Human language

Linguistics Department Offers New Minor in Speech-Language Pathology – The Oakland Post


The Department of Linguistics at Oakland University has a new Minor Program in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) which was launched in the fall semester of 2021. The program prepares students for graduate studies in speech-language pathology and for their careers in the field beyond education – in which they will work with a variety of patients “To assess, diagnose and treat speech, language and swallowing disorders,” according to US News.

Department Head and Associate Professor Kuniko Nielson, Ph.D. took the initiative to create the minor in 2018. According to Dr Nielson, all required courses for the SLP minor count towards the requirements of many post-baccalaureate SLP programs – with the exception of LIN 2201, Introduction to Linguistics.

“Having an introductory linguistics course among the SLP requirements makes us [OU] stand out from other programs because our students will have a deeper understanding of human language, ”said Dr. Nielson. “Speech-language pathology degrees are typically offered by departments such as science and hearing and speech or communication disorders in most institutions. According to our alumni who became speech therapists, knowing linguistics has helped them become better speech therapists.

Third-year student Alivia English is graduating from OU this spring with a major in linguistics and a minor in speech-language pathology, with the goal of working as a medical speech-language pathologist. She originally intended to graduate in three years due to the post-baccalaureate year required for many graduate programs, but she likely won’t need to follow that year again with the new minor speech therapist.

“With the SLP minor in Oakland, I will be able to get into some schools without taking additional classes after I graduate,” English said. “In some schools I will have to take a class or two this summer if I decide to go, but this minor has definitely helped me save time and money for this extra year.

In addition, up to 12 overlap credits are allowed between a major in linguistics and a minor in speech-language pathology. Linguistics, however, is not the only major that can pair well with an SLP minor.

The program has also seen majors in psychology, and it can be appealing to communication students interested in American Sign Language. A faculty member from the School of music, theater and dance contacted Dr Nielson and explained to him that some singers are also interested in the speech-language pathologist – as they study the International Phonetic Alphabet in their classes.

To become a speech-language pathologist in Michigan, students must complete a graduate degree in speech-language pathology – which typically takes two years – before applying for licensure.

Speech-language pathologists can work in a variety of settings, including nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, educational services and private practices. The salary varies according to the work environment.

According to Northeastern University, the number of speech-language pathologists is expected to increase by about 25% between 2019 and 2029, which represents about 40,500 open positions over the next decade.

“It’s a job that makes sense because you help people communicate, but also in this economy I think it’s pretty special to have skills that pay off immediately,” said Dr Nielson.