Communication Disorders and Sciences Strategic Plan for 2014–2019

Communication Disorders and Sciences Mission Statement

The mission of the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department is to effectively prepare students to meet the diverse needs of society and our professions. Through high quality instruction and mentoring, students are both supported and challenged in accordance with the highest standards of our professions. It is our aim that, through instruction, collaborative learning, and self reflection, our graduates will lead resourceful, compassionate and ethical professional and personal lives, and will engage in life-long learning.

Our mission includes providing quality services to the community by operating a state-of-the-art speech, language, and hearing clinic and by providing outreach clinical services that balance person-centered and science-supported services. Research and continuing education are essential to this mission.

We believe that all persons are entitled to actively engage in their personal and professional growth in an inclusive and supportive, yet challenging, environment that values diversity and professional ethics.

Division of Education, Health, and Human Services Mission Statement

The mission of the Division of Education, Health, and Human Services is to prepare students for positions in their respective fields, to provide a learning environment that fosters growth and development, and to inculcate creative, critical, and humane thinking.

Objective 1: Address personnel shortages at university, state, and national levels to maintain high quality education and service in speech-language pathology and audiology

SUNY Plattsburgh Mission Statement

SUNY Plattsburgh is a public, comprehensive college that prepares students for academic, professional and personal success.

2014–2019 Strategic Plan

Financial Viability

Outcome(s) Indicators of Success Strategies
1. The Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences will continue to have sufficient financial support through state allocations and income derived through the provision of clinical services to maintain academic and clinical programs, and achieve operational and developmental goals.
  1. All departmental cost centers needed to sustain academic and clinical program operations and to achieve developmental goals are fully funded, and the cash reserve amount in the IFR Clinic account is maintained at 2013–14 year-end level, or increased.
  1. Request increase in allocations to state account
  2. Maximize use of state account allocations
  3. Achieve balanced budget in IFR account in three years
  4. Increase revenue in clinic account and decrease expenses
  5. Increase client base and services
  6. Actions
    1. Hearing Clinic: Increase revenue
      1. increase number of mailers to past clients for follow-up appointments.
      2. develop structured advertising plan (e.g. advertise in Yellow Pages, contact MD’s, etc.)
      3. reassess flat fee scale vs. sliding fee scale for diagnostic & maintenance services
    2. Speech Clinic: Increase revenue
      1. increase semester fee
      2. increase percentage of fees collected
    3. Speech Clinic: Decrease expenses
      1. Bulk buying where possible
      2. Reconsider cost of use of hard copy assessment forms in courses
      3. Reassess travel requests
    4. Explore use of professional billing service to minimize loss of revenue from billing errors.


