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Strategic Planning Document

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Communication Sciences and Disorders

Approved by department August 2022

Vision Statement

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department will be recognized by potential students, employers, and consumers as an exceptional training program of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists in the state of Wisconsin and as a community service provider in the area of speech and language, and audiology.

Mission Statements

The mission of the Master of Science graduate program in speech-language pathology in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is to provide a foundation of professional preparation in speech-language pathology. Students will engage in critical thinking by integrating the evidence base into clinical practice. Students will develop the necessary knowledge and skills to competently assess and treat individuals with communication, cognition, and/or swallowing disorders from diverse backgrounds in a variety of community and work settings. The program is designed to promote a healthy and thriving community by serving and advocating for the people of Central Wisconsin.

The mission of the undergraduate program in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is to provide students a liberal arts education that prepares them to be global citizens. Students will develop foundational knowledge and clinical skills in communication sciences and disorders. Upon completion of this pre-professional program, students will be eligible to apply to a graduate program.


In 2032, the program will have maintained consistent levels of enrollment despite declining numbers of high school graduates. Students in the programs will have benefitted from a variety of on-campus and off-campus clinical experiences. The faculty will have been innovative in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service.

Focus Area 1: Staffing 

Issue Statement: Sufficient and stable staffing is needed in order to ensure adequate academic and clinical training and address the national shortage of speech-language pathologists and audiologists. 

Baseline Data: We have had to conduct at least one, and often two, faculty/staff searches per year due to retirements and/or resignations. We are sometimes unable to fill a position on the first search.

Outcomes: We will be able to recruit and retain all necessary faculty/staff. 

Indicator of Success: Stability in staffing: Faculty/staff searches will be successful, and faculty/staff will not resign or choose to retire earlier than planned due to workload/work conditions or low salaries. 

Strategies to Achieving Focus Area: 

Focus Area 2: Recruitment and retention of high-quality students into the major as an undergraduate and recruit high quality students into our graduate programs. 

Issue Statement: As we look to grow the number of undergraduates in our major, we need to develop new recruitment techniques. We also need to continue developing our plan to retain declared CSD students in the major and on our campus. As students begin applying to graduate programs, we need to find recruitment tools to have more of our top-performing students accept an invitation to one of our programs.

Baseline Data:  There are fewer students entering college from high school compared to previous years. We have not actively recruited high school students to our major in the past.

Outcome Statement: We will increase our recruitment efforts to increase enrollment in the undergraduate and graduate programs and will increase offerings to improve retention of CSD students. 

Indicator of success:  One indicator of success will be having an average class size of 35 new undergraduate students enroll each year.  We will also see more of our top-performing undergraduate students accept an invitation to attend one of our graduate programs. We will fulfill our graduate rosters with students from the top tier ratings during the admission process.

Strategies to achieve focus area:  



Focus Area 3: Administrative positions need to be manageable.

Issue Statement: The administrative duties in CSD are challenging to manage with a 12-credit teaching load.

Baseline Data: We have had some faculty and academic staff in administrative positions who have resigned due to the stress of their duties.

Outcome Statement: Faculty and academic staff in administrative roles are supported and receive sufficient release time to successfully accomplish their duties.

Indicator of Success: Faculty and academic staff will volunteer for administrative roles.

Strategies to Achieve Focus Area: 

Statement on Anti-Racism and Equity

August 2020 The faculty and staff in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point are committed to calling out and eliminating systemic racism in our department, university, community, and other networks. Our department and the greater UWSP community condemns racism, bigotry, and hatred. Events of this summer have brought to light the ongoing racism in the United States and we are prompted to examine our own implicit biases, personally and within the professions of speech-language pathology, audiology, education, and medicine. We are in agreement with the UWSP Diversity and Inclusion Statement, written by a working group of UWSP employees and endorsed by the 2019-2020 Diversity Council and Common Council. It states: “The students, faculty, and staff of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) recognize the lived experiences, identities, and contributions of past students, faculty, staff, and community members. In recognition of this history, we commit ourselves to the ongoing work of building and championing an inclusive UWSP. We strive to dismantle bias and hate by empowering voices of the marginalized and building relationships of trust across differences. Together we aim to develop and support a community where all can safely maintain integral, personal identities, be equitable participants, and learn from one another.

Each of us has a responsibility and role in actively educating ourselves while holding one another accountable. In so doing, we cultivate a reflective, engaged culture of learning and living which supports, embraces, and celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility. We are a university where all are encouraged to challenge and debate complex issues in order to sustain a campus culture that nurtures reflection, learning, holistic development, community engagement, and global citizenship. Our goal is equitable educational opportunities. As such, UWSP encourages inclusive pedagogy and the integration of differing perspectives across disciplines. Diverse needs and perspectives must be accounted for when making institutional decisions, and in turn, immediate action must be taken to address hate, bias, and harassment.None of this will be accomplished immediately. This process demands mindful reflection, continual commitment, and resources from the University of Wisconsin System, UWSP leaders, and each of us personally. We remain committed to the learning, development, safety, and well-being of all while working toward an inclusive community. Together, we build a better UWSP.”

The CSD faculty and staff are committed to inclusive education and to intentionally embedding content into classroom and clinical experiences that identifies systemic racism and bias within our professions, such as racial disparities in healthcare, over-referral of minority children and ESL children for special education, and the school-to-prison pipeline. Realizing that dismantling systems that reward privilege and punish minorities is challenging work, we will approach it with respect, commitment, and humility. We seek not to only give People of Color a seat at the table, but to amplify the marginalized voices of those in our immediate environment, community, and wider circles. In doing this work, even with the best intentions, we will surely make mistakes. Therefore, we endeavor to give grace to each other, learn from our missteps, and move forward in our growth and learning. As we seek justice, inclusion, and equity, we do so not only for People of Color, but for all those who are in the minority because of gender, sexuality, nationality, disability, religion, neurodiversity, and others.

It is not enough just to pledge to do these things. They must be followed with actionable steps. As an academic department, here is what we have done in the past two years:

Here is what we pledge to do as we move forward:

We know that this is just a start. The goal of the College of Professional Studies is to be “proactive, resourceful, connected, and caring” and we endeavor to model those attributes as we collectively seek to confront systemic racism, amplify marginalized people, and eradicate bigotry and hatred within our university, professions, and communities.