Standard 1.0 Administrative Structure and Governance
1.1 Regional Accreditation
Sacred Heart University (SHU) is accredited by the New England Association of School and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC). Visit the NEASC website for more information.
1.2 Degree Granting Authority
The Connecticut Office of Higher Education (CTOHE) lists Sacred Heart University on its website as having the authority to grant a variety of post-secondary and Master’s degrees, including Speech-Language Pathology. Visit the CTOHE website for more information.
- State Board of Education Approval Letter, April 2016
- State of CT Office of Higher Education Approval Letter, March 2016
1.3 Mission, goals, and objectives
The Mission, Vision, and Goals of the SHU SLP Program can be found on our website at:
The Department Vision and Mission were developed to align with the University Mission and Values which emphasizes a connection to “the Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, embraces a vision for social justice, and educates students in mind, body and spirit to prepare them personally and professionally to make a difference in the global community.”
This mission guides program development by
- focusing our attention on the need to serve our local and global communities by providing domestic and international service learning opportunities within the Master’s degree program;
- aiming our education at the “whole person,” who develops compassion for clients and families, reflects on her own practice, and seeks to adhere to all ethical standards in both personal professional areas;
- providing opportunities to develop knowledge and skills not only in client care, but also in interprofessional collaboration throughout the Master’s program.
Students successfully completing the SLP program at SHU will qualify for the CCC-SLP, CT state licensure, and CT State Department of Education Teacher Endorsement in SLP.
1.4 Evaluation of Mission and Goals
University Mission Statement
Sacred Heart University, rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, embraces a vision for social justice and educates students in mind, body and spirit to prepare them personally and professionally to make a difference in the global community.
University Vision Statement
Sacred Heart University aspires to achieve prominence through innovative teaching and learning while cultivating a campus community that is recognized as caring and creative.
For more information, see University Mission.
Each year, the College of Health Professions and each of its constituent departments, including SLP, review the University strategic plan and develop annual Plans of Operation that outline the actions each will take to achieve the University’s mission and goals. These Plans of Operation are developed in an Administrative Retreat each year, attended by each Department Chair in the College, who then works with his/her faculty to develop a Departmental Plan of Operation in alignment with the University and College goals. The process of developing the SLP Department Plan includes discussion and review of University, College and Departmental goals at an SLP Faculty Retreat.
In addition to considering the alignment of University, College, and Departmental Missions and Goals through the strategic planning process, we also periodically discuss these at regular faculty meetings. During the last academic year, two of our faculty who were involved in the Presidential Seminar, which aims to acquaint faculty with the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, took on the challenge of revising our Departmental Mission and Vision to accord more closely with that tradition. They took the lead in revising these statements, which were then discussed at several faculty meetings, revised further, and approved by unanimous vote.
They now state:
Sacred Heart University Speech-Language Pathology Vision
Faculty and graduates will be recognized for their academic and clinical excellence, through their compassionate, ethical, and holistic service to their clients, families, and community. The Speech-Language Pathology Department will be seen as exemplary, within the university and beyond, in cultivating students who safeguard the unquestionable dignity, autonomy and grace of all.
Sacred Heart University Speech-Language Pathology Mission Statement
The Department of Speech-Language Pathology provides a supportive, inclusive, state-of-the-art learning environment to prepare students to serve effectively the unique needs of individuals across the lifespan with competence and compassion. Students will be equipped with foundational academic and clinical knowledge and skills acquired through innovative classroom, problem-based, and simulation learning experiences; mentored research; guided clinical experiences; and compelling educational domestic and international service opportunities. Focus on cultural competence, holistic, evidence-based and ethical practice, and collaborative learning across professions will inspire our students to communicate effectively with clients from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and to lead others through their exemplary adherence to the highest standards of contemporary practice.
- SLP Faculty Retreat Minutes, May 2018
- SLP Faculty Meeting Minutes, January 2018
- SLP Faculty Meeting Minutes, Nov. 2017
1.5 Program Strategic Plan
Strategic Plans for the College of Health Professions (CHP) and the SLP Department at SHU can be found on the SLP website, as well as in the following documents:
- SLP Executive Summary Program Strategic Plan 2017-2020
- SLP Strategic Plan 2017-2020
- College of Health Professions Strategic Plan 2017-2020
Every 3-5 years, the University develops a new strategic plan. The University Strategic Plan is developed with close monitoring of its congruence with the University Mission by the upper levels of Administration.
