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Chiemi Tanaka demonstrates an exam at the JABSOM CSD Speech-Hearing Clinic

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Department (formerly known as the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology) has been accredited through through 2020. This is the longest accreditation in the department’s history and reflects several years of work to steady, strengthen and improve the program.

The accreditation comes at a time when student certification (Praxis) scores in the program—already above the national average—have soared, and graduates have achieved a 100 percent completion rate.

CSD, a master’s program and a department within the John A. Burns School of Medicine, prepares students to become speech-language pathologists—health-allied professionals who evaluate and treat individuals with speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. People served by UH speech language pathologists since 1945 range from infants to the elderly. Speech-language pathology requires a minimum of a master’s degree in a specialized area, which includes intensive didactic and clinical training, prior to obtaining clinical certification and licensure.

CSD is the only program in the State of Hawaiʻi that offers a master of science degree in CSD and one of the few programs in the U.S. featuring preparation in a multilingual/multicultural environment. The master’s degree in CSD requires two full years of study. This year, CSD will also offer a one-year online post-bachelor’s certification program to help those students who do not have a CSD undergraduate degree obtain the pre-requisite courses required for admission to the graduate school.

The accrediting team from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology praised the department leadership, its new facilities including a speech and hearing clinic, classroom and research areas. The team also acknowledged the department’s new neighborhood—across the street from the medical school—where CSD students have access to the anatomy lab for class laboratory experiences.

The accreditation team described Henry Lew, department chair of CSD, as a “visionary leader” who has worked collaboratively to improve the program’s curriculum, community outreach and reputation within the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

“We are humbled to receive 8-year accreditation,” said Lew. “Our department worked very hard as a team and would like to thank JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges, Dr. Roy Magnusson, Dr. Satoru Izutsu, Dr. Richard Kasuya, Nancy Foster, Jeff Long, Ezra Bendiner, along with Dr. Patricia Blanchette and the entire team at UCERA, JABSOM’s practice plan, as well as the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Administration, and the UH Mānoa Assessment Office for their continuous support of the department.”

A John A. Burns School of Medicine story

—By Tina Shelton

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