Advising Manual for Graduate Students in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

The Master of Science program in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at San Francisco State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. The current accreditation cycle by CAA is 2017-2025. Further, the SF State SLHS Program is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). Our curricula prepare students to meet the standards of ASHA certification in speech-language pathology, California state licensure in speech-language pathology, and the California Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential.

The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences no longer offers a Master of Science Degree with emphasis in Audiology. For more information about the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree program, contact Dr. Marcia Raggio, mraggio@sfsu.edu

Mission

The Mission of the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) at San Francisco State University is based on our commitment to antiracism and other forms of anti-discrimination as fundamental to our professions, and essential to our preparation of professionals to:

  • Identify, challenge and dismantle institutional, environmental, sociocultural, informational, attitudinal and linguistic barriers to accessible, equitable and transformative communication for individuals with communication disabilities and those whose right of expression are diminished or silenced;
  • Develop, model, disseminate and adopt best practices in the provision of equitable, competent, compassionate and culturally/linguistically responsive services to individuals with communication disabilities across the lifespan; and
  • To promotes linguistic diversity and recognize the use of different languages and Englishes among our students and professionals as an asset to our academic and professional community.

Two degree programs are offered: the Bachelor of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and Master of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.  To fulfill its mission, the SLHS Department at SF State is committed to the following goals:

  • Promote a climate in which collaboration with all partners in the service of persons with communication disabilities is the core of clinical service
  • Demonstrate understanding of the perspectives of people with disabilities and their family members, through compassion for all participants and perspectives in communicative disorders
  • Obtain cultural competence in coursework and clinical experiences in the context of the unique cultural and linguistic diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Participate in learning experiences across the continuum of professional development, from foundation course work in communication disabilities for undergraduate students, to graduate education in speech-language pathology and audiology, to continuing education, and life-long learning
  • Develop resilience and skills necessary for future and current professionals to thrive in the workplace of the future
  • Promote clinical competence through the development of self-evaluation and analysis of the clinical interaction that builds a professional sense of self in all interactions
  • Embody a teaching and learning environment to foster critical thinking, research and inquiry throughout academic and clinical experiences, thereby instilling the principles of life-long learning
  • Promote evidence-based practice in the application of research in clinical services, and thereby adhere to the highest standards of science and efficacy
  • Participate in international study and clinical exchange opportunities in speech, language and hearing sciences, with a focus on the promotion of an international worldview for our profession that is inclusive of all peoples and cultures
Hand Nurturing Growth

Advising

There are many opportunities for advising in the SLHS Department, including a) the mandatory orientation at the start of each semester, b) scheduled group advising during the first two weeks of each semester, and c) individual advising appointments scheduled with our Administrative Office Coordinator, Ms. Mallorie Desimone (mallorie@sfsu.edu). Each semester, all SLHS students must meet with an advisor to update their individualized M.S. degree roadmap. Each student and all SLHS Graduate Advisors have access to this roadmap in Google Doc. Students will update their student files at least once per semester with an advisor. The SLHS graduate advisers are:

Dr. Laura Epstein, 415.338.1058 (lepstein@sfsu.edu)
Dr. Betty Yu, 415.338.3429 (bettyyu@sfsu.edu)
Dr. Marcia Raggio, 415.338.7653 (mraggio@sfsu.edu)
Dr. Teresa Gray, 415.405.3488 (teresag@sfsu.edu)
Dr. Gloria Soto, 415.338.1757 (gsoto@sfsu.edu)
Dr. Anusha Sundarrajan, 415.338.7652 (anusha@sfsu.edu)

Required Academic Courses (33-36 Units)

The course titles below are linked to course descriptions in the university course bulletin, which specifies their prerequisites, units, and latest offerings.

  • SLHS701 Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Practices in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences
  • SLHS702 Social Communication Development
  • SLHS703 Research Methods, Evidence-Based Practices, and Professional Issues
  • SLHS707 Serving School Communities in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences
  • SLHS708 Neurogenic Disorders of Language
  • SLHS709 Speech Sound Production
  • SLHS710 Seminar in Dysphagia
  • SLHS714 Interprofessional Education & Family-Centered Practice (1 unit; take twice) 
  • SLHS754 Voice and Resonance
  • SLHS755 Fluency Disorders
  • SLHS756 Right Hemisphere Syndrome, TBI, Dementia in Communicative Disabilities
  • SLHS757 Aural Rehabilitation
  • ISED797 Seminar in Educational Research
  • SPED743 Issues in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (or if an undergraduate course in AAC has been completed, take SPED746: Teaching Individuals with Physical and Other Health Impairments 

Required Clinical Practica (6 Units)

The course titles below are linked to course descriptions in the university course bulletin, which specifies their prerequisites, units, and latest offerings.

  • SLHS 713 Seminar in Therapy for Organic Communicative Disorders (Take twice with SLHS 880 adult clinic = 1 unit)
  • SLHS 880 Advanced Communication Therapy (repeat twice @ 2 units each time = 4 units)

Required Internships (14 Units)

The course titles below are linked to course descriptions in the university course bulletin, which specifies their prerequisites, units, and latest offerings.

  • SLHS 712 Internship Workshop Seminar: 1 unit; take twice, concurrent with SLHS 882
  • SLHS 882 Advanced Internship: 6 units; take twice

Optional Specializations, including AAC, Autism, and Early Childhood (15 units maximum)

The course titles below are linked to course descriptions in the university course bulletin, which specifies their prerequisites, units, and latest offerings.

