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Speech Pathology Program Re-Accredited for Eight Years

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh is keeping pace with the demands in one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. The Master's Program in Speech Pathology at SUNY Plattsburgh has been granted re-accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The re-accreditation is for an eight-year period, which began June 1 and will continue through Oct. 31, 2012. The program was last accredited in 1996.

Dr. Michael Morgan, chair of the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, along with the entire faculty of the department worked on the re-accreditation process.

Morgan said this accreditation is very beneficial to the students in the program.

"Plattsburgh State students can be assured that they are receiving a degree from a program that is meeting all the standards of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association," said Morgan. "In turn, graduating from an accredited program will help our students to continue on to their clinical fellowship year after graduation, which ensures their certification in clinical competency."

According to Morgan, alumni will also benefit from this re-accreditation of the graduate speech pathology program because it reaffirms the validity of their degree.

"Many of our students do internships with alumni," said Morgan. "Alumni will be guaranteed that they are working with students who possess skills and are meeting the high standards of the field. As a faculty, we are continually grateful to alumni who are willing to work with our students."  

Plattsburgh State had to make certain changes due to the re-accreditation process. Part of this stemmed from a change within the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association itself.  Instead of the minimum 375 supervised clinical practicum hours required in 1996, the Association presently demands 400 hours. With these hours, students must now show that they have met competency requirements.

Dr. Robert Golden, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said that he is delighted, but not surprised by the re-accreditation of the graduate speech pathology program.

"The program has a reputation for producing well-trained, committed professionals who end up working in this region, in the rest of New York State, and beyond," said Golden. "The faculty is to be congratulated for once again effectively demonstrating the quality of this program to its national accrediting body."

The Council of Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the only agency to accredit graduate education programs that provide entry level (master's or doctoral) professional preparation with a major emphasis in audiology and or speech pathology.

About 20 students graduate every year from Plattsburgh State's graduate speech pathology program, which was started before 1976.

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