Date of Award

Spring 3-24-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Dr. Alison King, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Second Advisor

Dr. Erin Wallace, Ph.D. CCC-SLP

Third Advisor

Dr. Shannon Salley, SLP.D. CCC-SLP


The purpose of this research was to investigate the perspectives of recent Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) graduate students regarding their comfort and training around Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and examine the Dunning-Kruger effect between recent CSD graduates’ knowledge with AAC versus their perceived expertise of AAC. The researcher distributed an online survey via email, social media, American Speech-Language- Hearing Association (ASHA) Special Interest Groups to individuals who graduated from a CAA- accredited Speech-Language Pathology master’s program with a graduation year of 2018-2022 who now currently hold either their Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC-SLP) or their Clinical Fellowship license (CF-SLP). A total of 42 participants completed the survey to 100% completion or completed the survey up until the knowledge portion (73% complete). Less than half of participants felt prepared by their graduate-level educational experiences. Additionally, while nearly 2/3 of participants feel comfortable providing services, few participants feel comfortable assessing clients with AAC or troubleshooting devices. This research survey found no correlation between knowledge and perceived expertise, likely due to participants feeling unprepared. The results of this study provide pilot data suggesting that graduate programs need to offer more cohesive education and strive for their graduate students to receive high-quality graduate-level clinical experiences.



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