  • SPED 746 Teaching Individuals with Physical and Other Health Impairments
  • SPED 791 Nature of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • SPED 794 Communication, Socialization and Imagination: Autism
  • SPED 825 Behavior and Instructional Supports: Autism
  • EED713  Spanish Heritage Language for the Bilingual Teacher
  • EED701  Social, Cultural and Historical Foundations of Education
  • SPED779  Family Systems and Services for Very Young Children with Disabilities

Culminating Experience (3-6 units)

Students may choose one of the following plans:

Plan A (0 units)

Master’s comprehensive written examination
(see department for limitations on repeat of failed examination or portions thereof.)

Plan B (3 units)

SLHS 898 Master’s Thesis in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
and Oral Defense of Thesis

Note: Plan B is recommended to individuals planning to pursue predoctoral education. In addition, completion of Plan B, thesis and oral defense is accepted in lieu of the master’s written comprehensive examination.

Suggested Timelines and Sequences:

  1. Classified Grad Roadmap A: School internship in the 3rd semester 
  2. Classified Grad Roadmap B: Non-School internship in the 3rd semester

Graduate students must make continuous satisfactory progress toward their degree by completing a minimum of 6 units each year, not including summer session. Departments or programs have the right to require that students complete more than the 6 units each year. Graduate students who are enrolled, but not taking courses leading to the degree, may be disenrolled by the department graduate coordinator or graduate dean. Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations requires that a master’s degree shall be completed in no more than seven years. No more than seven years may elapse from the first semester of enrollment after admission and completion of the degree requirements. This is the maximum time allowable. The petition for Extension of the 7 Year Limit requires supporting documentation. It's recommended that you download the petition form and request an appointment with an SLHS graduate advisor to assist you. This petition is a one-time only extension if granted. No further extensions will be given. 

These written comprehensive examinations:

  • are given online, each fall and spring semester on the second Friday of the semester
  • can be taken only three times
  • have a required passing grade of 75%
  • can be retaken during the same semester if only ONE portion has been failed (otherwise, the student must wait until the following semester for retake)
  • may be taken after ALL core courses have been completed with a passing grade of C or better and the student has received approval of the graduate adviser
  • require approval of Advancement of Candidacy (ATC) form and Proposal for Culminating Experience (PE) form.  This will allow the student to register for SLHS 896EXM, which is required for graduation.  The forms can be accessed at this link:  https://grad.sfsu.edu/content/grad-forms.  
  • sign up for the exam through an online SLHS survey, the link to which is emailed to all eligible students during the third week of each semester. 
  • once approved to take the exam, confidential ID number will be distributed prior to the scheduled administration date (Note: If for any reason the student cannot take the exam on the scheduled date, the student must wait until the following semester's scheduled exam.)
  • Once the exam is passed, submit a Report of Completion form:  https://grad.sfsu.edu/content/report-completion

Graduate students:

  • are required to answer three essay questions: one on theory, one on diagnostics, and one on treatment
  • select between two questions for each of the three essays (each essay question has five sections)
  • are expected to incorporate information from required undergraduate and graduate courses in their essays
  • should review the following areas prior to the exam: adult neurogenics, fluency, voice, articulation and phonology, child/adolescent language, AAC, social communication, dysphagia, and speech science

 

SLHS Faculty provide an informational session re: the Master's Comprehensive Exams each semester during the SLHS Department Orientation Day.

A complaint may be made to the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) about any accredited program or program in candidacy status may be submitted by any individual(s).

Complaints about programs must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. be against an accredited graduate education program or program in candidacy status in audiology or speech-language pathology;
  2. relate to the Standards for Accreditation of Entry-Level Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology [PDF], including the relationship of the complaint to the accreditation standards;
  3. be clearly described, including the specific nature of the charge and the data to support the charge;
  4. be within the timelines specified below:
  • if the complaint is being filed by a graduate or former student, or a former faculty or staff member, the complaint must be filed within one year of separation* from the program, even if the conduct occurred more than 4 years prior to the date of filing the complaint;
  • if the complaint is being filed by a current student or faculty member, the complaint must be filed as soon as possible, but no longer than 4 years after the date the conduct occurred;
  • if the complaint is being filed by other complainants, the conduct must have occurred at least in part within 4 years prior to the date the complaint is filed. 

*Note: For graduates, former students, or former faculty or staff filing a complaint, the date of separation should be the date on which the individual was no longer considered a student in or employee of the graduate program (i.e., graduation, resignation, official notice of withdrawal or termination), and after any institutional grievance or other review processes have been concluded.

Complaints also must meet the following submission requirements:

  1. include verification, if the complaint is from a student or faculty/instructional staff member, that the complainant exhausted all pertinent institutional grievance and review mechanisms before submitting a complaint to the CAA;
  2. include the complainant’s name, address, and telephone contact information and the complainant’s relationship to the program in order for the Accreditation Office staff to verify the source of the information;
  3. be signed and submitted in writing via U.S. mail, overnight courier, or hand delivery—not via e-mail or as a facsimile—to:

Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 2200 Research Boulevard, #310 Rockville, MD 20850

The complainant’s burden of proof is a preponderance, or greater weight, of the evidence. These procedures do not prevent the CAA from considering a complaint against an accredited or candidate program if the program is involved in litigation or other actions by a third party.

