All students in Speech-Language Pathology are assigned an adviser upon acceptance into the department. Advisers provide assistance regarding course selection and graduation requirements. They also provide mentorship regarding graduate school, career choices, academic and personal support, and the availability of disability services, if requested. Prior to each registration period, a student is required to meet with her/his adviser. The advisement policy will be discussed at the department’s student orientation meeting.
Course Selection/Graduation Requirements
Undergraduate Students: At the first advisement session, each student is given the Undergraduate Course Sequence and the Writing Requirement Summary Sheet. The adviser reviews the content of these forms relative to graduation requirements. In addition, the adviser reviews the student’s academic record on Degree Navigator. The student is then advised about the appropriate course sequence, including pre-requisite courses, for ensuring they meet graduation requirements. Students are instructed to maintain an advising folder to be used at future advising sessions. After the initial advisement session, students are required to meet with their advisers each semester before the registration period to plan their schedules for the following semester. Students are expected to come to each advising session prepared (e.g., having planned their schedules, with relevant questions, and with their advising folder). A record of each advising session is maintained in the student’s folder.
Graduate Students: Students admitted to the graduate program are advised by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The DGS reviews the student’s record, prepares a Professional Credentials Review (PCR), and determines an Individualized Course Sequence (ICS). The ICS is sent to the graduate student several weeks prior to the start of graduate study. At this time, students are asked to submit a final undergraduate transcript and a record of observation and/or practicum hours that were obtained while in their undergraduate program. During the first week of the fall semester, new graduate students are required to meet with the DGS to review all forms and requirements. Together, they review the student’s undergraduate transcript, make any adjustments to the ICS as needed, and discuss the Buffalo State graduate Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) form. Regular advising sessions take place throughout the semester and a record of each advisement session (including dates and topics discussed) is maintained by the DGS. All official records are maintained in the student’s folder.
Career/Graduate School Counseling
Students are counseled about career options in several ways. An informational fact sheet available in the department contains information about careers. During advisement sessions of both undergraduate and graduate students, the adviser may discuss career options with the advisee. Each year, the Buffalo State Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association dedicates one of their monthly meetings to a discussion of career choices. Representatives from the Career Developmental Center attend this meeting to present information about career options. As necessary, students may be referred to the CDC for career counseling.
During their junior and senior years, undergraduate students are given information regarding selecting and applying to graduate school. Advisors also provide information regarding the GRE exam, the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (LAST and ATS-W), letters of recommendation, and establishment of a file at the Career Development Center. Advisors may discuss specific graduate programs and/or refer the student to the ASHA Web site for information about programs in particular geographic areas. Graduate students are informed about career certification requirements by the Director of Graduate Studies.
Academic and Personal Support
Academic success is important to all students. In the Speech-Language Pathology Department, student performance is monitored by all faculty members, as well as the Academic Standards Committee (ASC). Each instructor monitors student performance in their courses with each assignment/examination, following a formative and summative assessment model. Mid-semester, the ASC requests from the faculty the names of all undergraduate students who are performing at a level of C or below and of graduate students performing below a B level. The names of these students are then distributed to the advisors prior to the advisement period. During advisement sessions, advisors discuss academic difficulties with the students thus identified. Possible outcomes include referral for tutoring or other academic support services available at the college, referral to the instructor for remediation, or help adjusting personal/study/work schedules. For assistance with issues relative to specific course content, the student is encouraged to meet with the course instructor.
In addition to providing counseling regarding academic matters, the faculty, to the best of their abilities, support students on matters of personal concern that may hinder academic performance. Students are informed of services available at the Buffalo State Counseling Center for issues of personal/emotional/social adjustment.
Any student who requires accommodations to complete the requirements and expectations of coursework or their program of study because of a disability is invited to make his or her needs known to the instructor and to Marianne Savino, the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities, 120 South Wing, (716) 878-4500.