School of Health and Human Services

A Short History of the
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

SCSU Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association
SCSU Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic
at St. Cloud State University

Overview

It all started with the Speech and Hearing Clinic.  Later, the major in Speech Correction was formed.   Finally, the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders was formed.

The field of Communication Sciences and Disorders has been a part of SCSU since the mid to late 1940s. The Speech and Hearing Clinic historically and currently serves the SCSU campus and the greater St. Cloud area.  Our students, the professional student organization, our faculty and alumni have been an integral part of our rich history. Below is a brief timeline of events.

1947    Building “B” is opened behind Lawrence Hall.  It houses the Psychological Services Center.  The purpose of the center is for teaching and also a place for students to receive help.  One of the services includes speech therapy.

1948    The Speech Correction Major is initiated under the Speech Department.

1952    The first Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Correction is awarded.

1959    There had been a speech and hearing club at St. Cloud College for many years.  At the urging of James B. House, a faculty member of Speech and Hearing Services, the Speech and Hearing Club became the Beta Lambda Chapter of Sigma Alpha Eta (SAE).  Sigma Alpha Eta was a national professional society for speech and hearing students that was founded in 1949.  It was the only national student organization that met annually with professionals in ASHA at the national convention.

1963    The first M.S. degree in Speech Correction is received by Martin Kammermeier, who later became a professor in the department.

1968    The Department of Speech Science, Pathology and Audiology (SSPA) is formed.  It is now separated from the Speech and Dramatic Arts Department.

1969    A new graduate program is started; previous to this, the Master’s program was an M.S. in Education or an M.A. in Speech and Dramatic Arts.

1971    The SSPA Department moves from Building “B” into the Education Building.

1972    Since the late 60s, a strong push was on nationally to reorganize SAE.  The organization had become more of a fraternity or sorority with its ceremonies and rituals than a professional or pre-professional organization.  Negotiations with ASHA were initiated to seek official recognition, but to remain autonomous from ASHA and also to seek increased services, reduced journal rates, publication space in ASHA, as well as other services.  The negotiations between SAE and ASHA led to an agreement that was voted on and accepted by each chapter.  In July of 1972, the official change to a new student organization was made official.  The organization voted to change the name of SAE to better identify the purpose, interest, and scope of the organization and help clear up confusion with campus honorary societies and social fraternities and sororities.  Being a nation-wide organization, the chapters voted on and accepted a new name.  Sigma Alpha Eta (SAE) became National Student Speech and Hearing Association (NSSLHA).

1977    The student club officially becomes a member of NSSHA.

1985    The Department of Speech Science, Pathology and Audiology (SSPA) officially changes its name to the Department of Communication Disorders (CDIS).  The student group is now called the CDIS Club.

1989    The CDIS Club, in order to broaden its images, changes its name to St. Cloud State University Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (SCSU Chapter of NSSLHA).

2006    The Department of Communication Disorders officially changes its name to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) in order to better reflect the academic emphasis on both the science and the differences and disorders of communication.

2010: The CSD Department moves from the Education Building to Brown Hall.

SCSU CSD faculty outside the Ed Building

If you would like to know more about the SCSU Speech and Hearing Clinic, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, or SCSU Chapter of NSSLHA, please call 320-308-2092 or visit our website: http://www.stcloudstate.edu/commdisorders/

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