Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Graduate classes to see changes

By Lucas Wimmer

Students in the UW-Whitewater Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program will not be asked to take a comprehensive exam in order to graduate after more than 30 years of the exam being a requirement.

This change was discussed at the Graduate Council meeting Thursday, Oct. 3. Other items that were discussed included the addition of a three-credit course to the Special Education Department requirements.

The comprehensive exam was previously used as the Communication Sciences and Disorders capstone experience but will be replaced by an applied research project.

“That is a very common phenomenon in our graduate programs over the last 10 years,” said John Stone, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education.

Stone said these applied research projects allow graduate students to train more to compete for jobs in their field instead of training for an exam at end of their tenure at school.

“They are providing opportunities for people to pull everything together that they learned in their 30 credits to complete their degree,” Stone said.

Many graduate programs on campus are changing their requirements to exclude a comprehensive exam, especially in programs that already require licensure from a board to be able to enter their field, Stone said.

Graduate programs, such as the Masters of Public Accounting program, still use a comprehensive exam, although that program has a logical reason to keep the exam, Stone said. The exam helps to give feedback to the students in the areas they need to improve in order to pass their board examination, he said.

Graduate Coordinator and Associate Professor for the Communication Sciences and Disorders program Scott Bradley said the elimination of the comprehensive exam helps eliminate duplicate work in the students’ curriculum.

The Praxis exam administered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is required for students’ certification to be a Speech and Language Pathologist and is nearly identical to the comprehensive exam, Bradley said.

Graduate students are required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to have a portfolio that includes what they have done in their coursework and clinical activities.

Students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders also are required to have 400 clinical contact hours with clients. During these hours, every semester students have a clinical review.

Bradley said this should prove the students’ progress better than a comprehensive exam.

“By the end of their two years, they should have a good idea of whether they are competent enough to work in a clinic or not,” Bradley said.

The changes to the Special Education Department requirements are due to a change in Behavior Analyst Certification Board requirements. The board now requires an ethics course.

The next graduate council meeting will be held at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the University Center Room 259A.

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Founded 1901
Graduate classes to see changes