Outcome(s) Indicators of Success Strategies
2. The necessary number of appropriately credentialed full time and part time tenured/tenure-track, and non-tenure track faculty and clinical supervisors, including off-campus supervisors must be maintained despite any staff/off-campus supervisor turn-over, to ensure that all the components of the academic and clinical programs can continue without loss of quantity or
  1. All courses are scheduled as planned and instructed by faculty with the appropriate expertise in the subject area.
  2. All clinical supervisors possess  appropriate degree of clinical experience and expertise and have continually maintained the following credentials:
    1. ASHA certification, NYS licensure, and other certifications and training appropriate to specific off-campus placement sites (i.e. HIPAA training, teaching certification, etc.)
  3. Impending retirements lead to searches which are approved in a timely manner and supported by college resources.
  4. Number of successful searches.
  5. Number of new part-time or full-time lines
  1. The department will provide financial support to assist clinical supervisors in procuring the necessary number of tri-annul C.E.U’s to maintain ASHA certification and New York State licensure.
  2. The Department Secretary/Office Manager will monitor the status of credentials for all on-campus (including the affiliated local hospital based) clinical supervisors.
  3. The coordinator of off-campus placements will monitor every semester that off-campus supervisors possess ASHA certification, appropriate state licensure and any other site-specific credentials.
  4. HIPAA training will be provided by the college/department for all on-campus CDS staff providing or supervising clinical services.
  5. Advocate with administration for early initiation of searches for retirements to guarantee replacements without hiatus.
  6. Advocate with administration for increase in faculty or lecturer positions to allow for an increase in sections of select over-enrolled courses without loss of staffing for clinic supervision.
3. The CDS Department/Speech and Hearing Center Clinic Office will be staffed with sufficient personnel with required expertise to meet all necessary responsibilities. quality.
  1. All academic and clinic related functions required of this office are completed accurately and in a timely manner.
  1. Advocate with administration for additional (part-time or full time) clerical/billing support staff for front office.
4. Supervision roles and loads for clinical supervisors will result in efficient and effective use of staff resources allowing students to receive the necessary support needed for each to develop the appropriate level of clinical hours and skills as delineated in 2012 ASHA KASA standards IV-D to IV-F, before graduation.
  1. Supervision load is distributed to supervisors in accordance with number of clinic credits each is responsible for as per the supervision load formula.
  2. Students’ semester-end supervisor assessments indicate that supervisors gave sufficient time and support to each of their graduate clinicians.
  3. Number of students per semester assigned to a hospital rotation or hospital externship, and number of hours of supervision performed by hospital-based extension site clinical supervisors accounts for a substantial portion of clinic hours completed by graduate clinicians before they go to their off-campus practica.
  1. Clinic committee will re-establish an objective supervision load formula.
  2. Establish a departmental internal review mechanism for the fair and open application of the formula.
  3. Increase the reliance on off-campus supervisors.
  4. Define the role and responsibilities of hospital-based clinical supervisors as part of SUNY Plattsburgh Speech and Hearing Center clinic staff vs. off-campus supervisors.
  5. Establish clear categories,performance expectations, and schedule demands for different clinical course levels, beginning, intermediate and advanced and for student hospital rotations, hospital externships, and off-campus placements.
5. Have a sufficient number of graduate assistants to be able to support the research and support needs of the faculty in meeting their academic and clinical obligations.
  1. The number of graduate assistants assigned is increased when the amount of support that is required has been justified by evidence of need.
  2. Number of part time or full time assistantships is maintained or increased over a three-year period.
  1. Advocate with administration for increase in number of graduate assistants.


Outcome(s) Indicators of Success Strategies
1. Clinic and department space is maximized and utilized efficiently. Shared usage areas are minimized to protect confidentiality and improve accessibility.
  1. Yearly documentation of advocacy for increased space and better utilized space by Clinic Director and Chair, or documentation of accomplished goals.
  1. Advocate for space for voice lab separate from student computer workspace. Advocate for increase space for clinical materials (equipment, tests,therapy materials, etc.) that ensures both access and security.
  2. Advocate for increased area for office staff and clinic record keeping.
  3. Advocate for sufficient use of space to keep clinical tests and therapy materials secure yet accessible.
  4. Advocate for Chair’s office that is quieter and more accessible.
2. The environment protects health and safety of persons served through emergency preparedness,infection control, and risk management.
  1. Pass fire inspections (as documented by Chair)
  2. Sink is installed in audiology area to maximize infection control procedures (or documentation of advocating for this goal).
  3. Fire alarm (with flashing lights) is installed in audiology area to alert people with and without hearing loss of smoke/fire emergencies and drills (or documentation of advocating for this goal).
  4. Clinic properly ventilated and climate is controlled in summer and winter to prevent discomfort or illness due to extreme temperatures (or documentation of advocating for this goal).
  5. Physical barriers are removed so that all areas are accessible to persons with activity limitations (or documentation of advocating for this goal).
  6. Procedures are in place for emergencies:
    • CPR/AED training
    • Incident reporting procedures
    • Evacuation procedures
    • Health and safety procedures/universal precautions
  1. Chair & Clinic Director will review fire safety rules once per year and inspect clinic/department and make changes necessary for passing inspection.
  2. Chair & Clinic Directors will strongly advocate for audiology sink,audiology fire alarm, ventilation and climate control in the clinic.
  3. Chair & Clinic Director will remove all physical barriers that reduce accessibility to any clinic/department area to ensure compliance with standards established by the ADA.
  4. Clinic director updates emergency, safety, infection control procedures and incident reporting procedures once per year and includes updates in Clinic Handbook. It will be documented by Clinic Director that these procedures are reviewed with students and staff once per year.
  5. Signage regarding proper hand washing and universal precautions updated each year by Clinic Directors
  6. Documentation by Clinic Director that faculty and staff have CPR/AED training at least once every two years.
3. Supervisors are better able to hear, see, and supervise clinical sessions via updated closed-circuit observation system.
  1. Procurement of improved closed-circuit observation system.
  1. Documentation of requests for improved closed-circuit observation system.
4. Privacy is ensured and communication barriers are removed by improved sound abatement in clinic and reception area.
  1. Installation of sound abatement.
  1. Documentation of advocacy or installation of sound abatement.

