OSU’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Department has large impact - Oklahoma State University (2022)

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Media Contact: Jordan Bishop | Communications Specialist | 405-744-9782 | jordan.bishop@okstate.edu

The president of the United States of America stutters.

For years, problems with speaking or hearing have been neglected. But because of a shift in public perception, with even Joe Biden admitting he has a communications disorder, more people have started to seek help instead of trying to ignore it.

In the past, someone who stutters or is hard of hearing might have thought there was no treatment for them.

Oklahoma State University’s Dr. Ramesh Kaipa is happy to say that is no longer the case. He said that just because you have a communications disorder, doesn’t mean you cannot be successful.

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As a result, the research into these areas has grown and clinics have sprouted up all around the country to help people finally learn to control their disorder.

“We have started to realize that there are more people who are forthcoming and are starting to seek services,” said Kaipa, the head of OSU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CDIS).

With the rise in patients, the demand for speech pathologists nationwide has continued to grow. Kaipa arrived in Stillwater 10 years ago and has seen the number of students grow exponentially.

CDIS has come a long way since its founding as a single speech pathology course in the Department of Theatre in the 1960s. Professor Vivia Locke started the course and supported it in its early years.

“We really want to help people and help kids communicate better. I hope people realize that. There are some conditions that you can’t outgrow.

- Dr. Ramesh Kaipa

Over time, it became its own department and has grown so much that it now fills almost an entire floor of the Social Sciences and Humanities Building.

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Professors have multiple labs including a sociophonetics lab to study accents and a motor speech lab that looks into how your lips function. The OSU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic has several therapy rooms, along with a new sensory room funded by the Guthrie Scottish Rite.

The sensory room is vital in working with children, who are able to learn to control their disorder if they are helped early in life. Kaipa said that while most communication disorders can’t be completely fixed, helping people build up their ability to communicate is just as important.

“We really want to help people and help kids communicate better,” Kaipa said. “I hope people realize that. There are some conditions that you can’t outgrow. The difference is that we are dealing with a disorder and not a disease. Diseases are pathogenic. You can cure it. Disorders cannot be cured. They can be managed. We fall in the rehabilitation area of health sciences where you can manage, you can get them better and the eventual goal is to mainstream them into society. So that they start leading normal lives.”

CDIS works with children as young as 10 months up to Parkinsons’ patients who are 80-90 years old and helps with a variety of disorders, from swallowing to fluency in reading and writing and more.

Through a partnership with OSU-Tulsa, CDIS works with people who have aphasia — the inability to verbally express or write, most commonly caused by a stroke or neurological illness. And CDIS also started offering a Cowboy Reading Camp this year that completely filled up.

Dr. Peter Richtsmeier, who studies phonetics, said the department’s work with children is really inspiring.

“We are interested in speech and language development,” Richtsmeier said. “We do a lot of things where we try to make sure the kids have fun, and we want to know how most kids learn to be good, accurate speakers.”

Students in the degree program work hands-on with clients, which aids them as they enter a high-demand career field.

“I don't know one person who is finding it challenging to get a job in this field,” Kaipa said. “The retention rate in the profession exceeds 95 percent because people love what they do. They tend to want to be in the field for life. There are other professions where the burnout rate is exceedingly high, and people want to switch their careers — not speech language pathologists and audiologists, though. I am really proud of that.”

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While students primarily earn their experience in the clinic, OSU has also started an outreach program at Stillwater Public Schools and Perry Public Schools to help on-site.

The clinic is available to anyone and includes a heavily discounted fee for OSU students, faculty and staff.

“We are a land-grant institution so outreach is a big part of our department,” Kaipa said. “We truly honor that in addition to our teaching and research.”

Kaipa hopes to keep adding more services, such as a voice clinic and a mobile swallowing station. Also with recent mandates from the state legislature requiring teachers to be trained in teaching dyslexic children, Kaipa hopes to start a literacy clinic.

“That is a problem that has not been addressed,” Kaipa said. “There are a lot of kids who drop out by third grade and a major reason is their literacy skills are lagging behind.”

The clinic isn’t the only place he wants to keep expanding. Currently, the University of Oklahoma has the only doctorate program in speech language pathology. OSU only offers up to master’s level courses.

Although being a speech language pathologist and audiologist is a rewarding career and OSU consistently churns out high-level clinicians, Kaipa wants to see OSU have the ability to develop doctors who can do more research into the field.

“The profession needs more clinical researchers and professors so they can train other people,” Kaipa said. “Hopefully we can get a doctoral program. OU is the only one that offers a Ph.D. in the state. So hopefully we can get one and share the burden and graduate more people with Ph.D.s.”

CDIS faculty members conduct research in all types of areas. Dr. Roha Kaipa studies the ability to learn different languages, and the state’s only licensed fluency specialist, Dr. John Tetnowski, runs the research lab on stuttering.

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In OSU’s sociophonetic lab, Dr. Valerie Freeman looks at the effect someone’s accent has on how they are perceived, as well as teaching students how deaf people are perceived.

