Core Functions and Skills: Standards for Graduate Students

In addition to satisfactory academic and clinical achievement throughout the graduate program, the student will be expected to demonstrate the ability to perform the essential functions listed below. These include both academic and non-academic components necessary for graduate studies and professional responsibilities as a speech-language pathologist. Should a problem arise, the student will address the issue by going to the proper hierarchy of faculty or administration.

Every student is expected to possess those intellectual, ethical, physical, and emotional capabilities required to undertake the full curriculum and achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty. Once enrolled in the Program, each student for the degree must quickly and accurately be able to integrate all information received, perform in a reasonably independent manner, and demonstrate the ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize information and data.

The program will attempt reasonable accommodations for students, however, in doing so, the Program must maintain the integrity of its curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to the acquisition of knowledge in all areas of speech-language pathology, as well as the demonstration of skills requisite for the practice of speech-language pathology.

Accordingly, Touro University requires students to meet certain technical requirements.

Each student should read the standards carefully. The student must demonstrate the following skills and functions:


Students must be able to:

  • Employ oral, written, auditory, and non-verbal communication at a level sufficient to meet academic and clinical competencies
  • Adapt communication style to effectively interact with colleagues, clients, patients, caregivers, and invested parties of diverse backgrounds in various modes such as in person, over the phone, and in electronic format.
    • Develop appropriate relationships through effective communication with faculty members, advisors, fellow students, clinical educators/supervisors and clients.
    • Communicate professionally and effectively with regard to client documentation, reports, progress notes, and therapy sessions.
    • Appropriately convey information through assignments, presentations, examinations, and term papers, with realistic time constraints.
    • Communicate and exhibit appropriate interpersonal skills when working in a group for completion of assignments/presentations or when part of a professional clinic team for in-house clients or clients in the field (e.g. externships).
    • Adjust communication style to effectively respond to the needs of clients and their families or caregivers with cultural sensitivity.


Students must be able to:

  • Engage in physical activities at a level required to accurately implement classroom and clinical responsibilities (e.g., manipulating testing and therapeutic equipment and technology, client/patient equipment, and practice management technology) while retaining the integrity of the process
  • Respond in a manner that ensures the safety of clients and others
    • Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses.


Students must be able to:

  • Access sensory information to differentiate functional and disordered auditory, oral, written, and visual communication
  • Access sensory information to correctly differentiate anatomical structures and diagnostic imaging findings
  • Access sensory information to correctly differentiate and discriminate text, numbers, tables, and graphs associated with diagnostic instruments and tests


Students must be able to:

  • Retain, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and apply auditory, written, and oral information at a level sufficient to meet curricular and clinical competencies
  • Employ informed critical thinking and ethical reasoning to formulate a differential diagnosis and create, implement, and adjust evaluation and treatment plans as appropriate for the client/patient's needs
  • Engage in ongoing self-reflection and evaluation of one's existing knowledge and skills
  • Critically examine and apply evidence-based judgment in keeping with best practices for client/patient care


Students must be able to:

  • Display compassion, respect, and concern for others during all academic and clinical interactions
  • Adhere to all aspects of relevant professional codes of ethics, privacy, and information management policies
  • Take personal responsibility for maintaining physical and mental health at a level that ensures safe, respectful, and successful participation in didactic and clinical activities
    • Display flexibility and adapt to various cases and changing environments within the college, clinic and externship settings, while making quick and professional decisions.
    • Display appropriate time management skills to complete professional and technical tasks.
    • Acts and dresses professionally in all settings.
    • Display appropriate self-care skills.
    • Demonstrate compassion, sensitivity, and respect to individuals of all ages, races, religions, genders, diverse cultural backgrounds and individuals with disabilities.

Cultural Responsiveness

Students must be able to:

  • Engage in ongoing learning about cultures and belief systems different from one's own and the impacts of these on healthcare and educational disparities to foster effective provision of services.
                  • Demonstrate the application of culturally responsive evidence-based decisions to guide clinical practice