Communication Disorders

General Information

The NMSU Program in Communication Disorders offers an undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree and a graduate program leading to a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders. The Master's degree in Communication Disorders satisfies the educational requirements to obtain state licensure and national certification in Speech-Language Pathology.

Further information regarding the fields of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology may be obtained on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Information about the NM license requirements can be found on the website of the New Mexico Regulations & Licensing Department.

Undergraduate Information

The NMSU undergraduate program in Communication Disorders offers a pre-professional  Bachelor of Science degree that prepares students for graduate work in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. Students who complete a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders may either go on to complete a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, complete a doctoral degree in Audiology, or complete additional supervised clinical hours to become a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) or an Apprentice of Speech Language Pathology (ASL). Currently, the State of New Mexico does not license Speech-Language Pathology Assistants, but it may do so in the future.

Students who have declared a major in Communication Disorders are required to successfully complete a minimum of 120 credits for the Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders. This includes a minimum of 54 upper division credits as well as a minimum of 9 credits from an approved list of electives.

Graduate Information

The Department of Communication Disorders at NMSU offers a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology which meets the educational requirements for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as well as the educational requirements for state licensure. Students entering the graduate program with an undergraduate major in Communication Disorders can expect to complete the program in two years (including the summer between the two years) and be awarded a Masters of Arts in Communication Disorders with a specialization in Speech-Language Pathology. To complete this course of study, each student is expected to meet the program’s academic and clinical competency criteria which are aligned with the requirements of state and national certifying bodies for licensure and clinical certification. The graduate program for students without a background in Communication Disorders is generally one year longer because one year of leveling is required.

Information for Prospective Students

The Master of Arts (M.A.) program in Speech-Language Pathology: Communication Disorders at  New Mexico State University is  accredited  by  the Council  on  Academic  Accreditation  (CAA) in Speech-Language  Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Please apply to our graduate program in Communication Disorders via the NMSU Graduate School. The deadline for applications is February 1st of each year.

Interim Department Head: Dr. Heike Lehnert-LeHouillier

Professors: Dr. Boutsen; Associate Professors: Dr. Lehnert-LeHouillier; Assistant Professors: Dr. Mohapatra, Dr. Wilson; College Assistant Professors: Mrs. Muñoz, Mrs. Bencomo, Mrs. Lindsay, Mrs. Nuanes, Emeritus Professors: Dr. Farmer, Dr. Valdez

Mrs. Bencomo , MA (New Mexico State University): clinical education, speech and language disorders in children;

Dr. Boutsen, Ph.D. (Southern Illinois University): motor speech disorders, voice disorders, fluency disorders, anatomy and physiology of speech mechanisms;

Dr. Lehnert-Lehouiller, Ph.D. (State University of New York at Buffalo): speech science, speech sound disorders, phonetics, autism spectrum disorders;

Mrs. Lindsay, MS ( Southwest Texas State University): clinical education, dysphagia;

Dr. Mohapatra, Ph.D. (University of Georgia): acquired neurogenic communication disorders, neural bases of communication, biofeedback training;

Mrs. Muñoz, MA (New Mexico State University): clinical education, dysphagia;

Mrs. Nuanes, MA (New Mexico State University): clinical education, pediatric speech and language disorders;  

Dr. Wilson, Ph.D. (University of New Mexico): pediatric language disorders, transcranial direct current stimulation, autism spectrum disorders;

Sign Language Courses

SIGN 1110. American Sign Language I

3 Credits (3)

American Sign Language I is an introductory level language course in the language of the American Deaf Culture. Content includes ASL vocabulary and conversational skills; linguistic features of ASL; and skills in narrative/storytelling. In-class activities, comprehension and expressive examinations, narrative and storytelling assignments in addition to semester projects are venues for students to demonstrate their learning. In addition, Deaf Culture and Deaf Community issues are addressed.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Engage in basic conversations using ASL, such as introducing oneself, exchanging personnel information, and talking about one’s surroundings.
  2. Demonstrate the use of grammatical structures, including spatial referencing, use of classifiers, role shifting, ASL syntax, and non-manual signals (NMS).
  3. Demonstrate clear sign production using an understanding of sign parameters: handshapes, movement, location, palm orientation, and NMS in targeted lexicon.
  4. Demonstrate the use of basic ASL vocabulary and expressions necessary for conversationsabout real-life situations.
  5. Evaluate and provide feedback concerning peers’ and one’s own uses of ASL.
  6. Develop culturally-appropriate behaviors and conversation strategies within a variety of contexts for interacting with people who are Deaf.
  7. Demonstrate effective use of comprehension and expressive ASL skills through narrative and/or storytelling activities.
  8. Describe issues of the American Deaf community and Culture.