“It is cool to wear glasses, but what about hearing aids?” Kaipa said. “It isn’t viewed as the same thing. How many people are going to post on Facebook about getting a new hearing aid? That is what Dr. Freeman is addressing.”

Kaipa sees the impact that CDIS has on both his students and the clients who come in every single day. He looks forward to the continued growth of the department as a place where someone can seek life-changing help.

Communication can be hard for a lot of people, as even he had an issue with it when starting the profession. As a student in India, Kaipa was a quiet talker, but he realized that if he wanted to succeed and help people as a speech language pathologist, he would have to learn to work on it.

“Once I started taking classes and getting hands-on experience, I knew I was meant to be in this profession,” Kaipa said. “I feel thrilled, happy and gratified to help people communicate.”

For more stories on the CDIS Department:

A look at OSU's CDIS Research

Information on OSU's Clinic

FAQs

Does Oklahoma State University have a speech pathology program? ›

The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology (residential) at Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850 ...

What is communication sciences and disorders? ›

in Communication Sciences and Disorders program, you'll learn about communication processes such as normal language development, speech sound development, anatomy, physiology, and audiology. This degree includes 120 hours of coursework, which generally takes four years to complete.

Is Communication Sciences and disorders hard? ›

It involves a rigorous course load that spans two years, including a summer session. In addition to these strenuous semesters, students are simultaneously thrown into the real world and expected to apply their knowledge in clinical practical experiences. The CSD major is scary and certainly stressful.

What are the six things that contribute to communication disorders? ›

Causes. Some causes of communication problems include hearing loss, neurological disorders, brain injury, vocal cord injury, autism, intellectual disability, drug abuse, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate, emotional or psychiatric disorders, and developmental disorders.

How do I become an audiologist in Oklahoma? ›

Initial Licensure

Applicants with an AuD or PhD must provide evidence of a minimum of 350 supervised clinical practicum hours and no less than nine months of full-time, paid clinical fellowship. Pass examinations approved by the Board of Examiners.

Is communication science a good degree? ›

Yes, a communication degree is worth it for many students. Media and communication jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 4% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Common careers in this field include film and video editors, announcers, public relations, news reporters, and authors.

What jobs can I get with a BA in Communication Science? ›

Communication and government/political-related careers include public information officer, speechwriter, press officer, public information officer and elected official.

What job can I get with a communication science degree? ›

Communications jobs: 10 career fields
  • Social and digital media. The emergence of digital media has changed the way we communicate and consume information. ...
  • Public relations. ...
  • Marketing and advertising. ...
  • Human resources. ...
  • Writing and publishing. ...
  • Media. ...
  • Meeting and event planning. ...
  • Politics.
10 Jun 2022

What are the 5 communication disorders? ›

Below are the types of communication disorders listed in the DSM-5:
  • Social (pragmatic) communication disorder.
  • Language disorder.
  • Speech-sound disorder.
  • Childhood-onset fluency disorder.
  • Unspecified communication disorder.
12 Sept 2022

Why do you want to major in communication sciences and disorders? ›

Like many students, once you learn about Communication Science and Disorders, you may find that you are attracted to it because it can provide you with an opportunity to combine your interest in science with a dynamic clinical career helping others, specifically with communication – a skill so fundamental to us in all ...

Why is it important for people to learn about communication disorders? ›

Being able to communicate opinions and ideas verbally is one of the most important skill that students will learn in school. When a child has a communication disorder, it can adversely impact both speech and language development, resulting in the student falling behind both socially and academically.

What are the two main types of communication disorders? ›

Communication disorders are grouped into four main categories: speech disorders, language disorders, hearing disorders, and central auditory processing disorders.
  • Speech Disorders. ...
  • Language Disorders. ...
  • Hearing disorders. ...
  • Central auditory processing disorders (CAPD)
22 Sept 2021

What are the two main categories of communication disorders? ›

There are two main types of communication disorders, language disorders and speech disorders. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association defines language disorders and speech disorders as: A language disorder is impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken, written and/or other symbol systems.

What is the most common communication disorder? ›

What are the Most Common Speech Disorders?
  • Dysarthria. ...
  • Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders. ...
  • Speech Sound Disorders. ...
  • Stuttering. ...
  • Voice Disorders. ...
  • Aphasia. ...
  • Selective Mutism. ...
  • Childhood Speech Delays. A child who is significantly delayed in developing their language and speech skills might have a language disorder.
24 Jul 2020

How many years does it take to become an audiologist? ›

Those who pursue the profession of audiology will be required to complete a bachelor's degree and a AuD, PhD, or AuD/PhD combination degree. Depending on which degree a student chooses to pursue, it can take anywhere between eight to ten years.

Is AuD a professional degree? ›

The final year of the AuD program includes a 48-week full-time clinical experience at a high-quality practicum host site. The AuD is a clinically-oriented professional degree. Effective clinical practice in the modern healthcare environment requires critically evaluating research and assessing intervention outcomes.

