Archive for October, 2014

Students Mix Academics and Fun

by   |  10.31.14  |  Uncategorized

Who says learning has to be boring? Our first and second year students decide that they will celebrate Halloween in style this year, dressing for the classes!

2nd Year Students Halloween

2nd Year Students, graduating May 2015



1st Years Halloween

1st Year Students, graduating May 2016

Grad Students Experience the World

by   |  10.28.14  |  Uncategorized


Students in traditional dress with children in Zambia

All graduate programs in CSD provide practicum experiences for their students. But, these experiences can vary widely from one university to another. Many programs keep their student close to home, resulting in a large proportion of clinical hours are obtained in their on-campus clinic. How can a student be provided excellent experiences across a broad range of populations and settings while considering the amount of experience of the student in the first semester of grad school? ACU has found a method that provides world-class experiences while reducing first semester clinical jitters.

First semester grad students at Abilene Christian receive an integrated approach to academic and clinical training. It is very much a “learn and go do” model of instruction, according to Associate Professor Dr. Lynette Austin. Learning about assessment and treatment in class is coupled with actual service provision at a local school for children with learning disabilities. A limited caseload with structured activities and heavy supervision provides an enhanced learning experience and significant clinical readiness for practicum in sites throughout Abilene and the world.  In other semesters, students may work in our on-campus clinic or experience practicum sites throughout the Abilene metro area or even beyond.

The world? The summer between academic years and the last semester prior to graduation allows the student opportunities to further explore the possibilities in clinical service provision. Although not mandatory, students are encouraged to go outside of Abilene. Many return to their home due to lower living expenses. But, the options are endless. This past summer saw students headed in all directions throughout Texas as well as Oregon, California, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and even to Zambia on the continent of Africa. Almost every student blogged that their experience was a significant learning experience and a boost to their confidence! Practicum experiences in our on-campus clinic, at sites throughout metro Abilene, and throughout the world allow for students to graduate with experiences that rival any other program.

Department Sees Firsts

by   |  10.13.14  |  Uncategorized


The new academic year has seen some firsts in CSD. For this academic year, the graduate program received 186 applications for the program, up from 134 for the previous year. From this number, the faculty selected a new class of 23 graduate students. Added to the second year cohort, the program is at an all-time high of 47 graduate students. These numbers represent more than 100% growth in the past six years! Solid growth is also seen in the undergraduate program with 28 new freshman majors this year and a total undergrad enrollment of 127. This was also the first year that ACU grads were outnumbered in the first year graduate class with 70% coming from other universities. These students hail from California, Washington, Iowa, Indiana, Georgia, and other Texas schools. This diversity brings a plethora of experiences, perspectives, and wisdom.

With positive growth comes some growing pains. No longer do all of our undergrad classes fit in the department classrooms. And, we are expanding our clinical experiences and staff to meet a growing needs for clinical hours. In the past two years, we have added an additional full time clinical faculty member, Rachel Smith, a part time clinical supervisor, Sue Postelwait, and a full time administrative coordinator at our on campus clinic, Autum McNeill.

These firsts represents ACU’s desire to meet the growing need for speech-language pathologists in the workplace while continuing to maintain personal attention with a Christian world view.

Roberts Wins National Essay Award

by   |  10.09.14  |  Uncategorized

Kelsey RobertsThinking it was a long shot, second year graduate student Kelsey Roberts submitted an essay to ASHA for the 2014 Student Ethics Essay Award. Her fears were unfounded as she won second place. Kelsey’s paper, titled “Ethics: A Challenge, A Necessity” states “being ethical is not simply a matter of following rules in order to avoid being reprimanded; to be ethical, one must live honorably.” More recently, Kelsey was asked to write a blog for the ASHAsphere, and it was the most retweeted blog of the week.

These accomplishments not only demonstrate the academic caliber of students who come to ACU but also demonstrates their desire to practice their profession with a foundation of deep, personal convictions. Kelsey’s accomplishments will be recognized at the NSSHLA ceremony at the 2014 ASHA Convention in Orlando.