Communication Sciences and Disorders

Pre-Audiology Concentration, Communication Sciences and Disorders, B.S.DegreeB.S.
Pre-Audiology, Professional CertificateCertificate
Pre-Speech-Language Pathology Concentration, Communication Sciences and Disorders, B.S.DegreeB.S.
Pre-Speech-Language Pathology, Professional CertificateCertificate
Sign Language Interpreting, B.S.DegreeB.S.
Sign Language Studies, A.S.DegreeA.S.
Sign Language Studies, MinorMinor

Degrees

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers an Associate of Science Degree in Sign Language Studies, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sign Language Interpreting, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, with an emphasis in either Pre-Audiology or Pre-Speech-Language Pathology. These degrees provide the foundational education and training necessary for individuals who wish to work in education, hospitals, clinics, governmental agencies, skilled nursing facilities, medical offices, and more.

The professions represented within the department seek to help children, youth, and adults with communication disabilities and differences that are either present at birth or acquired later in life. Curricula rich in biological and social sciences in conjunction with rigorous departmental courses in evaluation, treatment, teaching, and research lead our graduates to paths toward gainful employment and diverse career opportunities. The career path an individual takes will depend upon training and personal goals. Those who accept the challenge of these professions will find that the effort put forward to earn degrees will be rewarding.

Associate of Science Degree in Sign Language Studies

The Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Sign Language Studies (SLS) is a two-year degree which is primarily designed for students who wish to continue their education beyond the associate-degree level in the Sign Language Interpreting Program, or for students who wish to obtain an interim degree before entering another major, such as Deaf Education. The SLS degree focuses on American Sign Language (ASL) skills through academic courses and labs designed to provide a small-group setting to facilitate instructor feedback and guidance. The Associate of Science is only offered on our Pocatello campus.

Program Learning Outcomes
  • Illustrate a thorough understanding and awareness of Deaf culture and the sociolinguistic aspects of being Deaf, deaf, or hard-of-hearing.
  • Demonstrate language proficiency of American Sign Language at conversational levels in both receptive and expressive abilities.
  • Recognize the importance of making ethically and culturally correct choices in signing environments.
  • Transfer skills learned in American Sign Language to life-long learning.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Sign Language Interpreting

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree In Sign Language Interpreting (SLI) is designed to prepare students for employment as interpreters in educational settings and entry-level freelance assignments. Students are taught with a hands-on approach as they learn about Deaf culture, how to collaborate in a professional setting, and participate in field observations. The educational experience culminates with an interpreting internship. Internship sites may require a record of vaccinations and a police background check. An Associate-level degree in Sign Language Studies or its equivalent is required. The Bachelor of Science in Sign Language Interpreting is offered only at the ISU Meridian Health Science Center.

Program Learning Outcomes
  • Upon completion of our program, graduates meet all required education requirements for certification exams and credentials.  
  • Students will be prepared for employment as interpreters in entry-level positions, committing to life-long learning and development.
  • Graduates have the ability to make ethically and culturally correct choices in signing environments. They can apply professional standards, practices, and ethics to their interpreting practice.
  • Students who complete our program will recognize the role interpreters have in the Deaf community, integrating their knowledge of the culture, languages, and diversity of Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, DeafBlind, and intersectional communities into their work.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, with Emphases in Pre-Audiology and in Pre-Speech-Language Pathology

The areas of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology have foundations grounded in basic communicative behavior. Included in these emphases are the study of biological and social sciences, phonetics, acoustics, neurology, development of normal speech, language, and hearing abilities as well as deviations from normal communicative processes. Students are introduced to assessment and treatment procedures at the undergraduate level. The Bachelor of Science degree emphases prepare students to apply to graduate programs in either Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. 

Idaho State University has the distinction of offering the bachelor’s degree with emphasis in Pre-Speech-Language Pathology, as well as the Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology, on both the Pocatello and Meridian campuses. The Master of Science degree is also offered online, although attendance on our campus is mandatory for 8 weeks the first summer and 1 week the second summer of the program. Many departmental classes are taught via distance learning technology with clinical and academic faculty at both sites. Students should note that admission to graduate programs is competitive.