View Learning Outcomes

SIGN 1120. American Sign Language II

3 Credits (3)

American Sign Language II is a continuation course that builds on concepts and skills developed in American Sign Language I. Students gain further exposure to ASL structure and grammar, and Deaf Culture and the Deaf community. Emphasis is on increasing students’ ability to comprehend other signers and express themselves with more elaboration when conversing or presenting in ASL.

Prerequisite: SIGN 1110 or consent of instructor.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Further develop basic conversational skills in ASL, taking on more complicated topics.
  2. Apply knowledge of ASL grammar, including classifiers, spatial referencing and agreement, role shifting, and non-manual markers.
  3. Develop ASL vocabulary, fingerspelling, number, narrative and storytelling skills.
  4. Evaluate and provide feedback concerning peers’ and one’s own uses of ASL.
  5. Demonstrate effective use of comprehension and expressive ASL skills through conversation, discussion, narrative and/or storytelling activities.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of the American Deaf community and ASL
  7. Through first-hand experience in the American Deaf community and ASL, relate and reflect on
  8. perspectives of the community.

View Learning Outcomes

SIGN 2110. American Sign Language III

3 Credits (3)

This is an intermediate level course in American Sign Language (ASL). Expected areas of intermediate skill and knowledge development include: language comprehension and production, conversational use, narratives, ASL language features and further knowledge of and interaction with Deaf culture and the Deaf community.

Prerequisite: SIGN 1120.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate intermediate ASL vocabulary, conversation and narrative/storytelling skills.
  2. Demonstrate fundamental ASL features including visual/spatial orientation, constructed dialogue and action, spatial referencing, classifiers, non-manual behaviors and syntax/word order.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate use of cultural behaviors and conversational strategies.
  4. Translate written and spoken English to ASL and vice versa.
  5. Self-evaluate and provide feedback to peers concerning ASL usage.
  6. Examine the culture of the American Deaf community through engaging in community activities and its language.

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SIGN 574. American Sign Language III

3 Credits (3)

Continuation of ASL II. Focus on more complex grammatical features. Students will comprehend and generate medium length stories, narratives, and discussions including culturally significant topics.

Prerequisite: SPHS 375 or consent of instructor.

Speech & Hearing Science Courses

SPHS 2110. Introduction to Communication Disorders

3 Credits (3)

This introductory course provides an overview of common speech, language, and hearing disorders in children and adults including etiologies, characteristics, prevention, identification, assessment and intervention. The course provides an overview of the field of speech-language pathology and audiology.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe normal human communication anatomy and processes as they relate to speech and language production.
  2. Describe the nature of speech, language, and hearing disorders and differences.
  3. Describe the principles of prevention, assessment and intervention of communication disorders.
  4. List requirements for licensure, certification, and other relevant professional credentials.
  5. Exhibit basic knowledge of contemporary professional issues in speech-language pathology.
  6. List possible psychosocial implications of various communication disorders.
  7. Identify cultural, educational, legal, and ethical issues related to communication disorders.
  8. Describe the scope of practice of speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

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SPHS 301. Language Acquisition

3 Credits (3)

This course introduces students to the study of the development of language, speech, and communication. Includes language sampling. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: SPHS 509. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110; Cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher.

SPHS 322. Anatomy and Physiology of Speech Mechanisms

3 Credits (3)

Structure and function of systems underlying human speech sound production and processing, including respiratory, phonatory, and articulatory components. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: SPHS 502. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110, SPHS 323, SPHS 422, SPHS 324, and SPHS 301; and minimum 3.2 GPA.

SPHS 323. Phonetics

3 Credits (3)

The science of phonetics, including work with the International Phonetic Alphabet. Taught with SPHS 501. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110; Cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better.

SPHS 324. Introduction to Speech Science

3 Credits (3)

Basic concepts and theories in acoustics, speech production and speech perception. Includes laboratory experience with instrumental measurement and analysis of speech systems. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: SPHS 503. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110, SPHS 323, SPHS 422; and minimum 3.2 GPA.

SPHS 326. Clinical Methods and Procedures

3 Credits (3)

Guidelines and procedures associated with the clinical and supervisory processes. Provide opportunities to complete the supervised clinical observation requirement for participation in clinical practicum. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: SPHS 506. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110, SPHS 323, SPHS 422, SPHS 324, SPHS 301; and minimum 3.2 GPA.

SPHS 421. Speech and Laguage Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Bases, symptoms, etiologies, and clinical management of issues related to disorders of articulation, phonology, voice and resonance, and fluency. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: SPHS 504. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110, SPHS 323, SPHS 422, SPHS 324, and SPHS 301; and minimum 3.2 GPA.

