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A Survey of Undergraduate Capstone Course Objectives in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Current Trends and Future Implications

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PURPOSE: Undergraduate capstone courses are culminating experiences that allow seniors to integrate and demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained during undergraduate studies. To date, there are no published studies about capstone course standards/designs in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The purpose of this study was to determine what capstone experiences are considered critical for CSD undergraduates. METHOD: Faculty from CSD programs nationwide were asked to rankorder 15 potential learning objectives (suitable to a senior capstone) based on their relative importance from most important to least important. Some respondents provided feedback, which was optional. RESULTS: Sixty-four CSD faculty responded to the nationally distributed survey. The three highest ranked objectives for capstone courses were: written and oral communication proficiency, understanding of human communication, and understanding theories of learning from a multidisciplinary perspective. Undergraduate research experiences received the lowest rankings. CONCLUSION: Survey results and faculty feedback are discussed in the context of the standards expected of a capstone course, undergraduate requirements in CSD, and enhancing student interest in research. The degree to which students are being prepared for evidence-based practice, the doctoral shortage, and the challenges to master's programs are also discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2017

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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