Augustana College plans to add the first graduate degree program it has had in about 40 years. If all goes according to plan, students will be able to earn a master’s degree in speech language pathology starting in 2020.
Dr. Kathy Jakielski, professor and chair of Communication Sciences and Disorders, says a master’s degree is the entry level degree needed to practice as a speech pathologist.
"By offering a master's degree, our student will be able stay to complete their work here. And then hopefully some of them will end up working in the Quad Cities area as speech pathologists and some will go elsewhere"
Jakielski says with an aging population, the current shortage of speech language professionals is expected to continue into 2025. Also, there are an estimated 300 applicants for every 25 graduate school openings.
Augustana's Communication Science and Disorders department plans to expand its building and hire five new staff in preparation opening the master’s program in two years.