To assure the congruence of the program’s strategic plan with the mission and goals of the University, the CHP develops, by collaborative meetings among department chairs at a retreat, a strategic plan for its own growth and development to align with the University’s plan. Working from the CHP plan, each Department develops its own strategic plan in alignment with the goals identifed by the University and the College. The Department Strategic Plan is created in collaboration with other Departments in CHP and reviewed by the CHP Dean for congruence with the College and University Plan. The SLP Department reviews the College Strategic Plan and carefully aligns its own with the goals of the College, as well as with CAA and CFCC standards, reviewing congruence at the faculty retreat each year.
Following the adoption of the CHP Strategic Plan and the Dean’s review of Departmental Strategic Plans, the CHP Administrative Council, consisting of Chairs and Directors of all College programs, develops a Plan of Operation each year. This plan details how, year-by-year, the goals set out in the Strategic Plan will be accomplished. Each Department within the College then develops its own Plan of Operation for accomplishing the goals of the Strategic Plan. Each sets out the goals specific to its discipline, the people taking responsibility for each goal, the outcomes expected and dates of completion. The Plan for SLP is developed each year at our annual faculty retreat. The accomplishments of the previous years’ Plan of Operation is also evaluated at that time.
To ensure that the strategic plan reflects the role of the program within its community, the University Mission is used to set the standard for service and community involvement for each unit within the University. The Departmental planning process considers our obligation to engage with our local and global communities and reviews the ways in which we accomplish this engagement as each new Strategic Plan is developed each 3-5 years.
Strategic Plans are updated every 3-5 years. Each year, the CHP Administrative Council tracks progress toward the goals of the Strategic Plan and constructs Plans of Operation that describe the actions to be taken next to achieve these goals. The SLP Department builds its Plan of Operation each year that state how the strategic goals of the Department align with College and University goals and states how they will be achieved. At each annual faculty retreat SLP Plans of Operation for the previous years are reviewed and progress evaluated. Goals that need to be addressed or new goals suggested by Department assessment are added to the Plan of Operation for the coming year.
1.6 Program Authority and Responsibility
Access to Higher Levels of Administration
Each Department Chair meets individually with the College Dean every 2-3 weeks to discuss any concerns or issues brought forward by Department faculty. In addition, there is a monthly meeting of the College Administrative Council with the Dean. The Council consists of all Department Chairs and Program Directors in the College. The Council discusses and makes decisions regarding College-wide policy and develops the College Strategic Plan and Annual Plan of Operation. If access to higher levels of Administration is necessary for particular Department or Program issues, the Dean arranges for meetings between relevant faculty and administrators, and usually accompanies the faculty member to meetings with the Provost or President.
Statement of Governance
SHU's Statement of Governance can be found in the SHU Faculty Handbook, pages 6-7.
1.7 Program Director
- Rhea Paul, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Professor and Founding Director
- For access to selected works of Dr. Paul, see Sacred Heart's Digital Commons.
- CV for Rhea Paul, Ph.D.
- Rhea Paul, Ph.D., ASHA Certification
- Rhea Paul, Ph.D., CT Dept. of Health SLP License
1.8 Equitable Treatment
- SHU University Student Conduct and Community Standards
- SHU Graduate Catalog Statement of Non-Discrimination Policies
- SHU Graduate Student Handbook
- SLP Student Academic Manual
- Complaint Procedures
1.9 Public Information
Program information regarding the SHU SLP Department can be accessed on the program website.
The website states:
The master’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology at Sacred Heart University is accredited by the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, and is a Candidate for Accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800 498 2071 or 301 296 5700. Candidacy is a “preaccreditation” status with the CAA, awarded to developing or emerging programs for maximum period of 5 years. It allows the program to matriculate and graduate students who, upon successful completion of the program, will meet all requirements for national certification and state licensure as Speech-Language Pathologists. Our program for teacher endorsement has also been approved by the Connecticut State Department of Education, making graduates eligible to serve as SLPs in Connecticut public schools.
Other program information can found on the SHU and SLP websites as follows:
- Student Outcome Data
- SLP Student Academic Manual
- Number of terms to program completion
- Matriculation Expectations
- Academic Calendars
- Tuition and Fees
- Student Evaluation and Grading Policies are listed in the SLP Student Academic Manual (p. 54).
The website and student manuals are updated annually, during the summer term by the Department Chair and Director of Clinical Education. In collaboration with the Department Administrative Assistant, they review the contents of the website and manuals each year, and, based on faculty decisions recorded in meeting minutes throughout the year, make any required changes. The Department Chair then works with the Web Content Manager and Administrative Assistant to oversee the placement of all changes to the website and in the Student Manuals.