Creating New Paths

By Rachael Powles '22, December 15, 2023
Ithaca College To Launch Online Graduate Modality in Speech-Language Pathology

Beginning in Fall 2024, Ithaca College will launch an online modality for its Master of Science degree program in Speech-Language Pathology. The culmination of over three years of planning, the fully remote, virtual learning model aims to increase access to higher education for the next generation of speech-language pathologists.

Ithaca College’s School of Health Sciences and Human Performance is home to one of the oldest SLP programs in the country, with the department celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2021. While speech-language pathology is a growing field with promising job prospects, many people are not aware of the career’s potential when they start their undergraduate degree. Interim Dean Christina Moylan says she hopes Ithaca College can help solve that problem.

“There are many career changers or individuals who are unable to leave the workforce to pursue full-time study, and this new option provides another pathway for individuals to pursue a profession as a speech-language pathologist,” said Moylan. “Given the lack of sufficient speech-language pathologists in many areas of our country, we are pleased to be part of the solution in helping to address shortages within our healthcare workforce.”

Apply Today

The application cycle for Fall 2024 entry is now open. To learn more about the online modality for the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, please visit slponline.ithaca.edu.

Applications are also open for our
full-time, residential masters programs in speech-language pathology (with or without teacher certification). You can apply via the Communication Science and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). To learn more about CSDCAS, please visit CSDCAS Help.

“As a department, we began to wonder, what are some underserved populations we could be helping, what are some creative ideas, what are some new directions Ithaca College can take to serve more communities all we have to offer?”

Lynne Hewitt, chair of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology

Lynne Hewitt, professor and chair of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, arrived at Ithaca College in January 2020, when the department was in the midst of conversations about how to make SLP graduate studies more available.

“As a department, we began to wonder, what are some underserved populations we could be helping, what are some creative ideas, what are some new directions Ithaca College can take to serve more communities all we have to offer?” said Hewitt.  “Our work centers around creative solutions. We hope to support folks who would really like the field but may be limited by their current circumstances, and still provide that same quality of training,”

Working with third-party online program managers, Ithaca College has designed the fully online modality to suit the needs of such non-traditional students. While other online master’s programs require at least some in-person engagement, IC’s students will complete their clinical placements in their local communities. Courses are also designed to be completed on a part-time basis over a period of eight to eleven semesters. The curriculum remains the same as the in-person master’s degree, both rigorous and accommodating students’ needs.

“Online education isn’t something most people in this field were involved in before the pandemic. What we did during the pandemic was emergency-level teaching. With the online modality, every class has been built from the ground up to be a comprehensive educational experience.”

Lynne Hewitt

“Online education isn’t something most people in this field were involved in before the pandemic,” Hewitt said. “What we did during the pandemic was emergency-level teaching. With the online modality, every class has been built from the ground up to be a comprehensive educational experience.”

Since the program’s approval to add the online modality  was granted in August 2023 by its accrediting body, professors and administrators have been hard at work preparing for applications to open. With the first cohort of graduate students expected to log on in August 2024, Hewitt believes this increased accessibility will inspire more students to consider careers in speech-language pathology.

“I frequently meet people who say, ‘If I had known about speech-language pathology when I was younger, I would have gone to school for that!’” said Hewitt. “So those are the people we want to reach, people who think they’ve missed their chance.”