For more information, see the ASHA website re: complaints

Many employers target new SLHS graduates looking for Clinical Fellowships. Job announcements received by the department are disseminated on the job announcement page and posted on the NSSLHA Facebook Page.

Because the SF State M.S. program in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences is certified by the Council of Academic Accreditation (CAA), graduates are eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in speech-language pathology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Although not a legal requirement, ASHA certification is recognized by employers throughout the nation as a symbol of professional training and competence, particularly for speech-language pathologists. To obtain the CCC, ASHA requires that, after graduation, the individual undergo a 9-month full-time clinical fellowship (CF) experience, in which he or she is employed while being supervised by someone who holds ASHA certification. Upon completion of the CF experience, coupled with state licensure, the individual can practice independently.

General Information. All graduate students in SLHS fulfill the requirements for the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential (SLPSC).  The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) is responsible for determining the appropriate requirements for the practice of audiology and speech-language pathology in the public schools. Students should be aware that changes in credential requirements are determined by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, not the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. Basic questions regarding credentials can be answered by your adviser. More complex questions should be addressed to the College of Education Credentials Office (338-1758) or directly to the CCTC office in Sacramento (916) 263-2666. Selected coursework at SF State meets the requirements set forth by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing for the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential (SLPSC). 

Pre-Approval for School Internship Experience. All graduate students in SLHS are required to obtain their Certificate of Clearance from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing prior to being admitted to the program, and to have passed the CBEST.  Any other requirements will be imposed by the individual school district at which the intern is placed.   

Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential (SLPSC): Language, Speech & Hearing. The appropriate credential for an itinerant speech-language pathologist is the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential in Language, Speech & Hearing. In order to obtain the preliminary credential, the student needs to have completed all requirements for the master's degree. 

Once the requirements are completed, an application will be submitted online on your behalf by the Credentials Department.  

To obtain the clear SLPSC, the candidate may apply directly to the Commission and must verify:
1. Passing score (currently 600) on the Educational Testing Services Praxis II Speech-Language Pathology Test (test code 0330), and
2. Completion of a 36-week, full-time, mentored clinical experience or equivalent supervised practicum (commonly known as the Clinical Fellowship [CF]). Verification of completion may be on one of the following forms:

  • Required Professional Experience (Form 77V-21) from the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board
  • Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship and Rating Report Form from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

» Read the Commission on Teacher Credentialing's Guide to the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential

The State of California requires audiologists and speech-language pathologists to acquire a license to practice in all settings except federal facilities. Practicing without a license constitutes a misdemeanor that is punishable by fine. When applying for ASHA certification, it is also recommended that an application for the license be submitted simultaneously. A license (or SLPSC in the public school setting) is needed to supervise students at all sites in California if those students wish to use the clinical clock hours as part of their requirements for the license.

The application for licensure is available on the website for the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Examining Committee in Sacramento. The step-by-step process for completing the CA licensure application is as follows:

  1. Go to the website for the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board in Sacramento and download the licensure forms.
  2. Fill out a copy of the form titled SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST.
  3. Make an appointment with the SLHS Program Director/Department Chair. 
  4. At the appointment, paperwork will be reviewed, and the Program Verification Form for California State Licensure will be completed. 
  5. The university will send the original to the Sacramento office.
  6. Please note that the State of California requires notification of your Required Professional Experience setting and supervisor BEFORE you begin employment. It is illegal to begin your RPE without receiving your temporary license from the State Office.

Graduate students must be enrolled in the term in which they apply for the degree. Graduate Division deadlines are posted. An ATC should be filed with Grad Studies at least one semester prior to the last anticipated semester of enrollment. Access the ATC form from the Division of Graduate Studies. The ATC form will be issued to the student only if:

  1. The student is classified, and
  2. The student has completed at least eighteen semester units, no later than the semester before graduating.
  3. The form must be filled out online (not hand-written)
  4. The form must be approved by an academic advisor and the Department Chair.

All Grad Studies forms use Powersign, in which there is a preliminary step where the student lists the signers of the form.  This information is then fed into the form, and it is then routed to each signer in order.  Please list an academic advisor (any full-time faculty member, but could be the director of the specialization if you are pursuing one), Laura Epstein as Chair (lepstein@sfsu.edu), and Mallorie Desimone (mallorie@sfsu.edu) to receive a copy. 

For certification/accreditation purposes, the ATC form lists SLHS 657/757 Aural Rehabilitation as a required core course.  However, many students have taken that course in their undergraduate degree, including all SFSU students.  They cannot count that course again for the M.S. degree.  So that course needs to be substituted with another course to replace the units.  The ATC substitution form can be accessed here:  https://grad.sfsu.edu/content/advancement-candidacy-substitution-submis….  

A course that can be substituted for SLHS 657/757 can be any of the following:  SLHS 899 (for 3 units), SLHS 898 (for 3 units), any SPED course, any course taken for a specialization that is beyond the M.S. core courses.  

If a student took Aural Rehab for a post-bacc program in which they did not receive a degree, then they can count the course.  They will need to submit a transcript with the units, as a part of their ATC substitution.  

Students keep track of their attainment of ASHA standards using the Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) form, which is uploaded in the student's individual Box folder.  It summarizes a student's acquisition of the knowledge and skills delineated in the Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). Entries are made only upon acquisition of the knowledge or skill; thus the KASA is not an evaluation, but only a record that a particular knowledge or skill has been acquired.

