Communication Sciences & Disorders

School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi

Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan

In November 2017, The University of Mississippi announced a strategic plan, Flagship Forward, built around four pillars of excellence; three are designed to engage the entire university community. These three pillars: Academic Excellence, Healthy and Vibrant Communities, and People, Places and Resources support the goals central to Communication Sciences and Disorders teaching, research, and service initiatives.


Our vision is to provide an exemplary educational experience that prepares the next generation of researchers, scholars, and leaders in the field of communication sciences and disorders.


Our mission is to:

  • Educate speech-language pathologists who are independent thinkers and problem-solvers and who are able to perform at the highest levels within the discipline, such that they can assist individuals with communication and swallowing disabilities reach their personal potential and maintain a quality of life over the lifespan.
  • Educate students who are culturally competent with a global perspective and who can provide evidence-based clinical care for individuals they serve with communication and swallowing disorders.
  • Conduct transformative research on the biological and developmental bases of communication as well as conduct research to advance treatments for individuals with communication and swallowing disorders.
  • Engage in outreach activities that directly benefit and support the university community, students, as well as individuals and their families.
  • We commit to maintaining a positive collaborate environment both within and beyond the discipline as a means to provide new and innovative solutions for people with communication and swallowing disorders.


Our values are as follows:

  • We commit to being good stewards of our resources by sharing our knowledge and expertise with students, our clients and their families, other professionals, the general public, and with collaborating colleagues in clinical practice and academia.
  • We commit to providing an educational program that places an emphasis on the integrated connections of research, teaching, and clinical service.
  • We accept the challenge and responsibility to advance scientific knowledge of communication sciences and disorders through basic and clinical research.
  • We pledge to provide the highest quality of ethical clinical care to the community of individuals with communicative disorders.
  • We commit to a work environment that protects academic freedom and encourages honesty, openness, and integrity.
  • We commit to meeting all state and federal guidelines relative to ensure student and patient privacy.
  • We commit to working together as a team to support, respect, and encourage one another.

Pillar: Academic Excellence

Transformative Initiative: Inspire and advance solutions to society’s most challenging communication problems.

Goal 1: Support Faculty Excellence


  1. Provide research mentoring partnerships (from within this university community or from other universities) for new faculty members
  2. Provide opportunities for faculty to consider new ways to organize and teach courses through innovative instructional methods, learning materials, and technology
  3. Foster opportunities for faculty to collaborate with colleagues at the departmental, university, state, national, and international levels
  4. Provide clearly written expectations and requirements necessary for tenure and promotion.
  5. Conduct periodic review of faculty’s teaching and service commitments, thereby ensuring the candidate has sufficient time to promote their research agenda prior to tenure and promotion
  6. Provide a clearly written plan for advancement of professional expectations post tenure and promotion.
  7. Provide sufficient lab facilities and research equipment as a means to support faculty research
  8. Establish CSD and faculty as STEM members
  9. Encourage regular attendance to the National Research Forum


  • Number of faculty involved in mentoring activities
  • Retention rate of faculty
  • Promotion rate of faculty
  • Number of collaborative projects completed
  • Number of peer-reviewed articles published
  • Increase in space and equipment for faculty researchers
  • CSD becomes a member of STEM
  • Number of faculty who attend National Research Forum

Goal 2: Support Excellence in Clinical Teaching


  1. Attend bimonthly journal meetings for the purpose of reviewing evidence based science and treatment protocols
  2. Create programs to support clinical teaching innovations around the use of case studies and technology
  3. Introduce case-studies as a clinical research method; providing the opportunity for collaboration between clinical and academic faculty
  4. Provide a clearly written plan for professional advancement of clinical instructors
  5. Expect clinical instructors to complete a minimum of one-hour of continuing education in the area of clinical supervision annually
  6. Provide expert training and continuing education to support training and outcomes in specialty clinics
  7. Provide adequate space and resources for clinical teaching and services


  • Attendance to journal groups
  • Number of clinicians who design and/or execute clinical case studies
  • Number of clinicians involved in new instructional methods
  • Number of clinicians who accomplish professional advancements
  • Number of clinicians who complete specialized training
  • Number of clinician who complete continuing education in clinical supervision
  • Acquire additional, space

