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Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) offers an undergraduate minor in CSD, an undergraduate Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in CSD, and a Master of Science (M.S.) in CSD. We are currently home to about 100 undergraduate and 65 graduate students.

In addition to superior classroom education, students receive hands-on training in the Speech and Hearing Clinic, which serves approximately 75 clients a week and provides a valuable health service to the community. Our students may also choose to get involved in WCU's National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) chapter, further augmenting their studies and understanding of the field.

CSD professor teaching a class


Discover more about our programs:

Minor in Communication Sciences and Disorders 

B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders




The fundamental role of WCU is to develop a community of scholarship in which students, faculty members, administrators, and staff members learn and apply the products of learning. The mission of the faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is to engage jointly in the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and dispositions to address communication and its disorders, exercise informed judgments, and accept challenges calling for innovative clinical responses. In the execution of this mission, we are committed to honoring the individual differences and needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations and growing in awareness, knowledge, and experience to meet the challenges provided by ethical practices, changing populations, and scope of practice demands.


The Master of Science (M.S.) program in speech-language pathology {residential education modality} at Western Carolina University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800.498.2071 or 301.296.5700.
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What's Happening in CSD

  • Looking to complete the core prerequisite courses for graduate school in CSD? The CSD program at WCU can help you complete these through distance education. Contact Dr. Odom ( for more information about the classes offered and how to apply. 
  • Since the Summer of 2021, the Speech and Hearing Clinic at Western Carolina University offered Camp LEAD: Language/Literacy Engagement and Development, funded by N.C. Rite Care. Camp LEAD is a 4-week summer program designed to support speech, language, and literacy development of students with speech, language, hearing, and/or reading impairments (including dyslexia).
  • For students interested in promoting anti-racism and inclusion in speech-language pathology and audiology, check out the DEI in CSD Committee. Contact Thales DeNardo for more details at
  • Join in on a Spanish language learning group for Bilingual SLPs of all proficiencies! Contact Claire Wofford for more details at

CSD Faculty

The faculty members of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, many of whom have been or still are professional clinicians, have a wealth of practical experience and they’re excited to share their wisdom with you. They're also dedicated researchers who conduct their studies in order to better understand communication sciences and disorders and to expand knowledge in the field. They are dedicated to teaching and training students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, preparing students for the challenges that they will find in such careers as speech-language pathologists and research scholars.

Machelle Cathey

Clinic Director

Project Interact Grant Coordinator; Internal Placement Coordinator; Clinical Superivisor

Leigh Odom

Associate Professor

Department Chair

Tracie Rice

Professor of Practice, Audiologist

Amy Rose

Associate Professor

Associate Department Chair

Laura Trivette

Clinical Supervisor

External Placement Coordinator

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