1. The ASHA Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) encourages programs to use the KASA to demonstrate compliance with accreditation standards related to preparing students to meet ASHA certification requirements. However, programs may develop other documents to verify students' acquisition of knowledge and skills.
2. CFCC encourages programs and students to periodically review the KASA (or other tracking documents developed by the program) to assist students in determining knowledge and skills already acquired and those yet to be attained.

The SLHS program is one of the early adopters of electronic portfolios at SF State. Graduate students will be guided throughout the program to build ePortfolios to present their academic and professional growth and achievements. For more information about SLHS ePortfolios, visit the SLHS ePortfolio page.

The Master's Thesis offers an opportunity for students to engage in research. Students who wish to pursue doctoral studies or desire to work with faculty who are engaging in research are encouraged to discuss the thesis option with their adviser. In order to enroll in SLHS 898: Master's Thesis in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, students must have:

  • A 3.0 GPA in all post-baccalaureate course work.
  • An approved Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) Form on file with the Division of Graduate Studies. The ATC is used by the Division of Graduate Studies to verify that you’re completing all the requirement for the MS degree. The ATC form needs to be approved by an SLHS advisor and the Department Chair submitted to Graduate Studies no later than the semester prior to enrollment for the final 6 units of graduate work. You can download the ATC form from the Division of Graduate Studies website, Virtual GradStop Student Services.
  • You must have an approved Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement form also on file with the Division of Graduate Studies, Virtual GradStop Student Services. This form is submitted a semester prior to when you will register for your Culminating Experience Course (SLHS 898), in other words, a semester before when you plan to complete your thesis. The Culminating Experience Proposal describes your proposed research. It needs to be signed by a Thesis Committee of at least 2 committee members.

The thesis committee consists of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 members

  • The chair of the committee and the 2nd member of the committee must hold tenured/tenure-track faculty appointments in your major department. 
  • In circumstances where special expertise is available in another department, the Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies may authorize a designated tenured/tenure-track faculty member from a related department to serve as a 2nd member of the committee.
  • With special permission, some long-term lecturers with terminal degrees in their field or with special expertise may serve as the 2nd committee member provided that their curriculum vitae (CV) is on file in the Division of Graduate Studies.
  • A 3rd member of the committee may be from outside the department or university. A lecturer may serve as a 3rd committee member.
  • Developing and completing your thesis should be a positive experience for both you and your committee members. Approach faculty members early with whom you’re interested in working to see if they would like to sit on your committee. This gives the faculty members time to consider your request. This also give you time to identify alternate committee members if the faculty is unable to participate in your committee.
  • To officially change the composition of your committee, you must submit a Petition for GAP substitution or Committee Revision to GradStop in ADM 250. This is downloadable from the Division of Graduate Studies website, Virtual GradStop Student Services.
  • Plan the timeline for your thesis completion carefully with the help of your committee members. Remember that very few faculty members are available to review your thesis drafts during summer semesters or winter sessions. If you’re working with a faculty member who is participating in the early retirement program or an emeritus professor, be sure that your work can be completed during the faculty member’s employment period with the university.

Working on your thesis:

  • Any thesis/dissertation/research that involves human or animal subjects must be approved by the Office for the Protection of Human and Animal Subjects (the Institutional Review Board or IRB). Approval must be obtained prior to the initiation of research.
  • Once you receive approval from the Division of Graduate Studies to begin your thesis (culminating experience), you may register for SLHS 898.
  • If you do not complete your thesis during the semester that you’re registered for SLHS 898, you will receive a grade of RP (Report in Progress) and be given a “grace semester.” When your thesis is complete, your committee members will change the RP grade to CR (Credit).
  • Once you enroll in SLHS 898, you are required to maintain continuous enrollment. If you do not complete your thesis within two semesters (the semester of enrollment in SLHS 898 and the grace semester), then you will need to enroll through the College of Extended Learning (under “Culminating Experience Continuous Enrollment”) until you earn your degree.

SLHS Faculty provide an informational session re: the Master's Thesis each semester during the SLHS Department Orientation Day (on the Friday before the semester begins).

Students in programs leading to a master's degree at San Francisco State University are expected to strive for maximum competence throughout their program of study. Conferences with advisers and other professors, coursework, examinations, research reports, academic records, and other instruments should provide a pattern of evidence that a student is working successfully toward his/her academic and professional goal. Near the close of candidate's period of study for the degree, s/he is required to give a final demonstration of competence in scholarly and professional attributes. The character of the final work as exemplified by the range and quality of research, the unique correlation of available materials, the evidence of mastery of the knowledge in the field, the practical solution of a problem, or a creative achievement, must testify to the distinction of the student. The experience should be valuable to the student, and it also must be in keeping with the standards of the University. The quality of work accomplished, including the quality of writing completed, is of major importance in judging the acceptability of the culminating experience. In sum, this final culminating experience should provide visible evidence of the scholastic excellence achieved by the student which, in turn, reflects on the quality of graduate study in the major department. In accordance with Title 5 of the California Administrative Code, this culminating experience can be met by the satisfactory completion of a thesis, field study, or internship and the comprehensive examination, or in some cases a combination of more than one of these.

