Specialized Training

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Graduate Certificate

The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences offers specialization in AAC through the AAC Graduate Certificate, awarded by the SF State Division of Graduate Studies. The AAC Graduate Certificate is designed to prepare highly qualified professionals to provide culturally-responsive Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) services for individuals with communication needs (CCN) in school and community settings. Candidates acquire specialized competence in the areas of (a) AAC assessment, (b) AAC intervention, (c) AAC collaboration and  teamwork, (d) literacy development through AAC and (e) continued professional development in AAC to support the language and literacy skills with children, youth and adults. Current graduate and post-baccalaureate students in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Special Education and related fields are encouraged to apply. Practicing professionals at the post-baccalaureate level may also apply to complete the AAC Graduate Certificate.

In addition to completing the AAC Graduate Certificate, current graduate students enrolled in SLHS, and SPED Departments have the opportunity to apply for Project AAC for ALL, funded by the USDOE, Office of Special Education Programs from 2021-2026 with a specialized focus on providing AAC services with students who are dual language learners. Twelve to thirteen scholars are accepted and granted scholarships annually to AAC for ALL.  Upon completion of AAC for ALL, scholars will receive their respective graduate degrees, credentials and the AAC Graduate Certificate.

Autism Specialization

Autism & Neurodiversity

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 therapists 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 autistic students, 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 speech-language therapists 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 removing barriers to engagement, communication, and belonging for autistic individuals and their families.

Project GROW Banner

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.

Spanish-Bilingual Specialization

Spanish-Bilingual Specialization

(pending approval anticipated in Spring, 2020)

(The above image is from: Spanish Phonemic Inventory)

If you speak Spanish, then this certificate program allows you to leverage this greatly needed skill to become a highly qualified bilingual speech-language therapist.  This certificate was developed because there is a persistent and chronic shortage of speech-language therapists who have the clinical and academic experiences that are necessary to leverage their Spanish language skills.  This Certificate program is designed for you to develop your Spanish skills into a culturally responsive and powerful toolkit to provide appropriate and evidence-based clinical services to children who speak Spanish and their families, and for whom English may be their second language. The Director of this specialization is Dr. Laura Epstein (lepstein@sfsu.edu).  This is a new program that is currently under review with approval anticipated in Spring, 2020.  Graduate students entering in the Fall semester, 2019 may begin coursework to count towards this certification upon admission to the graduate program.

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