The current Department of Communication Disorders began offering degrees in the 1960s at Southwest Texas State University. At that time, the program was housed in the School of Education underneath the area of Special Education following SWT’s long-standing tradition of producing quality teachers. Not long after that, SWT established a master’s degree program in the field of speech-language pathology. As the profession changed, so did the program. It evolved from training speech-language pathologists for schools to producing speech-language pathologists who were equipped to work in schools, hospitals, rehab facilities, clinics and beyond. During this time, the department was the first in the state of Texas to offer an academic course in dysphagia. Its two-week intensive Summer Stuttering Institute drew families from around the country.
The Program moved from the College of Education to its current home in the College of Health Professions in 1992. Two years later, it achieved departmental status. In the 1990s, the department developed close liaisons with Tangram Rehabilitation, providing graduate students with a unique opportunity to live and treat adults with closed head injuries. A decade later, the department still strives to provide students with state-of-the-art education. It mostly recently added bilingual services (academic and clinical), a literacy protocol to diagnose and treat reading and writing disorders, and the Hanen Program to work with families of children with language disorders on the autism spectrum.