The required form can be accessed here and is submitted online: https://grad.sfsu.edu/content/culminating-experience

Students in the M.S. program in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences can elect one of the following:

  • Plan A:  (0 units) SLHS 896EXM Culminating Experience Examination 
  • Plan B:  (3 units) SLHS 898 Master's Thesis

For the PCE form for the comprehensive exam, please list two full-time faculty members as your committee members.  One can be Laura Epstein (lepstein@sfsu.edu).  Be sure to list Laura Epstein (lepstein@sfsu.edu) as Chair.  Also, don't forget to list Mallorie Desimone (mallorie@sfsu.edu) to receive a copy of the form.  Students who choose to take the Comprehensive Exam will not be able to register for SLHS896EXM until the form has been signed and approved.  

Students who wish to pursue doctoral studies or desire to work with faculty who are engaging in research are encouraged to discuss the thesis option with their adviser. Complete descriptions of thesis and field study requirements can be obtained from the University Graduate Division Office. The focus of this field study must be determined prior to enrollment.

When the culminating experience is complete (e.g., comprehensive exam or the Master's thesis oral defense is passed), the student must submit a Report of Completion (https://grad.sfsu.edu/content/report-completion).

All academic courses in the area of speech-language pathology are offered once each year. Clinical practica, student teaching, and internships are offered every fall and spring semester, with internships and academic courses also offered in the summer. The academic and clinical course offerings follow a logical and carefully designed sequence of learning from beginning to advanced knowledge and skills. Every attempt is made to have each course offered during the same semester each year. When possible, the time of the course's offering is held constant. When scheduling changes are required for budgetary or personnel reasons, class conflicts are avoided if possible. Although most other programs and departments at SFSU have the same scheduling approach, the SLHS Department can exert no influence on their decisions.

Upon entering the graduate program, be sure to make an appointment with an academic advisor by emailing slhsinfo@sfsu.edu, in order to have your prerequisite courses reviewed, and to open up a secure Box folder that contains your individualized course roadmap for the program.  This Box folder will also be the location for all clinical clock hours forms, site visit reports, and clinical evaluation (KASA) forms. 

If you decide to pursue a specialization, your course roadmap will be revised to reflect any additional courses and timeline adjustments, by the faculty member in charge of the particular specialization you decide to pursue.  

All students seeking accreditation from ASHA and/or state licensure are required to take a national exam called the Educational Testing Services Praxis II Speech-Language Pathology Test (test code 0330), which is offered several times each year. More information can be obtained from the SF State Testing Center. It is recommended that students take this multiple-choice examination after they have completed their graduate courses and are preparing for the Master's Comprehensive exams. The student must request that a copy of the Praxis II results be sent to the SF State SLHS Department, ASHA, CA Licensing Board, and CCTC. Based on current data, the pass rate for SF State SLHS students taking the Praxis II exam is 96%.

All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. This includes those who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction.  For more information, see this link:  https://grad.sfsu.edu/content/english-test-requirements.

The Written English Proficiency requirement is met through an evaluation of the Statement of Purpose, which is submitted with the application. To meet the Written English Proficiency Requirement, the applicant must receive a score of 2.5 or higher.  Please see this link for the rubric:  https://slhs.sfsu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Sample%20SFSU%20Gra…

Applying for Graduation

Near the end of graduate training, it is required that the student complete a series of examinations, various applications, and other paperwork. It is the student's responsibility to register for and take the Comprehensive Examinations and the Praxis II in speech-language pathology (a national exam). In addition, the student needs to complete a variety of applications and other paperwork and submit them to their graduate adviser for review. It is suggested that the student keep a copy of each form that is submitted. After the adviser reviews the documents, s/he will then forward it to the appropriate campus office or to the Program Coordinator for the required signature. A copy of each form forwarded by the program office will be copied to the student's file. Review of documents and obtaining of signatures from advisers and the Program Coordinator must be scheduled during the Fall or Spring semesters. During the summer, most faculty are not on campus nor do they hold scheduled office hours.

To apply for graduation, you are expected to complete:

  1. The Culminating Experience Requirement
  2. Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) Form (Needs to be submitted a semester before graduation)
  3. Award of Graduate Degree form
  4. Knowledge and Skills Acquisition form
  5. ePortfolio Approval
  6. Paperwork for the SLPSC
  7. Paperwork for the CCC
  8. Paperwork for the California State License (If you intend to practice in CA)
  9. The Praxis II Examination

You might be asking, "What in the world are clinical clock hours and how I acquire them?" Clinical clock hours refer to the hours of supervised clinical experience acquired by graduate students in speech-language pathology. The three professional qualifications that the SF State SLHS Department prepares its master's level students to obtain are ASHA Certification, California Licensure, and SLP Services Credential. Each has its own (very similar) set of clock hour requirements. It's important for you to understand and keep accurate records of your clinical clock hours. This will help you monitor your progress toward degree completion, certification, and licensure.

As you move through the program, you will gain clock hour experiences that collectively satisfy ASHA, California License, and California Credential requirements. Upload them to your password-protected Box folder.  To help you keep track of these hours, we have created a Clock Hours Tracking Spreadsheet for you to download and use.  When you enter your clock hours in blue cells of the spreadsheet, they are automatically tallied and compared against the requirements you are expected to meet. In most cases, you will require the majority of your clinical clock hours across the following contexts: a) your on-campus clinics (typically 40 hours total), b) school & non-school internships (typically 3000+ hours total), c) observations hours (25 hours), d) virtual hours (up to 75 hours), audiology hours (10 hours).  The clinical clock hours must total at least 400 hours.

