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Graduate School

August Graduate Leverages Distance Education Degree Program to Optimize Work-Family Balance

Though the Arnold School’s two paths to becoming a speech-language pathologist will undergo a name change in the fall of 2020, the benefits to prospective students remain the same. Equally challenging, both options are offered through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and involve comprehensive coursework and critical clinical education to prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for national certification.  In addition to clinical education and placements involving the Montgomery Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, public schools and private practice facilities throughout South Carolina, clinical education in Communication Sciences and Disorders incorporates a network of more than 600 external partner sites across the United States.

With the full-time, on-campus option (known as a Master of Speech Pathology for current students but transitioning to become a Master of Science – Residential in Speech-Language Pathology), students move through the program in two years. The Master of Communication Disorders (MCD) program (known as Master of Science – Distance-Education in Speech-Language Pathology as of 2020) offers a three-year, part-time option through a mix of distance learning, in-person components and technology-supported live interactions.

It was this second path that appealed most to UofSC alumna Jennifer Gardner. Several years out from her 2011 graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Gardner had already gained experience in the public health field through roles such as supporting the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

As I became more familiar with the field, I began to empathize with the challenges individuals with communication and swallowing disorders face, and I developed a great desire to help those in need.

-Jennifer Gardner, Master of Communication Disorders graduate

Originally from Anderson, South Carolina, Gardner and her husband had already settled in nearby Westminister when she began thinking about applying to graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist. She had been introduced to communication sciences and disorders through her undergraduate program and continued learning more about it on her own.  Read the full article here.

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