The Department of Human Communication Studies will launch a new department to replace the communicative disorder program in July.
The new Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, which has two independent degree programs, will focus on communicative disorders bachelor’s, master’s, certification and licensure programs, according to the CSUF News Center.
University President Mildred Garcia approved the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders on Feb. 16.
The communication disorder program is the largest undergraduate program of its kind in California, said HyeKyeung Seung, professor in the Communicative Disorder Program and the program coordinator since 2013.
“Data shows clearly we are one of the few programs that are not a separate department,” Seung said. “Based on my research in California programs, our program, Chico State and San Francisco State, those are the only three in program status, not a separate department.”
Seung collected data pertaining to CSU programs and some private schools and drafted the proposal for the new department in consultation with communicative disorder faculty members, the department chair and Interim Dean Ed Fink, Seung said.
“I feel and our faculty feels strongly, perhaps it’s about time to become our own department,” Seung said.
Changing the program into its own department will help enhance the identity and visibility of the major and help the program recruit students and donors for fundraising opportunities, Seung said.
The new department will have a minimal impact on students because of the existing curriculum and faculty members already apart of the program, according to Seung.
The next steps for the department include electing a department chair, finding a department office, developing the program and changing the course prefix, Seung said.
Michelle Glasell, a sophomore communicative disorders major, said the opening of the department is “long overdue” because the major is growing so quickly.
“It’s pretty big for everyone. It used to be under communications and that didn’t really make sense so just having something that finally makes sense is really, really nice,” Glasell said.
Glasell said she hopes that having a new department would make more classes available to students because classes are heavily impacted.
“Honestly, I don’t have any concerns at this point because it only means growth,” Glasell said. “Hopefully with this formation of the new department, that’ll only expand from there.”
The Communicative Disorders Program and Communication Studies Program will continue to work together to enhance the planning and development of both programs, Seung said.