A typical breakdown of clinical clock hours might look like:

25 observation hours

10 audiology hours

10-20 hours from SLHS 880 #1

10-20 hours from SLHS 880 #2

12 Summer Bayshore hours

12 Summer Simucase hours

160 hours Internship 1

160 hours Internship 2

Total:  400 clinical clock hours

 

  • ASHA Certification requires a total of 400 clinical clock hours across a variety of ages and disorders. They do not specify the breakdown of those hours, except for stating that 375 out of the 400 hours must be direct client contact (rather than clinical observation). Also, 325 out of the 400 hours must be obtained at the graduate level (rather than undergraduate).
  • California Licensing requires a total of 300 clinical clock hours (100 fewer than ASHA) in three (3) different clinical settings. Twenty-five (25) hours of the required clinical experience may be in audiology.
  • SLP Services Credential requires that the candidate complete all of the requirements for the M.S. Degree in SLHS at SF State; school internship in an approved educational setting; and a Two-Year Preliminary Credential and Clear Credential.( A preliminary credential is the first credential issued after an individual meets basic credential requirements. A clear credential is issued when all credential requirements have been completed.) These requirements are met as follows:
Credential Type Requirement 1 Requirement 2 Requirement 3
Two-Year Preliminary Credential Meet all of the requirements for the M.S. Degree in SLHS Completed Live Scan Receipt (form 41-LS) N/A
Clear Credential Obtain a passing score on the SLP Praxis 36 Week, FT RPE/CF Application (form 41-4) and processing fee

Clinical internships are opportunities for you to gain advanced clinical skills in community sites under the guidance of licensed professionals. If you haven't done so already, please start by reading the Clinician's Handbook before you begin your internship.

Clinical practicum placements must be requested one semester in advance by the posted deadline every semester (see department calendar). All student clinicians enrolled in clinical practicum on campus must pay a $35 lab fee each semester. 

Procedures for Internship Placement

The SF State SLHS Department has established internship agreements with many school districts, agencies, hospitals and clinics around the Bay Area and the State of California.

The Internship Coordinator(s) will review the on-line internship application form. An Internship Coordinator will contact individual students for confirmation of their request, and discuss potential sites. 

The Internship Coordinators are responsible for placement of non-school interns. It is the Internship Coordinators' job to assure that a valid contract exists between the site and SF State, the site is appropriate to the student's needs, and that the site supervisor is ASHA-certified in the appropriate area of supervision, holds California licensure and/or the appropriate credential. An Internship Coordinator will contact prospective sites where students are desired and inform the supervisor which student(s) will be contacting them for interview(s).

The student is NOT to contact any off-campus site until specifically instructed to do so by an Internship Coordinator. Site supervisors will not interview students nor will students be assigned to a particular site until an Internship Coordinator has notified that site supervisor of the students who are eligible and who will be coming for interview(s). Failure to observe this protocol may jeopardize the student's internship placement process.

Once an Internship Coordinator gives you the approval, you will contact the internship site to set up an interview appointment. You may be advised by your Internship Coordinator to make specific preparation prior to your site interview. Examples include:

  1. Resume
  2. Your cumulative clinical hours by population and service area (Clinical Clock Hours Tracking Sheet) 
  3. A sample of a clinical report you've written with the identifying information of the client deleted
  4. Proof of TB/Hepatitis clearance
  5. Current contact information
  6. Current CPR certificate (if requested by the site)
  7. Any other items requested by the internship site

During the interview, the student should provide the off-campus supervisor with information about experiences, current number and categories of clock hours, and specific client needs. After the student has been tentatively assigned to an off-campus site, she/he may be invited to observe at the site during the semester preceding the assignment. The observation will provide an opportunity for the student to meet with the supervisor and obtain preliminary information regarding the setting. It will also allow the supervisor to meet and discuss with the student the requirements the supervisor will establish.

Going over the Internship Packet

Once your internship placement has been finalized, one of the internship coordinators will email an internship packet to the interns, on-site mentors, and site visitors. The documents required in this packet include:

  • Site Supervisor Confirmation Letter - You and your mentor will be emailed a Confirmation Letter.  In return, your mentor will scan and email a copy of his/her current ASHA Card and State License to you.  These documents must be uploaded to the SLHS 712 iLearn site by the third week of the semester.  
  • Memo of Important Dates - You will be emailed a memo about internship meetings that you must attend during the semester. Mark your calendar for these dates and go over the dates with your supervisor to ensure that you are given the necessary release time for these mandatory on-campus meetings.
  • SLHS Department Semester Calendar
  • Intern Data Sheet (SC-08) - Fax to the Department Office (415) 338-0916. During the semester an on-campus supervisor will use the information on the data sheet to schedule a site visit.
  • Semester Clock Hours Form (SC-10) - Review with your supervisor how your clock hours will be summarized for the semester
  • Practicum Evaluation Form (KASA) - Your supervisor will submit their evaluation of your performance on one copy of this form at mid-term and another one at the end of the term. These correspond to your midterm and final grades.

In addition to the on-site supervisor who will be mentoring your ongoing work at the school site, you'll also be assigned a faculty supervisor (site visitor) from SF State. Your faculty supervisor will act as a liaison between your internship site and SF State if any concerns were to arise during the course of the internship for either the intern or the supervisor. He/she will also make at least one site visit to meet with both you and your on-site supervisor during the semester. The purpose of the visit is check-in with and to support both the supervisor and the intern. After the visit, the faculty supervisor will file a site visit report.

Once at your internship site, it is imperative to meet the expectations for professional conduct. 

