(upbeat music) The Department of Communication Science and Disorders at the University of Montevallo is about preparing undergraduate students for graduate work in speech-language pathology. Once they are in graduate school, they are prepared to be professional speech-language pathologists. During the undergraduate program I felt that I was adequately prepared going into graduate school. I feel like the professors really did a good job preparing us for what grad school would expect and what you might see in your first semester of clinic. There are several unique features in our Department of Communication Science and Disorders. Our class sizes are very small in comparison to the other programs in the state and the region. This allows us to provide students with opportunities in the speech and science laboratory for clinical observation and to engage in the research and write papers with feedback from professors on their work. As a speech-language pathology major, the small class’ sizes are beneficial because you really get to interact more with your professors and you get on that level of comfort with them, that you aren’t afraid to ask questions and make comments about the material you’re learning. Our master’s degree has a 100% employment rate and a 100% pass rate on the Praxis examination in speech-language pathology. That’s the national certification exam required to practice. When I got into grad school I got to meet so many different people from my cohort. They’re all from different places. They all have different experiences than I do. And I find learning their experiences and sharing my own is really beneficial for all of us as a unit. I think what makes our program unique from other programs is that we focus on clinical teaching. We really want to produce the best clinician possible. So we offer them lots of experiences in our clinic and outside of our clinic. All of the faculty in our department have the terminal degree. They have doctoral degrees in the field. And what’s unique about our faculty is that we are all still licensed, certified speech-language pathologists. We all consider ourselves speech pathologists and we practice and we work in the clinic in addition to teaching classes. That allows the student to receive instruction from a faculty member and then use that instruction with a patient in our speech and language clinic that is on campus. It really feels like almost a family environment. Everybody’s looking out for one another and they wanna know how you are personally as well as academically.