Mission and Strategic Plan

Long Term Strategic Plan


We strive to help all people who have communication needs through global leadership in education, research, clinical care and outreach.


Rooted in the Wisconsin Idea, the UW-Madison Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders employs best practices in inclusive excellence to

  • Provide exemplary educational programs that prepare the next generation of scholars, clinicians, educators, and leaders in the fields of communication sciences and disorders.
  • Conduct state-of-the-art basic, translational, and clinical research in the areas of speech, language, hearing, swallowing and balance.
  • Offer accessible, culturally competent, evidence-based clinical care for all people with disorders in communication, balance and swallowing.
  • Engage in outreach activities that directly benefit professional colleagues, students, and individuals and their families in the community.
  • Promote a welcoming and open environment where all can learn and engage.

Program Description

The UW-Madison Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders is a preeminent department in the field of communication sciences and disorders, with faculty who are national leaders in teaching, research, and clinical care.

Our undergraduate educational program provides students with a thorough grounding in theoretical and applied aspects of the discipline. Our Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Audiology (AuD) programs train students to provide the highest-quality evidence-based clinical care for  individuals with communication and swallowing disorders—across the lifespan. Our doctoral (PhD) and MS/PhD programs provide students with the breadth and depth of knowledge necessary to become independent scholars, educators, and leaders for the future.

Our faculty perform cutting-edge biological, developmental, and clinical research that has real-world relevance for people with communication and swallowing disorders.

Our UW Speech and Hearing Clinic provides comprehensive, affordable evaluation and treatment of communication disorders for Wisconsin residents of all ages.

Finally, our faculty engage in an impressive array of educational and clinical outreach activities for schools, families, and communities—often at low or no cost.

Operating Principles

  1. We continually expand our knowledge base as the field evolves, and adapt our curricula accordingly.
  2. We use innovative pedagogy to foster critical thinking and skills for lifelong learning in our students.
  3. We embody the Wisconsin Idea by sharing our advances and learning with the broader community in Wisconsin and beyond, and by engaging our faculty and students in public service.
  4. We value collaborations and outreach activities that provide knowledge to students and faculty in related disciplines.
  5. We believe that all persons with communication and swallowing disorders should have access to the highest-quality individualized, culturally competent, and evidence-based clinical care.

Strategic Plan

We plan to increase the visibility and impact of our department in the following ways:

  • Grow the undergraduate student body by expanding our major and increasing awareness of electives and courses in CSD for non-majors.
    • Monitor the number of students in our undergraduate program who are non-communication sciences and disorders majors.
    • Develop and publicize the fields that are open to undergraduate majors.
    • Increase awareness/interactions with other allied health professions.
    • Increase our participation in multidisciplinary seminars.
    • Invite outside faculty to participate in our departmental seminars.
    • Promote pathways to clinical and research careers and to careers requiring bachelor’s degrees.
    • Increase the number of undergraduate students in our research labs through actively recruiting students from the university’s undergraduate research programs and our department’s undergraduate classes.
    • Increase faculty participation in undergraduate research programs.
    • Expand our visibility to the public and the university at large through outreach, service, and newsletters that highlight accomplishments of our programs and faculty.
    • Assure that our graduate (MS and AuD) students are given the opportunity to participate in at least one outreach activity per year during their graduate program.
    • Participation in educational, health, and career fairs.
  • Advance professional and pre-professional training opportunities through our programs in post-baccalaureate capstone, professional doctorate in audiology, and masters in speech and language.
    • Actively recruit students to our programs at national and international meetings
    • Monitor the number of students in our post-baccalaureate capstone program
    • Development of online courses to expand our course offerings
    • Further collaborative relationships with other departments to promote inter-professional development.
  • Recruit, retain, and mentor academic and clinical students who will become the leaders of tomorrow.
    • Encourage graduate students to participate in the inter-professional Wisconsin Maternal and Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (WI LEND) Program, and other such programs.
    • Encourage our students to join and become active in state and national organizations.
    • Provide leadership training for our students through encouraging them to develop outreach programs.
    • Increase the diversity of the department by recruiting and retaining students, clients, faculty, and staff from underrepresented minority groups.
    • Recruit clinical and academic faculty from graduate programs that are known to have significant historically minority students.
    • Explore ways of funding students from diverse backgrounds.
    • Recruit, retain, and mentor academic and clinical faculty and who will become the leaders of tomorrow.
    • Assure that all new faculty have a mentoring committee to guide their path to tenure.

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