In addition to the on-site supervisor who will be mentoring your ongoing work at the school site, you'll also be assigned a faculty supervisor from SF State. The faculty supervisor is also your designated faculty member when you register for SLHS 882. Your faculty supervisor will act as a liaison between your internship site and SF State if any concerns were to arise during the course of the internship for either the intern or the supervisor. He/she will also make at least one site visit to meet with both you and your on-site supervisor during the semester. The purpose of the visit is check-in with and to support both the supervisor and the intern. After the visit, the faculty supervisor will file a site visit report.

Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential (SLPSC) 

All students applying for the Master's Degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences are also candidates for the SLPSC.  They must complete one school internship, and earn at least 100 hours at a school site.  

 

Professional practice competencies are integral to clinical education in speech-language therapy in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.  It is essential to adhere to them throughout the on-campus clinical education experiences as well as the off-campus internships.  The following list of competencies is from the Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs  in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, and provides guidelines for adherence to the expected competencies.  

Accountability

  • Practice in a manner that is consistent with the professional code of ethics and the scope of practice documents for the profession of speech-language pathology.
  • Adhere to federal, state, and institutional regulations and policies that are related to services provided by speech-language pathologists.
  • Understand the fiduciary responsibility for each individual served.
  • Understand the various models of delivery of speech-language pathology services (e.g., hospital, private practice, education, etc.).
  • Use self-reflection to understand the effects of his or her actions and makes changes accordingly.
  • Understand the health care and education landscape and how to facilitate access to services.
  • Understand how to work on interprofessional teams to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values. 

Integrity

  • Use the highest level of clinical integrity with each individual served, family members, caregivers, other service providers, students, other consumers, and payers; and
  • Understand and use best professional practices related to maintenance of confidentiality for all individuals in accordance with HIPAA and FERPA requirements.  

Effective Communication Skills

  • Use all forms of expressive communication—including written, spoken, and nonverbal communication—with individuals served, family members, caregivers, and any others involved in the interaction to ensure the highest quality of care that is delivered in a culturally competent manner.
  • Communicate—with patients, families, communities, and interprofessional team colleagues and other professionals caring for individuals in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to maximize care outcomes.  

Clinical Reasoning

  • Use valid scientific and clinical evidence in decision-making regarding assessment and intervention.
  • Apply current knowledge, theory, and sound professional judgment in approaches to intervention and management of individuals served.
  • Use clinical judgment and self-reflection to enhance clinical reasoning.  

Evidence-Based Practice

  • Access sources of information to support clinical decisions regarding assessment and intervention/management,
  • Critically evaluate information sources and applies that information to appropriate populations, and
  • Integrate evidence in provision of speech-language pathology services. 

Concern for Individuals Served

  • Show evidence of care, compassion, and appropriate empathy during interactions with each individual served, family members, caregivers, and any others involved in care; and
  • Encourage active involvement of the individual served in his or her own care.  

Cultural Competence

  • Understand the impact of his or her own set of cultural and linguistic variables on delivery of effective care. These include, but are not limited to, variables such as age, ethnicity, linguistic background, national origin, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
  • Understand the impact of the cultural and linguistic variables of the individuals served on delivery of care. These include but are not limited to variables such as age, ethnicity, linguistic background, national origin, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
  • Understand the interaction of cultural and linguistic variables between the caregivers and the individuals served in order to maximize service delivery.
  • Understand the characteristics of the individuals served (e.g., age, demographics, cultural and linguistic diversity, educational history and status, medical history and status, cognitive status, and physical and sensory abilities) and how these characteristics relate to clinical services. 

Professional Duty

  • Engage in self-assessment to improve his or her effectiveness in the delivery of services.
  • Understand the roles and importance of professional organizations in advocating for rights to access to speech-language pathology services.
  • Understand the role of clinical teaching and clinical modeling as well as supervision of students and other support personnel.
  • Understand the roles and importance of interdisciplinary/interprofessional assessment and intervention and be able to interact and coordinate care effectively with other disciplines and community resources.
  • Understand and practice the principles of universal precautions to prevent the spread of infectious and contagious diseases.
  • Understand and use the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess and address the needs of the individuals and populations served.  Collaborative Practice 
  • Understand how to apply values and principles of interprofessional team dynamics.
  • Understand how to perform effectively in different interprofessional team roles to plan and deliver care centered on the individual served that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable. 

The "on-campus" clinics are those operated by the SF State SLHS Clinic and supervised by the SLHS faculty (including ones that are not actually located on the SF State campus). You will be placed in a total of two on-campus clinics. We offer diagnostic and therapy clinics for adults and children. Most students acquire between 40-60 clinical clock hours after completing on-campus clinics.

Clinical practica are opportunities for you to put your knowledge to practice. Please start by downloading the Clinician's Handbook, the Client Confidentiality and Privacy Protocol, and viewing the ASHA Code of Ethics. Read them before you begin your first clinic and use them as references throughout your clinical assignments. The handbook is your ultimate guide to the clinical experience in the SLHS Department. 

All student clinicians enrolled in clinical practicum on campus must pay a $35 lab fee each semester. 

Students should refer to the Clinician's Handbook for complete information on the SLHS clinics, procedures, and requirements. The following material should be considered a supplement to the information contained in the Clinician's Handbook.

