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Valerie Johnson Program Director Speech Language Pathology

Program Director
Valerie Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; (973) 972-2237
For more information contact:

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


The proposed Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MSSLP), to be located in Newark on the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences campus, is a 65-credit, entry-level program that will prepare students to prevent, evaluate, diagnose, and treat speech, language communication, and swallowing disorders.

This program, which will be completed over five consecutive semesters (two years), will emphasize service delivery for multiethnic, socially diverse populations – including dialectal speakers of English and bilingual/multilingual individuals – with speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders within an interdisciplinary healthcare context. Eligible students will have the option of completing the Bilingual Competency Recognition (BCR). With a curricular emphasis on interprofessional services for communicatively-impaired ethnically diverse populations, our MSSLP program is expected to train students to work with both child and adult caseloads in our complex multidisciplinary healthcare settings serving multiethnic communities.

The mission of the MS degree in the Speech-Language Pathology Program is to prepare graduate students to be successful practitioners in a pluralistic society. By integrating three themes – interprofessional practice, ethnic diversity, and health care – throughout the curriculum, the program will graduate students who have the knowledge and clinical skills relevant to cultural and linguistic diversity across the lifespan within interprofessional contexts. The program’s mission aligns with the institutional and school missions to prepare students using a cross-disciplinary collaborative approach for evidence-based clinical services to improve the lives of those who reside in New Jersey and beyond.

The Speech-Language Pathology program at Rutgers University has three major program goals:

Program Goal 1: Excellence in academic education and clinical preparation. The academic and clinical curriculum is based on state-of-the-art scientific information and clinical procedures.


  1. Infuse the curriculum with content regarding multiculturally diverse populations, particularly dialectal and bilingual/multilingual influences on speech, language, and communication skills.
  2. Ensure the curriculum contains information regarding interprofessional education and that students have opportunities for interprofessional practice in the clinical setting.
  3. Incorporate contemporary principles of clinical practice in the assessment and management of speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders within a medical setting.
  4. Prepare students for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certification, professional New Jersey state licensure, and the New Jersey Department of Education speech-language specialist certification.

Program Goal 2: Excellence in Faculty and Student Scholarship. Academic and clinical faculty are dedicated to professional scholarship and increasing student participation in scholarship.


  1. Produce faculty scholarship to promote the national ranking of the program.
  2. Actively engage students in clinically relevant research and problem-solving.
  3. Foster student scholarship through implementation of EBP in clinical and professional venues.

Program Goal 3: Expand community visibility and clinical opportunities. The SLP Program at Rutgers University is committed to addressing the clinical needs in speech, language, communication, and swallowing in the Newark, NJ community and beyond.


  1. Offer affordable, accessible, and quality clinical services to the Newark community and beyond.
  2. Provide continuing education opportunities to practicing clinicians.
  3. Engage community members in program development and educational strategies.

Goal: Recruit, mentor, and retain high-quality academic and clinical faculty to provide students with cutting-edge didactic and clinical

Goal: Create a clinical-academic education program that will provide students with clinical experience and academic coursework related to
services for ethno-socially diverse populations across the lifespans in interprofessional contexts.

Goal: Recruit, mentor, and retain a high-quality student body who meet or exceed the admission requirements from a variety of socio-ethnic backgrounds.

Goal: Review and revise the MSSLP Program’s Strategic Plan.

Accreditation Note: The master of science (MS) education program in speech-language pathology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is an Applicant for Candidacy Accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, Md., 20850. Phone: 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700). If approved, the program plans to admit its first cohort of students in Fall 2021.

Founding Faculty

Valerie E. Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
MSSLP Program Director

Jose G. Centeno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Bilingual Competency Recognition Coordinator


Rutgers University

School of Health Professions

Speech-Language Pathology Program

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 5:00 – 5:30p

Due to COVID-19 this meeting will be held in Zoom format instead of in-person on campus

Please R.S.V.P. online via with your name, email address, phone number and Zoom name, if different from your full name. The Zoom link will be sent to those who R.S.V.P.

