COSD welcomes record 2019 cohort
Radford University welcomed the largest class in history to the graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders (COSD) on Aug. 23, 2019.
Thirty-eight students assembled for a morning session to start them toward fulfillment of their career goals of becoming a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). At the breakfast session, the COSD graduate students met their colleagues in their new cohort and the faculty from the COSD Department, chaired by Diane Millar, Ph.D.
Joyce Iverson of Johnson City, Tennessee, was eager to join the program whose graduates for five consecutive years have posted a 100 percent pass rate on the PRAXIS II, a critical milestone toward earning the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP).
Iverson, who already holds a master’s degree from Milligan College, said she was attracted to becoming a SLP by watching their work while she was a chaplain at the Nicewonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City.
“It is a space where I think I can really help others and find a solid career that is attainable,” Iverson said.
To Iverson, Radford University and its COSD program came highly recommended by her colleagues in Johnson City. As she got to know the program and its faculty and staff, she was further encouraged.
“Radford felt like it was a kind place,” Iverson said.
Sara Bobbit ’19 was familiar with the program after four years as an undergraduate COSD major. She is also familiar with Radford University as her mother and three aunts are Radford University graduates.
“The size is right for a close cohort like I knew as an undergraduate,” said Bobbit, one of six Radford University graduates admitted from an application pool of more than 200. “The faculty is approachable and the program is close-knit which is important as it is very demanding.”
The 2019 graduate cohort includes students from Connecticut, Florida, Idaho and Utah. From within Virginia, students from James Madison University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, The University of Virginia's College at Wise and Virginia Tech have joined the program.
COSD Associate Professor Lauren Flora, Ph.D., Au.D., is the graduate program coordinator who assembled the program’s record-setting cohort.
“Our clinic serves clients of all ages across a wide range of communication disorders, a unique service for students who want to explore and gain experience working across the spectrum of ages,” Flora said. “We also offer the opportunity to go long-distance for students who want to do their final practicum closer to home or in a preferred location before they become practitioners.”
The Radford University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic (RUSLHC) provides prevention, assessment and treatment of speech, language, swallowing and hearing disorders for individuals from infancy through later adulthood. All services are provided by graduate interns and supervised by state licensed and American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) certified speech-language pathologists. Each academic year the RUSLHC, part of the RiteCare© Childhood Language Program, provides over 3,000 clinical hours of training and services to local and regional clients.
The graduate students’ two-day orientation session included two sessions at the RUSLHC and the audiology clinic in Waldron Hall. The new COSD cohort also met with faculty for advising sessions and second-year graduate students for insights into the campus and clinical experiences.
The COSD graduate program incorporates the institution's commitment to teaching, service and research – central pillars of Radford University and the broader community.