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College of Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Special Education and Communication Disorders

Department:

How do I get an advisor?
After you are admitted to the program, you will receive a letter from the graduate office that lists your advisor. SPED advisors are assigned by the graduate program and concentration that you select. SLP advisors are assigned according to sections of the alphabet. All undergraduate students are advised in the Office of Student Services; for an appointment call 402.554.2717.

I was admitted to graduate school with “provisional” status. How do I change that to
unconditional” status?
Once you have proven yourself to be capable of graduate work, you may submit a written request to the program faculty to be considered for “unconditional” status. This allows you to take a full graduate course load. It is best to make your request prior to registering for the next term.

How do I apply to a program?
Information about applying to the speech-language pathology or special education graduate program is available on our department's web site. Applications for graduate programs are due February 1st for Fall admission and September 1st for Spring admission.

How do I apply for my practicum?
You will need to complete the appropriate practicum application and obtain the necessary signatures. Practicum applications and specifics on who gets each application are available on the special education and communication disorders web site.

What are the practicum application deadlines?
Practicum deadlines are October 1st for Spring practicum and February 15th for Fall practicum.

How do I find out about scholarship information?
Scholarship information is available on the UNO Graduate College web site. http://www.unomaha.edu/graduate/current.php?p=scholarships. Other information comes via email as funding opportunities arise. The College of Education offers a UNO Advantage Scholarship for non- Nebraska resident students. The application form is available on request. The speech-language pathology program sends the application form with your acceptance letter.

Why is there a block that prevents me from registering for graduate classes?
There may be a number of reasons for a block: advising flag, maximum credit block, course time conflict notice. If you are registering for a practicum, there is an advising flag to ensure that you filed a practicum application in advance. The maximum credit block occurs if you are registering for more than the credit hour limit allowed. All of these may be removed by contacting the department support staff (402.554.3355).

 

Sign Language Interpreting:

If I am a sign language interpreter am I certified to teach?
No. Students completing the Sign Language Interpreter Program will graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Education but will not be eligible for a certification for a teaching endorsement.

If I am a sign language interpreter can I seek national certification?
Yes. After graduating, students may choose to prepare for certification through EIPA or NIC.


Do I need a bachelor's degree to interpret?
In 2012, a bachelor's degree became mandatory in order to seek certification. Most states in the United
States also have licensing requirements in which certification is necessary.

 

Graduate Special Education:

How do I select a special education concentration?
Special education concentrations are selected based on your area of interest and your current and/or future teaching goals. Available special education concentrations are: behavior disorders and mild/moderate disabilities. You may also want to contact the department secretary at 492.554.2201 to schedule an appointment with a special education faculty member.

I don't have a teaching certificate and want to teach special education, where do I start?
Initial teaching certificates in special education are completed through our undergraduate program. In order to determine which courses you will need to complete, please contact an advisor in the Office of Student Services at 402.554.2717.

Are there English proficiency criteria for non-native English speakers?
Yes. If your native language is not English, you will be required to demonstrate your ability to undertake advanced academic work in an English-speaking institution through English language proficiency tests such as the TOEFL. We require the following minimum TOEFL scores: Paper-500 Computer-173
Internet-61. If your TOEFL scores are more than two years old, you may be required to retake the
TOEFL.

Do I have to student teach to earn a Masters' degree in special education?
In order to add a new endorsement in special education you will need to complete student teaching. This experience is referred to as a practicum under the course offerings and can possibly be done in your current special education teaching position. Please talk with your faculty advisor about the practicum experience.

Will I have to complete another student teaching practicum if I want to add grades 7-12 to my current K-9 endorsement in behavioral disorders or mild/moderate disabilities?
Yes, in order to be certified to teach grades 7-12 in behavior disabilities or mild/moderate disabilities, you will be required to complete one, all-day, 16-week student teaching practicum with students in grades 7-
12. You may then apply for an endorsement to teach grades K-12.

How do I sign up for comps?
You can sign up for comps by downloading the comps form that is on our web site. (http://coe.unomaha.edu/sped/comp_exam.php) This form needs to be signed by your advisor. Comprehensive examinations are given three times a year with exams from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on the first Saturday in April, the first Saturday in July, and the second Saturday in November.

 

Graduate Speech-Language Pathology:

I am interested in applying to the speech-language pathology graduate program. Where should I
begin?
Read the information found at http://coe.unomaha.edu/sped/comm_disorders_graduate_admission.php. Once you are accepted by the department to the graduate program, you are assigned a graduate advisor who will design a plan of study, and you should plan to attend a new student orientation meeting at the beginning of your first


semester.  Once each semester there also is an Open House which covers the program application process; for further information call 402.554.2201.

I have a degree in a different discipline but am interested in SPTH, where do I start?
The information found at http://coe.unomaha.edu/sped/comm_disoders_graduate_special.php
specifically covers the prerequisites required for an early admit student. You should follow the application deadlines of February 1 or September 1 and procedures found at http://coe.unomaha.edu/sped/comm_disorders_graduate_admission.php. Once each semester there also is an Open House to discuss the program application process, which is particularly beneficial to “early admit” applicants; for further information call 402.554.2201.

What are the general education requirements needed before applying to the speech-language pathology graduate program?
Specific science classes must include a biology and chemistry or physics class. One of these must have a lab. In addition, you must have a statistics course. The 2014 ASHA Standards are available for review at http://www.asha.org/Certification/2014-Speech-Language-Pathology-Certification-Standards/

When is my SLP plan of study determined? How do I know what transfer classes will count at
UNO?
Once you are admitted to the SLP graduate program, an advisor makes a preliminary plan of study using your transcripts. This may be emailed to you in advance or provided at the orientation meeting the first day of the semester you enroll where you receive the plan and can confirm your transfer courses.

Can I complete SPED 8520 (speech-language pathology) in the summer?
SPED 8520 is typically taken in the spring or fall term. In special circumstances, a candidate may submit a written request a year in advance to the SLP faculty to be considered for a summer placement. There are too few summer placements to accommodate all students, so each request is viewed individually.

Can I get an out-of-area placement for my speech-language pathology practicum?
A SPED 8510 or 8520 placement that is more than 60 miles from Omaha, including Lincoln, is considered out-of-area. In special circumstances, a candidate may submit a written request to the SLP faculty to be considered for an out-of-area placement. These are allowed only if the first SPED 8510 or 8520 is taken
in the Omaha area.

Are there English proficiency criteria for non-native English speakers?
Yes. If your native language is not English, you will be required to demonstrate your ability to undertake advanced academic work in an English-speaking institution through English language proficiency tests such as the TOEFL. We require the following minimum TOEFL scores: Paper-550 Computer-213
Internet-61. If your TOEFL scores are more than two years old, you may be required to retake the
TOEFL.

What if I am concerned that my speech-language pathology graduate program is not meeting the standards set forth by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)?

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology accepts complaints from students that relate to the Standards for Accreditation of Entry-Level Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology. There are specific guidelines to follow.  Refer to http://www.asha.org/academic/accreditation/accredmanual/section8/