Rutgers University’s Master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology is currently under review for candidacy accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). During the CAA site visit, the Speech-Language Pathology will host a public meeting wherein stakeholders are welcome to offer questions, comments, and concerns regarding Rutgers University’s Master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology national candidacy accreditation status.

Standards for national candidacy accreditation are available for review by:

  1. Mail request: Accreditation Office at ASHA, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850
  2. Email request: Email comment/questions to
  3. Phone request: Call the ASHA Action Center at 1-800-498-2071
  4. Direct download: Visit the URL

We are inviting all interested parties (e.g., alumni, students, clinical supervisors/preceptors) to participate either though attending the Zoom meeting or by formally submitting written comments to the CAA in advance of the meeting. Per the CAA, the process/procedure for submitting comments to the site visit team in advance of this meeting is as follows below. Comments should be summited to:

Accreditation Public Comment
Council on Academic Accreditation in
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard, #310
Rockville, MD 20850 Fax: 301-296-8570

All comments provided must:

  • Relate to a program’s compliance with the published Standards for Candidacy Accreditation of Graduate Education programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (Standards) in effect at the time comments are submitted, and
  • Identify the specific program seeking candidacy, initial accreditation, or re-accreditation with the CAA. Rutgers University CAA #352 comments about education programs are due in the Accreditation Office no later than 15 days before the first day of the scheduled site visit.


Our program is unique in offering:

  • An academic, clinical, and interprofessional curriculum steeped in scientific information and clinical procedures regarding socially, culturally and linguistically diverse populations, including both dialectal and bilingual/multilingual speakers.
  • Academic education and clinical training with socially, and multiethnic populations across the lifespan.
  • Students who meet additional requirements will have the opportunity to be recognized with Bilingual Competency Recognition.

Academic Pre-requisites: Completion of prerequisite foundational courses with a grade of B or better (Prerequisite courses taken more than 10 years before the initiation of the graduate program will not be accepted):

• Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms:
An introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the systems and processes involved in speech production, with a focus on the respiratory, phonatory, articulatory, resonatory, and nervous systems.
• Introduction to Audiology:
Introduction to the profession and practice of audiology through an overview of anatomy and physiology of the auditory system, physical properties of sound relevant to hearing assessment, techniques for hearing assessment, and auditory disorders
• Neurophysiological Bases for Communication:
Study of the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system as it relates to the development of hearing, vision, thought, memory, and emotions, as well as the perception, processing and production of speech and language
• Phonetics:
Introduction to phonetics, the study of the production of speech sounds and their acoustic characteristics. Students will learn to identify, classify, and transcribe sounds from a variety of languages
• Speech and Hearing Science:
An overview of speech production, including acoustics and physiology, as well as speech perception
• Speech and Language Development:
How speech and language are acquired by young children
• Speech, Language and Communication Disorders across the Lifespan:
An introduction to the study of communication and its disorders across the lifespan. An overview of the profession of the profession of speech-language pathology, its history, the types of disorders encountered, their evaluation and treatment.
• Additional coursework includes three (3) credits in each of the following areas: biological science, physical science, and statistics and six (6) credits in social/behavioral sciences
• Documentation of 25 hours of observation with an ASHA certified SLP

IMPORTANT UPDATE We understand that all applicants may not have had the opportunity to complete the 25 hours of observation due to the pandemic. As a result, we are flexible with this admission requirement. If students have not completed the observation requirement, we will have time built into the first semester for students to complete this requirement. If you do have a portion or all 25 hours of observation, please submit a document with the following information:

  • Full name of the SLP you observed
  • Signature by the SLP you observed
  • His/Her ASHA number
  • Name of the facility the observation took place

 Admission Requirements

IMPORTANT UPDATE: For the Fall 2021