Department of Communication Disorders

Department Objectives

  • To provide education in the field of communication disorders. This program provides the necessary sequence of courses to obtain licensure and/or become endorsed as a speech/language pathologist upon completion of a Master's Degree;
  • To offer a minor.

Information for Students Seeking Teaching Endorsements

Upon admission to teacher education, candidates requesting a communication disorders major, supplemental endorsement, or minor in communication disorders should file a program with the Communication Disorders Department for approval. Requirements for admission to student teaching in the endorsed areas are consistent with those recommended by the College of Education.

The Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic

Professional preparation in speech/language pathology requires clinical experience with children and adults who have been referred to the clinic for speech/language and hearing assessment and/or treatment. This program provides an opportunity to study, in a practical setting, the application of skills and techniques learned in the academic program. The clinic provides an integral part of the initial educational program in speech/language pathology.

Communication Disorders Major

One option is available in this major:

Communication Disorders Comprehensive - Bachelor of Science in Education Degree

A minor in Communication Disorders is available.

Miechelle McKelvey, Chair

Professor: Diane Loeb, Miechelle McKelvey, Jan Moore

Assistant Professor: Whitney Schneider-Cline, Denise Wolfe

Lecturer: Laura Moody

Communication Disorders (CDIS)

CDIS 110 – Articulation for Non-Native Speakers of English     1 credit hour

Designed for students with limited English proficiency. Provides practice in pronunciation of American English and comprehension and use of conversational language, including idioms, slang, homonyms, prepositions, vocabulary, grammar, and rules of discourse. Individual assistance will be arranged. May be taken up to 3 times.
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

CDIS 188 – GS Portal     3 credit hours

Students analyze critical issues confronting individuals and society in a global context as they pertain to the discipline in which the Portal course is taught. The Portal is intended to help students succeed in their university education by being mentored in process of thinking critically about important ideas and articulating their own conclusions. Students may take the Portal in any discipline, irrespective of their major or minor. Satisfies the General Studies Portal course requirement. Students may take their Portal course in any discipline. Students who transfer 24 or more hours of General Studies credit to UNK are exempt from taking a portal course.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: First year freshman standing or sophomore standing only.

CDIS 210 – Survey of Communication Disorders     3 credit hours

Nature, causes and treatment of communication disorders as an educational field for Communication Disorders majors, special education and elementary education majors, and others who desire a knowledge of communication disorders, speech/language pathology and audiology as professional disciplines. This course is not recommended for first semester freshmen. Prerequisite for other speech pathology courses. Observation hours required.

CDIS 215 – Introduction to Phonetics     3 credit hours

Vocal mechanism and the International Phonetic Alphabet. Designed to develop skill in the use of IPA and in the analysis of defective speech sounds.

CDIS 252 – Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech Mechanism     3 credit hours

Study of the anatomy and physiology of the speech mechanism.

CDIS 261 – Normal Language Development     3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to and exploration of the processes by which humans acquire and use spoken and written language, including comprehension, expression, and development (progression & growth). This course is primarily for CDIS majors.

CDIS 311 – Clinical Methods and Procedures in Communication Disorders     3 credit hours

Familiarizes students with basics of clinical interaction including observation skills, rapport, behavioral objectives, recording progress, and report writing. Provides a basis for accruing 25 clock hours of clinical observation.
Prerequisite: CDIS 210 and CDIS 354 or CDIS 362.
Corequisite: CDIS 312 and TE 319.

CDIS 312 – Field Experience in Communication Disorders     1 credit hour

This field-based experience is designed to meet the clinical observation requirement of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for majors in communication disorders. In addition this experience partially fulfills the state of Nebraska field experience requirement for students obtaining a teaching certificate.
Total Credits Allowed: 2.00
Prerequisite: CDIS 210

CDIS 321 – Early Communicative Development for the Teacher     2 credit hours

This is a study of normal and abnormal language development, covering the period from birth through eight years of age. The course addresses normal speech and language development, types of language disorders and why/how the disorders develop. Procedures for identifying infants, toddlers and children as being at risk for developing communication will be discussed.

CDIS 323 – Introduction to Infant Testing     1 credit hour

This course provides an introduction to diagnostic principles, procedures and tools used in assessment of infants.

CDIS 335 – Speech and Hearing Science     4 credit hours

Introduction to the process of human speech communication. Acoustic and physiological aspects of speech production, hearing, and speech perception are presented along with an overview of instrumentation in speech pathology and audiology.
Prerequisite: CDIS 210 and CDIS 252

CDIS 350 – The Psychology of Speech/Language Pathology     3 credit hours

A study of psychological factors in human communication, in disturbed communication, in evaluation and therapy.
Prerequisite: CDIS 210 and PSY 203

CDIS 352 – Normal and Disordered Language: 6-12 Years     3 credit hours

This class is an introduction to language/learning acquisition, three levels of cognitive or meaning organization and the notion that language is a tool that represents learning. The course is designed to facilitate students' understanding that language acquisition is basic. Guidelines and strategies to be used by classroom teachers and speech/language pathologists to facilitate students' learning and to compensate for individual differences in learning will be presented. Course covers identification, assessment, and intervention. For non-majors only.