The combined bachelor’s and master’s programs in Speech-Language Pathology and the bachelor’s and clinical doctorate programs in Audiology are designed to prepare students to meet the academic and clinical requirements for the Idaho Department of Education Certificate for Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist, state licensing, and the Certificate of Clinical Competence issued by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Both the graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of ASHA. Additional information about the graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology can be found in the Graduate Catalog, Kasiska Division of Health Sciences, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders should be able to: 

  • Understand the basic processes and influences related to human communication including developmental, biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological and cultural conditions.
  • Explain the basic foundational aspects of typical and disordered communication including areas of prevention, evaluation, intervention and treatment.
  • Demonstrate the emergence of effective written, oral, and critical thinking skills related to topics in communication sciences and disorders.
  • Have completed the necessary coursework and experiences to prepare them to apply for admission to graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology.

Admission to Bachelor’s Degree Programs on Meridian Campus

Students entering the bachelor’s degree programs at the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center must apply for admission because space in these programs is limited. Students planning to major in Communication Sciences and Disorders must have a GPA of 3.0 or better after completing 40 semester hours. Students planning to major in Sign Language Interpreting must have an associate degree in Sign Language Studies or its equivalent, must have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher, and must have a GPA of 3.0 or better in skill courses (e.g., ASL, interpreting). For more information, call (208) 373-1908 or go to the Department Webpage at https://www.isu.edu/csd/

Junior Transfer Programs

It is recommended that students interested in the Meridian undergraduate program complete their general education requirements before transferring to Idaho State University-Meridian. General Education classes are not offered at the Idaho State University-Meridian Center. Junior transfer students may complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree within two years at Idaho State University. January junior transfers may complete the program requirements in two and one half years. Students interested in the undergraduate program at Idaho State University-Meridian should call (208) 373-1908 for additional information. Students wishing to transfer from the Pocatello campus to the Meridian campus should call that same number.

Pre-Professional Coursework

Students with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than Communication Sciences and Disorders must take a series of courses that are prerequisite to entering either the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology or the Doctor of Audiology degree programs. Completion of the full series of Pre-Professional courses leads to a Pre-Professional Certificate. These courses can be taken on the Pocatello or Meridian campus’ or completely online. Note that the online courses require extra fees, and the program is available to individuals seeking degrees at other institutions. To obtain a Pre-Professional Certificate in Speech Language Pathology or Audiology, students must complete the required departmental courses with a minimum GPA of 2.25 and obtain a letter grade of “C-” or better in departmental pre-professional courses counting toward fulfillment of certificate requirements. The course sequence and specific aspects of the programs may be found on the Communication Science & Disorders home page at https://www.isu.edu/slp or  https://www.isu.edu/audiology. Completion of the Pre-Professional coursework does not guarantee a spot in the graduate program.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Pre-Professional Certificate in Communication Sciences and Disorders should be able to: 

  • Understand the basic processes and influences related to human communication including developmental, biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological and cultural conditions.
  • Explain the basic foundational aspects of typical and disordered communication including areas of prevention, evaluation, intervention and treatment.
  • Demonstrate the emergence of effective written, oral, and critical thinking skills related to topics in communication sciences and disorders.
  • Have completed the necessary coursework to prepare them to apply for admission to graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology.

Academic Standards

Each student is responsible for completing the required coursework in the proper sequential order. Required prerequisite courses must be completed before the student can enroll in upper division departmental courses. Transfer students may submit petitions to the department for equivalent recognition of required courses. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.25 and obtain a letter grade of “C-” or better in departmental courses counting toward fulfillment of graduation requirements. A grade of “D+” in departmental courses will not be counted toward satisfaction of requirements for the major. All students must meet with their advisors each semester.

Practicum Standards

Students within the department may enroll in limited practicum activities as seniors. Specified departmental course requirements must be met before a student enrolls.

Clinical Services

The Idaho State University Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic on the Pocatello Campus and the Speech and Language Clinic at the ISU Meridian Health Sciences Center offer a variety of clinical training opportunities for students while providing valuable services to the community. Among our audiological services offered at the Pocatello campus are complete audiological and vestibular testing, hearing aid evaluation, auditory training, and aural habilitation and rehabilitation, including services for individuals with cochlear implants. The Speech and Language Clinics in Pocatello and Meridian offer evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders, stuttering, voice, alternative and augmentative communication, and speech-language problems associated with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, autism, cleft palate, and stroke. Specialized group therapy is offered for preschool children with communication needs, toddlers and children with cochlear implants, and adults with aphasia. Clients served in our clinics range in age from infancy to adulthood and all clinical services are provided by experienced students under the direction of ASHA-certified clinical faculty.

CSD Faculty

CSD Courses