Communication Sciences and Disorders exceeds national trends for graduate school acceptance
MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program is setting itself apart from other colleges and universities and shattering the trends with its success.
According to Communication Sciences and Disorders Education Trend Data, a joint publication of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “The percent of applicants offered admission averaged 19.6 percent between 2010-2011 and 2017-2018, ranging from 15.7 percent in 2012-2013 to 24.0 percent in the most recent academic year (2017-2018).”
The 2019 senior class has a 100 percent acceptance rate into master’s degree programs as all have been accepted into two or more graduate schools. The students are demonstrating that MVNU’s program prepares its CSD majors for success that reaches beyond the national 24 percent acceptance rate.
Graduating on May 4 are Katy Hillger, Peebles, Ohio; Royce Lyons, Winfield, West Virginia; Katelyn Dufur, Mount Vernon; Liadan Weaver, Galena, Ohio; and Mikayla Smith, Wheelersburg, Ohio. They credit their acceptance rate to practical clinical experience and relationships built with professors.
“Grad school is highly competitive,” Hillger said. “Everyone has high grade-point averages, everyone has good GRE (Graduate Records Examination) scores; on paper we all look similar. It’s the clinic that puts us over the top.”
The Hunter Hall Clinic offers second semester junior and senior CSD students experience in a clinical setting working with pediatric and adult patients with disorders such as language, articulation, voice and fluency as well as cognitive therapy following a stroke, concussion or traumatic brain injury.
“Undergrad clinic experience is so rare,” Weaver said. “The fact that we have been able to have this experience is amazing — but three semester’s worth is even more mind-blowing. I’ve learned so much through hands-on experience I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere else.”
While students are working one-on-one with their clients, they are under the watchful eye of Jodeen Erfurt, clinic supervisor and adjunct professor.
“Each room has a camera and she has a computer screen with all of our screens on it. She has a microphone that goes directly into our room,” Lyons said. “She can say, ‘I’d do it this way.’ It has made me a lot less nervous and so I was more confident in dealing with my pediatric and adult patients.”
Lyons further stated the vast majority of CSD students she met during graduate school open houses were apprehensive about working with clients.
“That was a lot of stress for a lot of people, but we’ve already logged 75-80 hours clinical experience as an undergrad,” Lyons said.
In addition to clinical experience, CSD seniors believe the relationships they have with their professors prepare them for graduate school and a career in speech/language pathology or audiology.
“I think our recommendation letters are a huge part of (acceptance into grad school),” Smith said. “Because we have those personal relationships they can speak more to who we really are as a person.”
“They don’t just care about you as a student and getting you out the door,” Dufur said. “They care about preparing you for that next step in life and making you the best possible professional in your career.”
MVNU has a 100 percent graduate school placement from its 2018 and 2019 graduating classes.
To learn more about MVNU’s Communication Science and Disorders program, visit www.mvnu.edu/undergraduate/academics/csd.