Student Quality of Life

Outcome(s) Indicators of Success Strategies
1. Student report of less stress at end of semester.
  1. Student reports.
  2. Faculty reports.
  1. Grad faculty meet at the beginning of each semester to plan (due) dates for tests, quizzes, projects,etc.
  2. Unusual sources of stress interfering with students’ potential for success will be addressed and mitigated.
  3. More use of on-line learning formats to increase flexibility in how students can use their time.
  4. Re-assess various options for clinic operating schedule.
2. Students have sufficient time to acquire knowledge and skills
  1. Student reports
  2. Student performance on assessments
  1. Grad faculty instructors review their own course requirements to evaluate functionality of tests, quizzes,projects, etc.
  2. Grad faculty instructors review their own course requirements to evaluate the time commitment each requirement necessitates… relation to the other courses the students are taking and their requirements.
  3. Grad faculty instructors have a calendar of assignments compiled and reviewed to better coordinate assignments.
3. Students are able to apply academic work to clinical experiences
  1. More students independently apply and use EBP and research in clinical treatment planning and practice.
  1. Have students utilize a client they have in therapy when doing EBP project in Research Methods course.
  2. Change in course requirements for CDS 524
  3. Increase Clinical Methods to a3 credit course and integrate more clinical writing experiences, so that students have had at least some exposure to the various forms and protocols prior to having to submit them for grading.
  4. Periodically re-assess course sequencing so that students are best prepared as possible for clinical assignments.
  5. Provide more examples of clinical treatment in methods classes.

Faculty Quality of Life

Outcome(s) Indicators of Success Strategies
1. The Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences faculty and staff will have sufficient space, time and compensation to support the creative expression of each employee's area of expertise in accomplishing academic and clinical teaching/learning and administrative goals which will help mitigate any stress-inducing structural, external or internal impediments and  maintain a collegial and congenial work environment that enhances productivity and a high degree of professional and personal satisfaction. Clinic related
  1. Faculty supervise only one treatment session at a time
  2. Clinic loads will be equitably balanced for level of required supervisory effort as much as possible
  3. Supervisors will spend less time continually repeating basic clinical skills topics.
  4. Students are better prepared to provide services to clients with all categories of communication disorders
  1. Distribute clinic supervision loads by level of student competence in addition to workload credit requirement;(e.g. a mix of first & second year grads & under grads.)
  2. Expand clinical methods course to increase clinical preparation to include how to collect baseline data, use scheduled reinforcement, writing STG, LTG, generalization plans, behavior management, etc.
  3. Have schedule allowing for group staffing.
  4. Create a “base camp” two- day intensive workshop prior to beginning of semester for new students.
  5. Expand clinic handbook with“How To Get Started” info added by instructor of relevant course.
  6.  Develop writing tutoring strategies to help students to prepare excellent 1st draft written clinical reports/plans decreasing number of re-writes.
  7.  Make clinic workload lower and workload, in general, equitable.

Quality of Academic and Clinical Programs

Outcome(s) Indicators of Success Strategies

1. Improve or maintain the highest quality academic program in terms of its relevancy,currency, and research-based methodologies.