CDIS 354 – Preschool Language Disorders     3 credit hours

This course explores the nature and characteristics of language disorders in preschool-age children, birth to age 8 years. General principles of language assessment and intervention are presented. Observation hours required.
Prerequisite: CDIS 261

CDIS 356 – Adolescent Language and Communication Disorders     2 credit hours

Study of normal and disordered communication skills of adolescents. Identification and assessment procedures. Classroom and clinical management. Observation hours required.
Prerequisite: CDIS 261

CDIS 362 – Articulation Disorders     3 credit hours

A presentation of principles and procedures for identification, assessment, and treatment of persons with articulation disorders. Observation or practicum hours required.
Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in CDIS 215.

CDIS 363 – Methods for Language Disordered     3 credit hours

This course provides insight into strategies that educators may find helpful in working with school-aged students who exhibit language-learning differences. This course is not for Communication Disorders majors.
Prerequisite: CDIS 261

CDIS 406 – Adult Communication Disorders     2 credit hours

This course provides an overview of communication disorders in adult and geriatric populations. The course will introduce students to the etiologies underlying adult communicative disorders and general characteristics of the various disorders that include hearing loss, stroke, dementia, laryngectomy, degenerative and neurological disorders, etc.
Prerequisite: CDIS 252 and junior standing

CDIS 410 – Introduction to Audiology     4 credit hours

Basic kinds of audiometric testing, disorders, anatomy, and functioning of the ear. Observation of hearing evaluations and administration of pure tone audiometric tests is required.
Prerequisite: CDIS 252 and CDIS 335

CDIS 413 – American Sign Language I     3 credit hours

Performance course dealing with the expressive and receptive aspects of basic sign language. Designed for persons working with the hearing disabled, nonverbal, or non-communicating individual.

CDIS 415 – Aural Rehabilitation     3 credit hours

Study of the objectives and techniques for working with individuals with hearing loss.
Prerequisite: CDIS 210 and CDIS 410

CDIS 416 – American Sign Language II     3 credit hours

This course will provide intermediate instruction in sign language, both Signed English (SEE) and American Sign Language (ASL). Issues of deaf culture will be addressed.
Prerequisite: CDIS 413

CDIS 420 – Research in Communication Disorders     3 credit hours

This course is designed to help students of communication disorders to become critical readers of research in the field and to demonstrate the relevance of basic and applied research for evaluation and therapy in speech-language pathology and audiology. The course will include research strategies and research design in communication disorders in addition to measurement issues and organization and analysis of data.
Prerequisite: Senior level standing.

CDIS 433 – Clinical Practicum in Audiology     1 credit hour

Experience in administration and interpretation of clinical assessment methods used in diagnostic audiology. Recommended for students considering a career in audiology. May be repeated.
Prerequisite: CDIS 410 or permission of instructor.

CDIS 440 – Augmentative/Alternative Communication     3 credit hours

A course for those interested in communication options for persons who are unable to meet their daily communication needs through natural modes such as speech, gestures, or handwriting. Provides an overview of assessment, available technologies and procedures used.
Department Consent Required
Prerequisite: Junior standing

CDIS 460 – Independent Study and Research     1-3 credit hours

Investigation of selected problems or topics on an individual basis. Designed to serve students in Communication Disorders who desire additional study in their chosen areas of expertise.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

CDIS 470 – Professional Issues in Speech/Language Pathology     3 credit hours

Prepares students for employment as speech/language pathologists. Provides information relative to federal and state guidelines by which the practice of speech-language pathology is governed. Addresses rights and responsibilities of speech/language pathologists. Gives information about work settings including public schools, hospitals and other clinical facilities.
Prerequisite: Senior standing

CDIS 480A – Clinical Practicum in Speech/Language Pathology     2 credit hours

Supervised experience in assessment and treatment of communication disorders. May be repeated two semesters to accumulate a minimum of 50 hours of clinical practicum.
Department Consent Required
Additional Course Fee Required

CDIS 480B – Clinical Practicum in Speech/Language Pathology     2 credit hours

Supervised experience in assessment and treatment of communication disorders. May be repeated two semesters to accumulate a minimum of 50 hours of clinical practicum.
Prerequisite: CDIS 311 and CDIS 336 and CDIS 362
Additional Course Fee Required

CDIS 480C – Clinical Practicum in Speech/Language Pathology     2 credit hours

Supervised experience in assessment and treatment of communication disorders. May be repeated two semesters to accumulate a minimum of 50 hours of clinical practicum.
Prerequisite: CDIS 311 and CDIS 336 and CDIS 362
Additional Course Fee Required

CDIS 488 – Senior Seminar     3 credit hours

This course is designed in the traditional research seminar format. The student is expected to develop and demonstrate clear analytical thinking and competence in oral and written communication of findings from the professional literature on topics of relevance to the profession of speech language pathology.
Prerequisite: Senior standing

CDIS 498 – Special Topics     1-3 credit hours

Topics concerning current developments in speech/language pathology. The approach will vary depending upon the topic, the instructor, and the needs of students. (May be taken twice.)
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00