SPHS 422. Audiology

3 Credits (3)

Anatomy and physiology of the auditory system, bases of auditory disorders, and basic audiometric procedures. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: SPHS 507. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110, and a minimum of 3.2 GPA.

SPHS 423. Neural Bases of Communication Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Study of the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of communication and communication disorders. Includes review of the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system relationship to speech motor control, language, and hearing. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: SPHS 510. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110, SPHS 301, SPHS 323, SPHS 422, SPHS 324, SPHS 421, SPHS 322, SPHS 326 and minimum 3.0 GPA.

SPHS 424. Aural Rehabilitation

3 Credits (3)

Overview of hearing aids and amplication devices including cochlear implants. Review of the bases and psychosocial aspects of hearing loss. Clinical management of hearing loss consistent with ASHA's scope of practice for SLPs. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: SPHS 508. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better in SPHS 2110, SPHS 323, SPHS 422, SPHS 324, SPHS 301, SPHS 421, SPHS 322, SPHS 326; and minimum 3.2 GPA.

SPHS 501. Phonetics

3 Credits (3)

The science of phonetics, including work with the International Phonetic Alphabet. Restricted to majors. Same as SPHS 390 with differentiated assignments for graduate students.

Prerequisites: a course grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 502. Anatomy and Physiology of Speech Mechanisms

3 Credits (3)

Structure and function of systems underlying human speech sound production and processing including nervous, respiratory, and articulatory components. Restricted to majors. Same as SPHS 370 with differentiated assignments for graduate students.

Prerequisites: a course grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 503. Speech Science

3 Credits (2+3P)

Basic concepts and theories in acoustics, speech production, and speech perception. Laboratory experience with instrumental measurement and analysis of speech systems. Restricted to majors. Same as SPHS 380 with differentiated assignments for graduate students.

Prerequisites: a course grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 504. Speech and Language Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Bases, symptoms, etiologies, and treatment of language disorders. Includes review of normal language acquisition. Taught SPHS 421.

Prerequisite(s): B or better GPA.

SPHS 505. Research Methods

3 Credits (3)

Introduction to basic qualitative, quantitative, and single subject research methodology in speech-language pathology and audiology. Restricted to majors.

Prerequisites: a course grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 506. Clinical Methods and Procedures

3 Credits (3)

Guidelines and procedures associated with the clinical and supervisory processes. Provide opportunities to complete the supervised clinical observation requirement for participation in clinical practicum. Differentiated assignments for graduate students. Taught with SPHS 326. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): B or better GPA.

SPHS 507. Audiology

3 Credits (3)

Anatomy and physiology of the auditory system, bases of auditory disorders, and basic audiometric procedures. Differentiated assignments for graduate students. Taught with SPHS 422. Restricted to: C D, C DS majors.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum of 3.0 GPA.

SPHS 508. Aural Rehabilitation

3 Credits (3)

Overview of hearing aids and amplication devices including cochlear implants. Review of the bases and psycho-social aspects of hearing loss. Clinical management of hearing loss consistent with ASHA's scope of practice for SLPs. Taught with SPHS 424. Differentiated assignments for graduate students. Restricted to: C D, C DS majors.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum 3.0 GPA.

SPHS 509. Language Acquisition

3 Credits (3)

Normal development of communication across the age span. Includes language sampling and analysis. A minimum grade of B- in all graduate courses and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 required. Taught with SPHS 360 with differentiated assignments for graduate students. Restricted to CD majors andLING majors majors.

SPHS 510. Neural Bases of Communication Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Study of the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of communication and communication disorders. Includes review of the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system relationship to speech motor control, language, and hearing. Crosslisted with: SPHS 423. Restricted to: CD, CDS majors.

SPHS 521. Professional Issues and Multicultural Practices in Communication Disorders

3 Credits (3)

This course includes a range of topics pertinent to students entering professional practice as speech-language pathologists including current legal, cultural, ethical, and clinical service provision issues. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum of 3.0 GPA.

SPHS 523. Assessment of Communication Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Diagnostic theories and management of communication disorders using standardized and descriptive methodology. Includes the practice of interviewing, testing, and oral and written reporting. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A course grade of B or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 525. Pediatric Language and Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Normal communication development of neonates, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; etiologies, and treatment of cognitive, linguistic and social elements of communication problems in family systems. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum grade of B and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 530. School Age Language and Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Normal communication-learning development of elementary, secondary, and postsecondary students; etiologies, diagnosis, and treatment of interpersonal communication and language-based academic disorders. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of B in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 535. Aphasia & Cognitive Linguistic Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Etiologies, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of adult aphasia and cognitive-linguistic disorders. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A course grade of B or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 541. Advanced Spanish Morpho-Syntax for Education Professionals

3 Credits (3)

This class has been designed for Heritage Speakers of Spanish who work in educational settings. It will cover the essential linguistic theory and fundamental structures of the Spanish language. This includes, but is not limited to, verb morphology, morphosyntactic and syntactic structures. The main goal of this course is to determine what usages fall within the norms of an individual’s speech community, or if there are elements that fall outside those norms.

