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Jefferson Introduces New Speech-Language Pathology Program

A speech-language pathologist working with a child. Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat disorders related to speech, language, voice, cognition, and feeding and swallowing.

Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences will introduce an MS in speech-language pathology program this fall. This two-year, 60-credit program will provide diverse academic and clinical experiences in the field of communication sciences and disorders. 

Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of roles with clients of all ages on a wide range of communication and swallowing disorders. They diagnose and treat disorders related to speech, language, voice, cognition, and feeding and swallowing, says program clinical director Irene Jackson. For example, she sees pediatric clients with articulation and auditory processing disorders, both of which poet laureate Amanda Gorman overcame. She became the youngest poet in U.S. history to read at a presidential inauguration and recited an original poem before Super Bowl LV.

“Having President Biden, a person who stutters, in our nation’s highest office and Amanda Gorman as our poet laureate brings acceptance and awareness of speech and language disorders,” Jackson says. “It has highlighted just a portion of what speech-language pathologists have to offer and demonstrates the rewards of supporting those who have communication needs so everyone can have the tools and confidence to use their voice. Jefferson’s new program can help build the next generation of professionals to continue to make a difference across the lifespan for our clients.”

Jackson is currently developing the clinical curriculum for the program. Come fall, she will teach the clinical coursework and coordinate clinical placements for speech-language pathology students.