offers the clinical training is because it is required for both a master’s degree in speech language pathology and a clinical doctorate in audiology.

Anthony said all students in their department get to participate in a practicum, which is a one-on-one session students have with a speech pathologist.

The number of students enrolled in communication disorders and sciences has risen and fallen since 2008, according to the report the department submitted to the CAA.

During the 2008-2009 academic year, there were 149 students enrolled. In the 2009-2010 academic year, 163 students were enrolled. There were 175 students enrolled during the 2012-2013 academic year, while 2014-2015 saw 131 students enrolled.

Anthony said the current enrollment is 100 students, and she wants the department to have about 40 students per grade level.

History professor Debra Reid brought up the fact that the data table that shows enrollment numbers ends at the year 2014. Anthony said this is because they are delayed in getting their data. CAA chair Marita Gronnvoll said the reason the report is getting to them now is because the CAA was too busy to look at it before.

While students are enrolled at Eastern, they are expected to achieve departmental learning goals, such as showing they know the anatomical, physical and physiological bases of speech and hearing and know how to spot and treat different communication disorders.

Also during the meeting, the CAA heard a proposed course revision from the English department to add an online component to ENG 4906 “Issues in the Teaching of English.” The class is part of a dual certification program for high school teachers, meaning the student would be able to teach two subjects or two grade levels after they graduate.

The change was passed unanimously.

Gronnvoll said she received a formal proposal from philosophy professor Jonelle DePetro about a moratorium on new general education classes, but she is still uncomfortable about it because there was not really a way to invite the entire school in on the conversation.

She said the CAA’s bylaws show they cannot act on this proposal without getting the rest of the university involved, from college curriculum committees to the Faculty Senate.

Gronnvoll said Janet Fopay, office manager for the vice president for academic affairs, alerted her to this bylaw.

“This gives us a very clear path forward. We cannot violate our own bylaws,” Gronnvoll said.


Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]