Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Graduate Certificate

Program Description

The purpose of the "Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)" certificate is to provide training to pre-service and in-service [practicing] SLPs and teachers on supporting the language development of children with significant language disabilities. The certificate requires a firm background in typical language development as well as language disorders and then moves on to applying this knowledge to the specialized area of AAC. Once these prerequisites are complete, the certificate allows for an elective in a related field.

The majority of the courses in the AAC certificate program are only available on campus at the University of Memphis and the certificate cannot be completed online at this time.

This certificate offers clinicians the opportunity to enhance their knowledge working with individuals with complex communication needs and apply this information to their daily work demands. Note: This is a Graduate Certificate offered by the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the UofM Graduate School. It is open to those who meet the qualifications and want to take the courses, even if they are not in the MA program. This certificate is not required if you want to provide AAC evaluations and therapy, nor is it considered specialty certification.

Program Requirements

Students must takethe 3 required courses listed below along with one 3-hour elective. If the student has two years of experience working as a speech-language pathologist, AUSP 7006/8006 and AUSP 7300/8300 can be waived, and these students would be required to complete a total of 9 instead of 12 credits. These credits will include AUSP 7308/8308 (required), one elective related to Autism, and any other elective from the list below:

Required Courses (9 credit hours):

  • AUSP 7006/8006 Language and Speech Development*
  • AUSP 7300/8300 Language Disorders in Children
  • AUSP 7308/8308 Augmentative and Alternative Communication

* A course substitution may be considered on the basis of alternative graduate level coursework such as Language Learning Disabilities or Language Disorders in Adults.

Electives (3 credit hours):

  • AUSP 6205 Cultural Sensitivity for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Healthcare Settings
  • AUSP 6300 Autism: Communication & Socialization
  • AUSP 7212 Autism Spectrum Disorder/Related Disabilities
  • AUSP 7302 & 7303 Language Disorders in Adults
  • PSYC 7802-8802 Child Disability and Family
  • SPED 6111 Introduction to Applied Behavioral Analysis

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the Graduate Certificate Program in Augmentative and Alternative Communication:

  1. Applicants must enroll as a graduate student at the University of Memphis or have a completed Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology or a related field with a GPA of at least 3.00.
  2. Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent that describes reasons for pursuing the certificate, relevant background and experiences, and/or professional goals or plans. Letters of Intent should be sent to Vicki Haddix in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at vhaddix@memphis.edu.
  3. Applicants who do not speak English as their primary language are required to meet the University's minimum TOEFL score.

Retention/Graduation Requirements

  1. Students must complete all three of the required courses (9 credits) and one elective (3 credits) for a total of 12 credits with a minimum grade of B (GPA = 3.00) in each course.
  2. In the semester of graduation, the student must submit an Intent to Graduate form to the Graduate School and complete appropriate documentation for receiving the Graduate Certificate by the deadline specified by the Graduate School.

How to Apply

  1. Submit Letter of Intent
  2. Current students in the MA SLP program at the University of Memphis must complete a Readmission/Modify Program Form.
  3. Individuals not currently affiliated with the University of Memphis must complete the application materials in Slate for the AAC Certificate. Admission to this certificate program does not imply acceptance into any graduate program at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders or within the university.

For additional information contact

Vicki Haddix, MS, CCC-SLP