WHAT A levels do you need for audiology? ›

You'll typically need at least two if not three A2 or A-levels* including science subjects and a good spread of GCSEs at A-C grade to enter as a healthcare science practitioner. Entry is through the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) by taking an accredited BSc degree in healthcare science (audiology).

What is the highest paying job in communications? ›

Best Jobs For Communications Majors by Salary Potential
RankJob TitleMid-Career Pay
Rank:1Communications DirectorMid-Career Pay:$88,400
2Brand StrategistMid-Career Pay:$80,100
3Public Relations (PR) ManagerMid-Career Pay:$77,900
4Media SupervisorMid-Career Pay:$77,800
21 more rows

Can you be successful with a communications degree? ›

Strong communication is at the root of every successful organization, business, and team. Whether it's interpersonal, intercultural, written, spoken, digital, or all of the above, earning your degree in communication will provide you with the foundation to succeed anywhere.

Is communications the easiest major? ›

#7: Communications

You'll learn a lot of broad skills with a communications degree that can help you get a job in a number of fields. A communications major is easier because of the lack of advanced science, math, or writing coursework you'll do. Communications majors earn an average salary of $60,000.

What is a communications degree good for? ›

There are many options for Communications graduates - you might become a designer, public relations specialist, sales manager, web or print reporter, advertising or marketing manager, writer or editor, just to name a few career paths.

Is communications a good career? ›

Today, opportunities abound for the communication grad, and they are wider reaching and better paying than ever. For example, the 2015 median pay for writers was more than $60,000, editors and public relations specialists more than $56, 000 and for technical writers it was more than $70,000.

What master's degree can I get with a bachelor's in communications? ›

  • Master's in Communication Studies and Interpersonal Communication. ...
  • Master's in Global Communication and International Communication. ...
  • Master's in Health Communication. ...
  • Master's in Marketing Communication and Public Relations. ...
  • Master's in Media and Mass Communication. ...
  • Master's in Organizational Communication.

What are the types of skills necessary to be a good communicator? ›

Top 11 Communication Skills for Any Job
  • #1. Written And Oral Communication. Verbal communication is using words to convey information and it includes both written and oral communication. ...
  • #2. Presentation. ...
  • #3. Active Listening. ...
  • #4. Nonverbal Communication. ...
  • #5. Feedback. ...
  • #6. Respect. ...
  • #7. Confidence. ...
  • #8. Clarity.

What does a career in communications involve? ›

These specialists develop and maintain an organization's relationship with the public. They produce press releases, manage information output, maintain public relations, and determine social media strategies. At lower levels, they may focus on just one aspect of an organization's communication strategy.

What do communication professionals do? ›

Communications Specialists handle public relations, information output, and media requests. They can also plan social media campaigns or advertising efforts for a business. Overall, they ensure a company has excellent and effective advertising whenever a campaign is in the works.

Is autism a communication disorder? ›

What is autism spectrum disorder? Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment that people with ASD can have.

Is communication disorder a disability? ›

A communication disorder may result in a primary disability or it may be secondary to other disabilities. A speech disorder is an impairment of the articulation of speech sounds, fluency and/or voice.

How do you identify students with communication disorders? ›

What are the symptoms of communication disorders in a child?
  1. Not speaking at all.
  2. Limited word choice for his or her age.
  3. Trouble grasping simple directions or naming objects.

How do language disorders affect education? ›

Children with communication disorders frequently perform at a poor or insufficient academic level, struggle with reading, have difficulty understanding and expressing language, misunderstand social cues, avoid attending school, show poor judgement, and have difficulty with tests.

How can we help students with communication disorders? ›

Maintain contact with student. Allow students to tape lectures. Provide an interpreter (signed English or American Sign Language) to those who require another form of communication. Encourage and assist in facilitation of participation in activities and discussions.

How does language development affect academic performance? ›

The evidence is compelling that a foundation in spoken language competence is important for the successful achievement of academic and social competence. Children with poor language skills are therefore at risk for reading and psychosocial problems. Language difficulties could be identified efficiently at school entry.

Why do you want to major in communication sciences and disorders? ›

Like many students, once you learn about Communication Science and Disorders, you may find that you are attracted to it because it can provide you with an opportunity to combine your interest in science with a dynamic clinical career helping others, specifically with communication – a skill so fundamental to us in all ...

What is communication science? ›

Communication science is the study of the reason behind communication disorders. Work in the field involves the use of various techniques, methods, and treatments to assist individuals with communication impairments, allowing them to communicate at a functional level in day-to-day life.

Why is it important to learn about communication disorders? ›

Being able to communicate opinions and ideas verbally is one of the most important skill that students will learn in school. When a child has a communication disorder, it can adversely impact both speech and language development, resulting in the student falling behind both socially and academically.

Why is it important to study communication? ›

Studying Communication can increase our understanding of relationships. Studying Communication develops important life skills. critical thinking, problem solving, conflict resolution, team building, public speaking. Studying Communication can help you succeed professionally.

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