ASHA Requirements. ASHA and the California Board of Quality Assurance requirements for clinical practice are very specific. The certification board has identified four parameters of clinic practice students need in order to be certified. They are 1) types of disorders; 2) type of intervention; 3) age; and 4) settings. The clock hours requirements for Speech-Language Pathology are listed in the Clinician's Handbook. During each semester's advising period, students should review with their adviser the number of clock hours earned and needed. Each student is responsible for assuring that s/he has the minimum numbers of clock hours required by ASHA within the appropriate categories.

University Clinical Settings. Although supervision methods may differ among supervisors and clinics, the basic forms of supervision are the same for all University clinics. These include 1) adherence to ASHA guidelines for supervision; 2) basic expectations of students; 3) methods of providing feedback; 4) evaluation forms and 5) grading policies. For more information, please refer to the Clinician's Handbook. Students violating the ASHA code of ethics (see Clinician's Handbook) are subject to removal from clinic practice and the program.

The Nicholas Certo Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences (SLHS) Clinic serves clients in all age ranges with all types of communicative disabilities. Both assessments and therapy are conducted at the clinic. All students must complete a minimum of 40 clock hours in the SLHS Clinic. A maximum of one clinical experience from another accredited program may be substituted for one of the SF State on-campus clinical experiences. 

Internship/Traineeship/Student Teaching Clinical Sites. All students are required to take one clinic both fall and spring semesters of their first year, and two internships in their second year.  At least one must be in a school. The SLHS Department has contracted relationships with over 40 off-campus facilities.

The following internship/traineeships are available:
I. SLHS 880 (2 Units/2 Semesters) 20-40 On-Site hours. Clock hours are variable.

II. SLHS 882 (6 Units/2 Semesters) + SLHS 712 (1 unit/1 Semester).  Taken concurrently. 75 On-Site Residency Hours Minimum of 200-225 On-Site hours of which at least 160 are clock hours.

According to San Francisco State University Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures, a student may be declassified (disenrolled) from a graduate degree program for a range of reasons even if the GPA is above a 3.0. Reasons for declassification may include, but are not restricted to: unprofessional conduct; behavioral issues that interfere with the learning of others; failure to make progress toward the degree as set forth by the University and program policies; failure to meet grade requirements to maintain good standing in the program and/or University; and/or the department/program faculty determine that the student is incapable of completing degree requirements at the level expected of a graduate student in the discipline.

  • Failure to make progress toward the degree as set forth by the University and program policies (e.g., not taking courses related to the degree, not meeting program requirements to take a required number of courses each year, repeated “I” or “W” requests);
  • Failure to meet expectations for discipline-required culminating experience with little improvement after multiple attempts or drafts;
  • Failure to meet grade requirements to maintain good standing in the program and/or University;
  • Plagiarism or academic dishonesty identified (cases are referred to Student Conduct Office).

The declassification request must be initiated by the major department with support from the department/program chair and college dean or designee. Requests are submitted to the dean of Graduate Studies for final action and official notification to the student and the Registrar’s Office. Declassification appears on the student’s transcript. Declassified students will not be permitted to enroll through regular University or Open University in any undergraduate or graduate courses in the program or degree from which they were declassified. Unless declassification was related to conduct issues that interfere with campus interactions, declassified students are eligible to apply to a new program through CAL STATE APPLY, pay the application fee, and be accepted as a student by the department/program.

The following is the declassification procedure adopted by the departments and programs in the Graduate College of Education:

  1. A faculty member determines that a student has exhibited behaviors that appear to call for declassification.
  2. The faculty member brings these matters to the student’s and Department Chair’s attention and attempts to resolve them with the student within 10 working days. If the problematic behaviors cease, the declassification process is suspended. The faculty member may, if the Title V. Article 2. Standard for Students for Conduct is violated, refer disciplinary matters to the Dean of Students of the University. 
  3. If the problems are not resolved, the Department Chair appoints, within 10 working days, a Declassification Review Panel consisting of three tenure/tenure-track faculty members in the program (not including the faculty member who originally raised the issue of declassification). The Panel reviews all materials and evidence pertinent to the student’s behavior and interviews the student and faculty member separately within 10 working days of being appointed. The Panel renders an independent decision about whether or not to recommend declassification and notifies the Department Chair in writing within this time period.
  4. If declassification is not recommended, the matter is ended. If declassification is recommended, the Department Chair forwards a written recommendation, with evidence, within 10 working days to the Dean of the Graduate College of Education or his/her designee. The Dean reviews this recommendation. If s/he concurs, it is forwarded within 10 working days to the Dean of Graduate Studies for a final decision and official notification to the student and the Registrar’s Office.

Criteria for Academic and Clinical Practicum Advancement in the SLHS Department In order to advance in the academic and practica sequence, the student must maintain the following:
1) Letter grade of C or better in each graduate-level academic course, with an overall B average (3.0 GPA) for the program.
2) Letter grade of B- or better in all SLHS 880 level clinics

Students who do not meet the requirements above will not be allowed to advance in the academic and clinical practica sequence. The student will be required to meet with an advisor to develop a remediation plan that may include additional coursework and/or practicum experience.

No clock hours will be counted for clinical practica that result in a grade of W (withdrew) or I (incomplete) for reasons other than faculty approved medical/emergency situations.

Note: The following PDFs are in the process of being made full accessible. If you have difficulty reading the PDFs, please contact the SLHS Department at slhsinfo@sfsu.edu or (415) 338-1001.

For PDF files, you'll need Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or above to view it. If you need Adobe Acrobat Reader it's available free from Adobe.