Communication Disorders

Why study communication disorders?

This pre-professional program anchors students with knowledge and clinical experience needed to pursue graduate degrees in speech-language pathology or audiology.

  •  The curriculum follows guidelines established by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
  • Practical, supervised clinical experiences with people who have communication disorders anchor the program.
  • Students learn about normal aspects, nature and development of speech, language and hearing, as well as various disorders associated with these processes.
Communication Disorders at AU

Communication Disorders at AU

Beyond AU

Vanessa Anderson-Smith '08, who majored in communication disorders, has been providing individualized and specialized speech and occupational therapy to children and their families through Anderson-Smith Therapy Institute since 2013.

Anderson-Smith owns and operates locations in Sioux Falls and Brandon, South Dakota.

Vanessa Anderson-Smith

Course Descriptions

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Graduates pursue careers as speech-language pathologists who prevent, screen, assess and treat, as well as audiologists who diagnose, counsel and research.

Hands-On Learning

Internship opportunities include:

  • Roberts Learning Center
  • LifeScape
  • Bishop O'Gorman School District, practicum
  • Baker Audiology
  • Anderson-Smith Therapy Institute

Communication disorders students study away in:

  • Spain and Morocco — focusing on religion, culture and environment with AU faculty
  • Norway — for the exceptional children and youth practicum with AU faculty
  • Midwest — focusing on plains village farming communities with AU faculty

Courses & Organizations

The curriculum compounds communication disorders classes with courses in Native American studies, statistics, education and psychology. Students are encouraged to complete a minor in a related area.

Communication disorders students often participate in:

  • National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA)
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • Lost & Found
  • Augiethon
  • Serving and Learning Together (SALT)
  • Peer Navigator (Augie Access)