Specialized Training

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Photos of grad students working with students

The purpose of Project Building Bridges is to prepare fully credentialed Speech Language Pathologists to work effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse children with significant disabilities and augmentative communication needs, ages birth to 21. Project scholars will complete a Master’s degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in a two-year time frame, with a concentration in AAC and a focus on cultural and linguistic diversity. Scholar competencies to be acquired include: (a) culturally responsive AAC assessment; (b) culturally responsive AAC intervention; (c) collaborative teaming; and (d) development of AAC applications to support the language and literacy skills of culturally and linguistically diverse children and youth.

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Autism Specialization

Photos of students in Project Common Ground

Students who have been accepted into the Master's Program in the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) Department can apply to gain a specialization in autism through Project ALLIES (Autism Language and Learning in Inclusive Educational Settings)Project ALLIES is a 5-year U.S. Department of Education grant (starting in 2018) focused on interdisciplinary preparation of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and Special Educators at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The project aims to recruit and train scholars to work collaboratively to provide high quality, evidence-based services to school-aged students on the autism spectrum with significant social-communication needs, especially those from traditionally underrepresented communities, in inclusive educational settings. Project ALLIES builds on a previously funded grant, Project Common Ground,which aimed  to prepare SLPs to work effectively with diverse children on the autism spectrum from birth to 21 years across home, school and community settings. Both projects are committed to promoting neurodiversity and supporting increased engagement, social integration, and quality of life for individuals with autism and their families.

Project GROW

Early Childhood Special Education Project Grow

The ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education) program and SLHS (Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences) program at San Francisco State University have been awarded a 5-year grant (2019-2023), the Project GROW Grant (Guiding Responsive Communication Within Inclusive Early Childhood Settings) from the Department of Education. The co-directors of the project are Drs. Amber Friesen and Teresa Gray. This grant will fund a stipend program for scholars accepted into the ECSE Credential or Credential/masters program, or SLHS Master's Program.

There is a critical need for more highly-qualified professionals of diverse sociocultural backgrounds to support the learning and development of ALL young children within inclusive settings. The Project GROW Grant was awarded to help prepare more credentialed ECSE and SLHS scholars to fill this need.