  1. Student’s integrative use of EBP by review of their treatment plans and in their comprehensive exam.
  2. Students demonstrate competency in technical writing.
  3. Students’ increased reliance on technological tools to maximize therapy outcome.
  4. Attendance at yearly continuing education programs for students, faculty and area professionals will be maintained or increased over a five year period.
  5. Increase in the number of faculty/student collaborative research projects and/or theses over a five year period
  6. Assessments of student learning through a variety of summative and formative assessment tools.
  7. Results of student, off-campus supervisor, and employer surveys.
  1. Faculty will integrate EBP information and current technology in academic courses.
  2. All academic and clinical faculty will assess all samples of student writing (e.g. clinical documents, written projects, tests,portfolios, etc.) and provide coaching for improvement as needed.
  3. Clinical supervisors will promote the use of technology in their therapy sessions (e.g. iPad, AAC devices).
  4. Increase/maintain support for continuing education events provided students and for faculty attending state and national CEU events.
  5. Increase the number of collaborative peer reviewed presentations and theses.  
  6. Form ad-hoc thesis committee to formulate standardized processes and procedures for the thesis option.
  7. Increase number of thesis track students by presenting to first year students the benefits of pursing a thesis.
  8. Work with administration to find ways to recognize and compensate faculty serving as theses sponsors.
  9. Maintain recruitment efforts to attract quality and diverse students.
  10. Continually assess program quality via exit interviews, and alumni/employer surveys
2. Improve or maintain the highest quality of clinical education
  1. Students demonstrated use of EBP information in all clinical reports.
  2. Students log a greater number and variety of clinical clock hours over a five year period.
  3. Students increased use of state of the art technology in their clinical treatments, including use of telepractice.
  4. Student self- reports indicate their readiness and ability to apply course content to clinical situations.
  5. Results of student, off-campus supervisor, and employer surveys indicate that students possess relevant content knowledge, and can demonstrate effective clinical skills, as well.
  1. Students are required to integrated EBP information in all clinical reports.
  2. Continual review of master course outlines and syllabi to assure that state-of-the-art, evidenced based clinical practice-related content is significantly represented in the courses.
  3. Department questionnaire will be administered as part of course evaluations to assess student’s perceptions of their readiness to apply course material to clinical situations.
  4. Increase clinical experiences for students: (a) expansion of clinic schedule; (b) inclusion of summer programs;(c) increasing the number of client contact hours in fluency and voice.
  5. Creation of a training protocol for off-campus supervisors;
  6. Installation of digital high quality picture/sound monitoring system with immediate feedback.
  7. Maximize continuity of learning between theory and practice
  8. Interface with off-campus supervisors to facilitate transition between on- and off campus clinical learning for students.
  9. Require EBP exercises for internship students.

Quality of Clinical Services

Outcome(s) Indicators of Success Strategies

1. Improve or maintain the highest quality of clinical services

  1. Satisfaction surveys filled out by clients will indicate no lower than a 95% aggregate overall satisfaction rate, and no individual subarea assessed lower than 90%.
  2. Student clinicians demonstrate use of EBP in the development of treatment plans and as the basis for treatment approaches.
  3. The number of clinical services slots and number of clients served will increase over a 5 year period.
  4. More clinical services will be provided by students who have had increased preparation in the kind of disorders they are treating over a five year period.
  1. Formalize early student preparedness for HIPAA, human subject training, etc.
  2. Integrated EBP information in clinical experiences
  3. Expand clinic schedule to include (a) more flexibility within the week (b) summer offerings
  4. Reduce the number of clinical assignments without prior relevant coursework.
  5. Provide early additional workshops in EBP for the big 9 disorders to increase knowledge base for students who may have to provide treatment in areas where they have not yet taken the full graduate coursework in that disorder.
  6. Integrating disorder coursework with clinical assignments.
  7. Establish pre-first fall semester critical information, knowledge & skills orientation “boot camp” for incoming graduate students.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about communication disorders and sciences at SUNY Plattsburgh please contact:

Raymond Domenico, Chair
Office: Sibley Hall 226
Phone: (518) 564-3154

SUNY Plattsburgh
Communication Disorders and Sciences
Sibley Hall 226
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901