One of the first speech clinics in the United States was established at West Chester Normal School in 1923 by Elizabeth Tyson, a faculty member in the English department. By 1927, the English department of West Chester State Teachers' College had added a course in speech problems, and by 1932 this course was a requirement for the four-year kindergarten-primary teaching curriculum. The course continued as a requirement in the elementary education curriculum and the speech clinic, "organized to care for cases of defective speech within the College and the vicinity" was operated in conjunction with the course.
For this communicative disorders program, the student may choose a thesis or nonthesis program. Both programs are designed to strengthen the knowledge and skill of the practicing speech clinician, to provide the foundation for further graduate study, and to afford an opportunity to complete requirements toward professional certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Attainment of the master's degree does not necessarily guarantee recommendation for certification.
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