Issue I: Summary, Small Group Discussion
Suzanne D. Calvert, Ph.D.
Mississippi State University for Women
The small group discussions were arranged to represent levels of CSD programs offered. The groups represented programs that were masters only, undergraduate only, undergraduate and masters, masters and doctorate, and undergraduate, masters and doctorate. The following is a list of topics that were common to several of the small discussion groups.
1. Factors Contributing to the Changing Role:
- Retirements without replacement
- Low salaries in academia
- Faculty spread too thin with teaching, research, and clinic
- Too many complaints about the work load
- No job security without publications
- Salary discrepancy-MS level earns as much as academic Ph.D.
- Length of time to complete the Ph.D.
- Lack of funding
- Lack of recruitment
- CFY dilemma-doctoral program or clinical experience
- Lack of flexibility for non-traditional students
- Lack of sensitivity for students
Undergraduate and graduate Programs:
- Undergraduates need more science/math in their backgrounds
- Undergraduates need more opportunity for research
- Undergraduate and graduate programs place emphasis on clinical experience
- BA/MA levels have a technician attitude, donít know research
- Heavy burden of loans
- Six years to complete BA/MA degrees
- Masters level canít get into doctoral programs
- Undergraduates canít get into masters programs
- Admission criteria for graduate school (subjective/objective)
- Too much emphasis on grades; overlook creativity
- Accepting community college credits from SLP assistants program
- Different kind of student today (lack of motivation, work ethic, sense of community)
- Clinical experience is with people who do not do research
- Doctoral training does not identify with job market
2. Suggestions to Improve Low Enrollments in Doctoral Programs:
- Change the quality of life in our departments
- Sell our profession to others, especially students
- Change ways of teaching to encourage investigation
- Investigate a different type of scholarship, such as service to the community
- Investigate no tenure, but multiple-year contracts
- Involve students in projects that promote learning as well as interest
- Become a mentor
- Develop an active recruitment program
- Develop a transitional mechanism from MA to Ph.D. with CFY completion
- Prepare doctoral students to teach
- Collaborate with BA/MA institutions through grants or research activities to give students research opportunities; use collaboration as a recruiting tool
- Retention and graduation rate could be a criterion for program
Undergraduate and graduate programs:
- Offer more research opportunities
- Build in research as a competency
- Encourage students to present at ASHA, state associations, etc.
- Inform students what to expect through the educational process from BA to Ph.D.
- Place importance on leadership
- Develop website to explore doctoral programs
- Collaborate with other universities
- Develop a list of career alternatives for BA level
- Develop mentoring programs
Suggestions for CGPCSD:
- Collect data regarding the number of doctoral students who fail to receive the Ph.D. degree. If there is a significant dropout rate, an attempt should be made to determine the underlying cause(s): child care, family support, money, time, CFY, mismatch between student and program, etc.
- Develop a website for all doctoral programs to help students explore possibilities
- Topics for future conference: admission criteria for all program levels.