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Frequently Asked Questions from Current Students

I read somewhere that CMD offers a 5-year program to its own undergraduate students. How do I apply for that?

See information about our Accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s Program in Speech-Language Pathology

I have not applied to graduate school yet in CMD and my undergraduate performance was sort of borderline, but I know I can do graduate level work. I would like to take a couple of graduate classes as a non-matriculating student to get to know the faculty and improve my chances of admission. I know the URI Graduate School allows for non-matriculating students to take courses so why can’t I automatically sign up for these?

See Information for non-matriculating Graduate Students

My advisor mentioned that it was my responsibility to download a Program of Study form and a Nomination for Graduation Form from the Graduate School’s web site. Where do I find these?

URI Graduate School Links:
Students should become familiar with the URI Graduate School’s web site for two important reasons:

  1. Access to important forms that you will need to complete during your program
  2. Link to the Graduate School’s Calendar so that you can check to see when semesters begin and end, and when the important forms are due to the Graduate School

Graduate students should always double check with their faculty advisor regarding the due dates for the students’ Program of Study, Program of Study Revisions, and Nomination for Graduation. Your meeting with your faculty advisor each semester is an excellent time to check on this.

What is a Nomination for Graduation form?

This form can be downloaded from the URI Graduate School web site and is completed during the early part of the semester when you are planning to graduate. The deadline for this submission can be found in the official university calendar. Typically the graduate program coordinator will alert you to the date when completion is necessary.

According to my graduate student manual, there is a Directed Essay option for my capstone experience. I’d like to do that instead of taking the comprehensive examination. How do I sign up for that?

See information about the Directed Essay Option. The bottom line is that most students will use the comprehensive examination as their capstone experience.

I’m going to be taking the comprehensive examinations as my capstone experience. How do I know when to take the exam?

The comprehensive examinations are offered in the fall and spring semesters only so if you are planning to graduate during a summer semester, you would take the examination the previous spring semester. Typically the exams are administered the second Thursday and Friday in November during the fall semester and the Thursday and Friday prior to URI’s scheduled spring break in the spring semester (check the official URI calendar). The examination is administered in a computer lab on the main part of campus. Dr. Weiss coordinates the administration of the comprehensive examination (with a great deal of help from Sue Oppenheim) so all questions related to these exams should be directed to her (alw@uri.edu). A separate FAQ list about the comprehensive examination will be forwarded to you at the beginning of the semester you plan to take the examination.

I am having a problem that I just cannot seem to resolve with one of my instructors. Is there a student complaint procedure?

Occasionally students may encounter a problem during the course of their program that they are not able to solve on their own. If this should occur, we strongly encourage students to meet face-to-face with their department advisor, the chair of the department or other departmental faculty, depending on their comfort level. Complaints are often mediated by the department chairperson and handled individually with the student and/or faculty members or at faculty meetings where action plans can be developed. Because the University of Rhode Island does not have an ombudsperson, it is necessary for individual departments to develop plans for handling student complaints. If complaints are of a general nature (i.e., impacting curricular changes) they may be discussed at faculty meetings and retreats, and appropriate steps are taken to meet challenges to compliance with accreditation standards. Please note that at all times a student’s anonymity and confidentiality are preserved.

Does the Department of Communicative Disorders have a policy regarding accommodations for individual diversity?

The Department of Communicative Disorders, in keeping with the 2014 Standards for Accreditation, recognizes the necessity of providing reasonable adaptations in curriculum, policies, and procedures to accommodate individual differences among students that may arise from cultural, linguistic, and other diversity. The department follows the policies of the URI Graduate School with regard to English proficiency where specific criteria must be met. All other diversity issues are handled by a student’s faculty advisor in consultation with the department chairperson, other departmental faculty, and personnel from the Disability Services for Students in the Office of Student Life, Division of Student Affairs.

Does the CMD faculty have a systematic plan for improving or modifying the programs it offers and the services it provides?

Yes, as a matter of fact we have a Stategic Plan. Every three years the Department of Communicative Disorders develops a strategic plan including the goals for the department over that time period. We periodically update this link so that you can see our progress.

My Program of Study was filed after my first semester and now I want to change the courses I’m taking for electives. Do I have to change the POS?

Yes, you do. Meet with your advisor to discuss filing an amended version of your POS. Your POS must exactly match your transcript in order for you to graduate the semester you expect to graduate. If the two do not match, your graduation may be held up. This is especially critical in terms of your ability to “walk” during the spring graduation ceremony, if this is something you were planning to do.

The summer before I started the graduate program I received a letter from the department chair and the clinic director telling me that I had to take a statistics class to meet the ASHA requirements for certification. I’m overwhelmed with everything else I have to take. Is that really necessary?

Yes, it is critical that you take a statistics course (as well as one in social sciences, physics or chemistry and biology) if you want to be approved for ASHA certification. That is, the course is not necessary for your graduation with an M.S. but our department chairperson will be unable to sign off on your certification documents unless you have completed all of the certification requirements stipulated by the ASHA. So, I would recommend that you see your advisor immediately to make a plan to rectify this situation. It will probably be easier for you to take the course now (either at URI or another institution) instead of waiting for the year you are completing your clinical fellowship experience.


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