CSD Graduates’ Perceptions (Crais & Savage, 2020)

Purpose: The shortage of doctor of philosophy (PhD)–
level applicants to fill academic and research positions in
communication sciences and disorders (CSD) programs
calls for a detailed examination of current CSD PhD
educational practices and the generation of creative
solutions. The intended purposes of the article are
to encourage CSD faculty to examine their own PhD
program practices and consider the perspectives of
recent CSD PhD graduates in determining the need for
possible modifications.
Method: The article describes the results of a survey of
240 CSD PhD graduates and their perceptions of the
challenges and facilitators to completing a PhD degree;
the quality of their preparation in research, teaching, and
job readiness; and ways to improve PhD education.
Results: Two primary themes emerged from the data
highlighting the need for “matchmaking.” The first time
point of needed matchmaking is prior to entry among
students, mentors, and expectations as well as between
aspects of the program that can lead to students’ success
and graduation. The second important matchmaking need
is between the actual PhD preparation and the realities of
the graduates’ career expectations, and those placed on
graduates by their employers.
Conclusions: Within both themes, graduate’s perspectives
and suggestions to help guide future doctoral preparation
are highlighted. The graduates’ recommendations could be
used by CSD PhD program faculty to enhance the quality
of their program and the likelihood of student success and
completion.

Supplemental Material S1. Survey.

Crais, E. & Savage, M. H. (2020). Communication sciences and disorders PhD graduates’ perceptions of their PhD program. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_PERSP-19-00107