The SLP-D has been a topic of discussion in the field of speech language pathology for almost two decades. Speech-language pathologists and ASHA have watched as an increasing number of our healthcare peers have moved to clinical doctorates, either as entry level or advanced practice degrees. While there are no plans to establish the clinical doctorate as an entry-level degree for SLP, it has become increasingly clear that the field must move in the direction of an advanced practice degree. The complexities of ever-changing health and educational policies and service landscapes and the required engagement in evidence-based practice from participation to dissemination and implementation, require a more advanced level of expertise. Coupled with these factors is the ever-growing need for leadership across all levels of service, including the highest echelons of healthcare and education.
The SLP-D is different in spirit from the other degree programs hosted by CSD. It is unlike the PhD, as the focus is not developing individuals whose primary focus is research. It is unlike the MS SLL or AuD, in that these degrees are entry-level clinical degrees that prepare graduates for work in SLP or audiology. Differing from a research doctorate or entry level master’s degree, the focus of the SLP-D is to develop your ability to analyze and apply advanced principles of (1) leadership, (2) business and practice management, and (3) clinical science to real-world challenges within the context of a practice specialty area.
Our SLP-D is unique in that it draws from a wide variety of areas of expertise often not considered in SLP education. Leadership, policy, organizational behavior, operations and the like all have their place with our program – in addition to clinical research methods, dissemination and implementation science, and clinical specialization. Upon completing the SLP-D program, you will be well suited suited to powerfully and positively impact the landscape of service provision and the patients you serve.
The hybrid design of our program allows you to remain actively engaged in your clinical career, and apply your newly developed knowledge and skills immediately to your caseload and work environment. Working alongside your SLP peers and your faculty, you will develop a network of collaborators focused on improving all aspects of the field, including service provision, reimbursement, advocacy and awareness, and more.
Regardless of where you are in your clinical career, the customizable nature of our program will fit your needs. With innovative culminating project opportunities and flexibility in clinical specialization, your program of study is a mentored and scaffolded “choose-your-own-adventure”, uniquely designed to meet your personal professional goals. Additionally, our exceptional faculty within and beyond both CSD and NU allow us to support your endeavors no matter how distinctive they may be.
As an SLP, you already make a difference in people’s lives everyday. Join us, and together we can expand your reach beyond anything you imagined.
Stacy Kaplan, PhD, CCC-SLP