Prerequisite(s): Students have to be fluent in Spanish as course will be conducted in Spanish.

SPHS 542. Articulation and Phonological Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Advanced study of the symptoms, etiologies, assessment, and clinical management of articulation and phonological disorders including cleft palate and disorders of resonance Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of B- in all graduate courses and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required.

SPHS 545. Introduction to Augmentative and Alternatice Communication

3 Credits (3)

Assessment and intervention for children and adults with developmental disabilities; Alternative communication strategies and systems for individuals with severe speech and/or language impairments. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing; overall GPA of 3.0.

SPHS 547. Cognitive-Linguistic Communication Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Topics include attention, memory, executive function, and underlying neuropathologies, with emphasis on assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and recovery processes in cognitive communication disorders related to traumatic brain injury, dementia, and right hemisphere brain damage. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A course grade of B or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0.

SPHS 548. Best Practices in Bilingual/Multicultural Assessment for Practitioners

3 Credits (3)

The purpose of this course is to provide future speech-language pathologists, educational diagnosticians and special educators with a foundation for evaluating the linguistic, cognitive and academic skills of students from any cultural liguistic background. The course covers a review of the literature on best practices for working with interpreters during assessments. Practitioners will be expected to gather qualitative information about cultural/linguistic and educational histories of school-age children and integrate those results with the results of standardized tests.

SPHS 583. Dysphagia

3 Credits (3)

Study of the anatomy and physiology of swallowing and upper aerodigestive systems. Review of the bases and etiologies of child and adult swallowing disorders, including diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A course grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 584. Fluency Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Speech fluency development and the disorders of stuttering, cluttering, and neurogenic dysfluency. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A course grade of B or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 585. Motor Speech Disorders

3 Credits (3)

Advanced studies of dysfunction of the nervous system that affect speech. Includes evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of speech apraxias and dysarthias. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A course grade of B or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 586. Voice Disorders/Head and Neck Anomalies

3 Credits (3)

Advanced studies of anatomy and physiology of the vocal tract with emphasis on diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of voice disorders, laryngectomy, cleft palate, and other oral-facial anomalies. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): A course grade of B or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 589. Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology

1-4 Credits (1-4)

Supervised clinical practice in a variety of speech, language, and hearing disorders. Practicum includes diagnostic, treatment, and management work through direct patient/client contact. Attendance at weekly clinical staff meetings is required. May be repeated up to 15 credits. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Prerequisite(s): Good standing in the graduate school; a course grade of B or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 590. Clinical Education

1 Credit (1)

This course is specifically designed to target the knowledge base necessary to initiate clinical practicum in the CD Program. The learning objectives are based upon the Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-language Pathology (CAA) standards and knowledge areas. These learning outcomes are developed to assist students in clinical practicum and are specific to the services provided to clients of the NMSU Edgar R. Garrett Speech and Hearing Center. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Corequisite(s): SPHS 589.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of successful strategies to work with families and clients from various clinical settings/cultural backgrounds. Demonstrate an understanding of ethical and confidential service delivery. Identify characteristics of properly written clinical reports. Demonstrate skill in oral and written or other forms of communication sufficient for entry into professional practice. Demonstrate knowledge of entry level and advanced certifications, licensure, and other relevant professional credentials.

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SPHS 591. Special Topics

1-9 Credits

Individual and/or group study of special topics identified by subtitle. May be repeated up to 9 credits. Restricted to: C DS majors.

Prerequisite(s): Prior arrangement with faculty; a course grade of B or higher in all graduate courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

SPHS 599. Master's Thesis

15 Credits

Thesis.

SPHS 640. Externship in Communication Disorders

3-9 Credits (3-9)

This course is designed to provide opportunities for the developing clinician to provide treatment to and evaluations for clients in a full term externship experience under the supervision of a licensed SLP. May be repeated up to 9 credits. Consent of Instructor required. Restricted to: C DS,C D majors.

Name: Dr. Heike Lehnert-LeHouillier, Interim Department Head

Name: TBA, Administrative Assistant

Office Location: Communication Studies Building, Room 245

Phone: (575) 646-2402

Fax: (575) 646-7712

Website: https://cd.nmsu.edu/