Clifford Highnam, head, Department of Communicative Disorders, (319) 273-2576
Melissa Barber, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Communicative Disorders program at the University of Northern Iowa has a student job placement rate of 100 percent, according to department head Clifford Highnam. The program, begun in the 1950s, has consistently had high placement ratings, but in the last two years it has achieved 100 percent placement.
The program is currently ranked in the nation's top 10 speech-language pathology graduate programs among universities offering a master's degree, according to 'U.S. News and World Report.'
'Our students have a reputation in the field for being very well-prepared,' Highnam said. 'I get calls on a regular basis from employment agencies seeking out our students.'
UNI offers both an undergraduate and a graduate communicative disorders program; to be employed in the speech-language pathology field students must have a master's degree. Approximately 80 percent of undergraduate students continue into the graduate program at UNI. Highnam expects the numbers to remain elevated, due to the high need in the field.
'From 2000 to 2008, we expect a 39 percent growth in the speech and language pathology job market,' Highnam explained. 'This is mostly due to our aging population and the associated hearing loss. We also have improving systems of identification for communication disabilities among all age groups.'