Goal 3: Enhance Quality of Academic and Clinical Programs


  1. Formalize the clinical grand rounds format to include academic and clinic faculty representing the disorder area presented by the student
  2. Encourage students’ independent thinking and decision-making skills by grading their decisions and the rationales to support those decisions as reported in lesson plans, clinical reports, and grand rounds
  3. Continue to engage students in research activities
  4. Continue to conduct research colloquia with attendance from academic faculty, clinical instructors, and students
  5. Increase collaboration between academic and clinical instructors on types of evidence based treatment protocols taught in the classroom and those taught in clinical practice
  6. Expect students to research evidence based treatment protocols for all clients served
  7. Design syllabi to represent clinical practicum around varying content areas (e.g., articulation, voice, autism)


  • Students’ grades on presentations in Grand Rounds
  • Students abilities to document evidence and rationale for clinical decisions
  • Number of students participating in research studies
  • Number of students presenting at state, regional, and national conferences
  • Number of students who pass the comprehensive exam
  • Number of students who pass the Praxis first time taken
  • Number of clinical syllabi designed

Goal 4: Demonstrate integrated connections among research, teaching, and clinical activities.


  1. Encourage collaboration between clinic and academic faculty on research projects
  2. Use case studies as a mechanism to connect clinic to the classroom and to research
  3. Clinic and academic faculty meet each semester to shared materials relative to specific content areas, share syllabi, and instructional ideas
  4. Clinic and academic faculty work as a team to support students’ presentation in clinical grand rounds.
  5. Clinic and academic faculty share materials and ideas relative to articles presented during bimonthly journal groups


  • Number of faculty who receive tenure
  • Number of faculty promoted

Pillar: Healthy and Vibrant Communities

Transformative Initiative: Promote diversity within the department by recruiting and sustaining a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff

Goal 1: Increase diversity of students in the graduate program


  1. Recruit from historically black and other diverse universities/colleges
  2. Seek additional funding opportunities/grants for under-represented students
  3. Collaborate with programs on campus that support under-represented students
  4. Design an undergraduate mentoring program to support an increase of students in the graduate program
  5. Encourage students to apply for the annual ASHA Minority Leadership Training


  • Number of under-represented students in the graduate program
  • Number of collaborative activities completed
  • Funding available for under-represented students
  • Number of students accepted to the ASHA Minority Leadership Training

Goal 2:   Provide cultural sensitivity training to all members of the department to ensure cultural competence through interactions with clients, students, faculty, and staff


Contact the office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity of Community Engagement for support in meeting Goal 2


Number of people who attend cultural training

Pillar: People, Places, and Resources

Transformative Initiative: Collaborate across the university, the community, state, and national levels in order to address challenges and opportunities for individuals with communication disorders

Goal 1: Increase academic and clinical instructors’ engagement with other professionals at the university, regional and national levels


  1. Increase academic and clinical instructors’ engagement in the inter-professional practice and inter-professional education projects at the university (Oxford, UMMC in Jackson) as well as community based opportunities
  2. Foster academic and clinical Instructors’ involvement and participation with regional and national professional organizations (ASHA Special Interest Groups, ASHA, Southeastern University Clinical Educators)


  • Number of collaborative efforts
  • Number of academic, clinical faculty and students involved in professional organizations

professional organizations

Goal 2: Encourage students to participate in professional opportunities


  1. Encourage students to participate study abroad programs offered at Ole Miss and through professional organizations
  2. Encourage students to join professional organizations (ASHA, Special Interest Groups)
  3. Provide information and opportunities for students to apply for ASHA and CAPCSD scholarships


  • Number of students who study abroad
  • Number of students who received scholarships (ASHA, CAPSCD)
  • Increase in membership and participation in professional organizations

Goal 3: Design specialty clinics for underserved individuals with communication disorders in the region.


  1. Review state and local programs for individuals with communication disorders and establish need for services
  2. Provide educational training for clinical instructors in specialty areas.
  3. Secure funding to support development of specialty clinics (local, state organizations; state and national grants)
  4. Design and implement marketing campaign for the audiology clinic.
  5. Work with the Development office to develop marketing, fund raising activities
  6. Provide monthly reports of all clinical activities including clients served, cancellations, and no shows


  • Number of specialty clinics designed
  • Number of educational/training sessions provided for clinical instructors
  • Number of marketing campaigns completed
  • Monthly data representing all clinical activities

Goal 4: Develop effective tele-practice infrastructure for expansion of clinical services to remote or under-served populations


  1. Secure grant or foundational funding for tele-practice services (local, state organizations, foundations, state and national grants)
  2. Provide grant writing experts to assist clinic and academic faculty in grant writing activities


  • Number of grant writing sessions provided to faculty
  • Number of grants submitted