Feb 02, 2023  
UofM 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
UofM 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Graduate Certificate

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Program Description

The purpose of the “Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)” certificate is to provide training to practicing speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and teachers on supporting the language development of children with significant language disabilities. The certificate requires a firm background in typical language development as well as language disorders and then moves on to applying this knowledge to the specialized area of AAC. Once these prerequisites are complete, the certificate allows for an elective in a related field.

According to the 2016 Schools Survey data from ASHA, 55.1% of practicing SLPs have students who have complex communication needs and require AAC on their caseloads. And yet, according to a 2012 survey by Anderson and colleagues, 85% of SLPs don’t feel they have the knowledge of AAC to meet the needs of their caseload. This certificate offers these clinicians the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and experience working with individuals with complex communication needs and apply this information to their daily work demands.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the Graduate Certificate Program in Augmentative and Alternative Communication:

  1. Applicants must enroll as a graduate student at the University of Memphis or have a completed Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology or a related field with a GPA of at least 3.00.
  2. Applicants who do not speak English as their primary language are required to meet the University’s minimum TOEFL score.
  3. To apply, students must submit an application form, a current or completed graduate transcript, and a one-page letter of intent to the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders for review. Letters of intent should describe reasons for pursuing the certificate, relevant background and experiences, and/or professional goals or plans.
  4. Admission to this certificate program does not imply acceptance into any graduate program at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders or within the university.

Program Requirements

Students are required to take the 3 required courses listed below along with one 3-hour elective. If the student has two years of experience working as a speech-language pathologist, AUSP 7006 /AUSP 8006  and AUSP 7300 /AUSP 8300  can be waived, and these students would be required to complete a total of 9 instead of 12 credits. These credits will include AUSP 7308 /AUSP 8308  (required), one elective related to Autism, and any other elective from the list below:

Retention/Graduation Requirements

  1. Students must complete all three of the required courses (9 credits) and one elective (3 credits) for a total of 12 credits with a minimum grade of B (GPA = 3.00) in each course.
  2. In the semester of graduation, the student must submit an Intent to Graduate form to the Graduate School and a Graduate Certificate Candidacy form to the Director of Graduate Studies by the deadline specified by the Graduate School.

For additional information contact

Lisa Lucks Mendel, PhD
Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

Additional References

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2016). 2016 Schools Survey report: SLP caseload characteristics.

Available from www.asha.org/research/memberdata/schoolssurvey/.

Anderson, A. (2012). ATIA Survey Data. Presented at the annual convention of the Assistive Technology Industry Association; January 26 –28; Orlando, FL.

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