About Speech-Language Pathology
The process of forming a thought in the brain and converting it into verbal form is incredibly complex. It takes hundreds of muscles in the neurological system to make such a process possible. Though the majority of people are able to master the process in early childhood, millions of children, teenagers, and adults struggle with it throughout their lives. These individuals face enormous hurdles when it comes to developing strong personal relationships, achieving academic success, and advancing in the workplace.
Speech pathology professionals are responsible for helping people overcome all these challenges and successfully navigate their daily lives.
What often draws students to Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) is the opportunity to work with people on a one-to-one basis in a specialized and important life domain — communication. Students who gravitate to SLP tend to be attracted to communication in all of its forms: debate, creative writing, reading, and theater/musical performance.
A speech pathology professional is part scientist, part teacher, part doctor, and part therapist. As a result, there are countless career opportunities for those who pursue the SLP program. As a SPL professional, you might:
- Evaluate and diagnose speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders in babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, adults, or the elderly
- Treat speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders
- Provide training and education to family/caregivers of those with communication disorders
- Work collaboratively with professionals from many other disciplines
- Prepare future professionals in colleges and universities
- Own and operate a private SLP practice
- Work for national, state, or local associations or agencies
- Supervise and direct public school or clinical programs
- Engage in research to enhance knowledge about human communication processes
- Develop new assessment and treatment methods for human communication disorders
- Provide counseling and consultative services
- Train and supervise support personnel
As our society begins to understand more and more about speech and swallowing disorders, increased opportunities are opening up. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, SLP jobs are expected to grow by 25 percent by 2018. This means that in terms of career options, the sky is the limit—you can choose a combination of the aforementioned options, or forge your own path.
It is also worth noting that although most SLP undergraduate students go on to pursue a master’s degree so that they can become a licensed and certified SLP, some students opt to pursue other careers, usually in the areas of science, sociology, communication, or education. These students find that the bachelor of science degree in speech-language pathology prepares them for fields where such skills are desirable, such as
- Occupational Therapist
- Art/Music/Dance Therapist
- Recreation Therapist
- School Guidance Counselor
- College Student Affairs Professional
- Probation/Parole Officer
- Literacy specialist
- Mental Health Counselor
- Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA): This group serves as a great resource for students entering, or currently in, the field of communication sciences and disorders. The Buffalo State chapter meets monthly in order to discuss graduate school preparation, career development, and volunteer and fundraising efforts. It also offers students the chance to participate in workshops, lectures, meetings, and conventions.
Speech-Language and Hearing Association of Western New York
(SHAWNY): This is a non-profit organization that provides quality continuing education opportunities and a professional network for all members. Students who join the group can volunteer for events and attend annual meetings, which are great networking opportunities.
National Society of Leadership and Success: The Society offers life-changing lectures from the nation's leading presenters and a community where like-minded, success-oriented individuals come together and help one another succeed. The Society also serves as a powerful force of good in the greater community by encouraging and organizing action to better the world.
Student Social Work Organization (SSWO): This group provides an opportunity for students interested in the “helping professions” to meet one another and become aware of issues related to school, careers, and community affairs.
Student Council for Exceptional Children: The Buffalo State College chapter of the international professional organization aims to improve educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities. SCEC promotes awareness of individuals with different needs on campus and advocates behalf of people who have different abilities. It also provides continuing professional development for future professionals who will work with adults and children with disabilities.
Undergraduate students are highly encouraged to pursue and participate in faculty research opportunities.
Our students begin their applied clinical practicum experience in their first semester and are enrolled in clinical coursework in every subsequent semester, both in our active and highly regarded on-site clinic and in our community-partner externship sites.
This on-campus clinic, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016, enables students to gain real-life experience under faculty supervision. SLP students may help community members struggling with articulation disorders, language impairments, aphasia, hearing and fluency disorders, traumatic brain injury, and accent reduction.
All SLP faculty members hold the CCC awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. They’ve contributed to countless research studies, textbooks, and journals about language and voice disorders, diagnoses, and treatments.
Four Research Labs
Students have access to four campus labs including the Anatomy and Physiology Lab, the Augmentative/Alternative Communication Lab, the Voice and Speech Science Lab, and the Neurophysiologic and Cognitive Linguistic Aging Lab.
Exceptional Job Placement
Our graduates have 100 percent job placement. Many secure jobs prior to graduation, and virtually all find employment within three months of graduation.
Caring for the Community
Since 2007, the Buffalo State Chapter of the National Speech-Language-Hearing Association (BSC-NSSLHA) group has raised and donated more than $14,000 to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, the regional center for comprehensive and state-of-the-art pediatric, neonatal, perinatal, and obstetrical services.