Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get an advisor?
Graduate Candidates: After you are admitted to the program, you will receive a letter from the graduate office that lists your advisor. Special Education advisors are assigned by the concentration that you select. Speech-Language Pathology advisors are assigned according to sections of the alphabet.
Undergraduate Candidates: All undergraduate candidates are advised in the Office of Student Services; for an appointment call 402.554.2717.
I was admitted to graduate school with “provisional” status. How do I change that to “unconditional” status?
Once you have proven yourself to be capable of graduate work, you may submit a written request to the program faculty to be considered for “unconditional” status. This allows you to take a full graduate course load. It is best to make your request prior to registering for the next term.
How do I apply for my practicum/internship?
You will need to complete the appropriate practicum application and obtain the necessary signatures. Practicum applications and specifics on who gets each application are available on the graduate special education and speech-language pathology web pages.
What are the practicum/internship application deadlines?
Practicum/Internship deadlines are September 15th for Spring and February 1st for Fall.
How do I find out about scholarship information?
Scholarship information for graduate candidates is available on the Graduate College web site. Other information comes via email as funding opportunities arise. The College of Education offers a UNO Advantage Scholarship for non- Nebraska resident students. The application form is available on request. The speech-language pathology program sends the application form with your acceptance letter.
Why is there a block that prevents me from registering for graduate classes?
There may be a number of reasons for a block: advising flag, maximum credit block, course time conflict notice. If you are registering for a practicum, there is an advising flag to ensure that you filed a practicum application in advance. The maximum credit block occurs if you are registering for more than the credit hour limit allowed. All of these may be removed by contacting your advisor.
If I am a sign language interpreter, am I certified to teach?
No. Students completing the Sign Language Interpreter Program will graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Education but will not be eligible for teacher certification.
If I am a sign language interpreter, can I seek national certification?
Yes. After graduating, students may choose to prepare for certification through EIPA or NIC
Do I need a bachelor's degree to interpret?
In 2012, a bachelor's degree became mandatory in order to seek certification. Most states in the United States also have licensing requirements in which certification is necessary.
How do I select a graduate special education concentration?
Special education concentrations are selected based on your area of interest and your current and/or future teaching goals. Available graduate special education concentrations are: behavior disorders and special education endorsement. You may also want to contact the department secretary at 402.554.2201 to schedule an appointment with a special education faculty member.
I don't have a teaching certificate and want to teach special education, where do I start?
Initial teaching certificates in special education are completed through our undergraduate program. In order to determine which courses you will need to complete, please contact an advisor in the Office of Student Services at 402.554.2717.
Are there English proficiency criteria for non-native English speakers?
Yes. If your native language is not English, you will be required to demonstrate your ability to undertake advanced academic work in an English-speaking institution through English language proficiency tests such as the TOEFL. We require the following minimum TOEFL scores: Paper-500 Computer-173 Internet-61. If your TOEFL scores are more than two years old, you may be required to retake the TOEFL.
Do I have to student teach to earn a Masters' degree in special education?
In order to add a new endorsement in special education you will need to complete an internship (student teaching). This experience is referred to as an internship under the course offerings and can possibly be done in your current special education teaching position. Please talk with your faculty advisor about the internship experience.
Will I have to complete another student teaching internship if I want to add grades 7-12 to my current K-6 endorsement in behavioral disorders or mild/moderate disabilities?
Yes, in order to be certified to teach grades 7-12 in behavior disabilities or special education, you will be required to complete one, all-day, 16-week student teaching practicum with students in grades 7- 12. You may then apply for an endorsement to teach grades K-12.
How do I sign up for comprehensive exams?
You can sign up for comprehensive exams by downloading the Comprehensive Exam form. This form is due one month prior to the exam and needs to be signed by your advisor. Comprehensive examinations are given three times a year; October, March and June. Comprehensive questions are emailed to your UNO email account on the 2nd Friday of the exam month. Candidates have ten days to complete the exam.
I am interested in applying to the speech-language pathology graduate program. Where should I begin?
Our admissions requirements are available online. Once you are accepted by the department to the graduate program, you are assigned a graduate advisor who will design a plan of study, and you should plan to attend a new student orientation meeting at the beginning of your first semester. Once each semester there is an Open House which covers the program application process; for further information call 402.554.2201.
I understand that the speech-language pathology program is currently on probation. What does this mean?
The graduate program in speech-language pathology has been accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) since July, 1985. We are proud of our long and successful relationship with this highly respected and rigorous professional organization. In the July 2015 review of our 2014-2015 annual report, we were placed on probation until June 15, 2016 for program completion thresholds.
We continue to be accredited during this time and are taking steps to improve the completion rates. We are confident that we will meet the standard threshold.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha remains committed to providing you with a high-quality graduate education. Our students pass the national Praxis exam and are highly competitive in the employment market.
I have a degree in a different discipline but am interested in SPTH, where do I start?
An undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology is now a requirement for admission into the graduate program. To learn more about the requirements and timeline for a second bachelor's in SLP, please contact the Student Services office at 402.554.2717.
What are the general education requirements needed before applying to the speech-language pathology graduate program?
Specific science classes must include a biology and chemistry or physics class. One of these must have a lab. In addition, you must have a statistics course. The 2014 ASHA Standards are available for review online.
When is my SLP plan of study determined? How do I know what transfer classes will count at UNO?
Once you are admitted to the SLP graduate program, an advisor makes a preliminary plan of study using your transcripts. This may be emailed to you in advance or provided at the orientation meeting the first day of the semester of enrollment. In either case, this will open a dialogue to confirm your plan of study and discuss any transfer courses you may bring to the program.
Can I complete SPED 8520, Medical Externship (speech-language pathology) in the summer?
SPED 8520 is typically taken in the spring or fall term. In special circumstances, a candidate may submit a written request a year in advance to the SLP faculty to be considered for a summer placement. There are too few summer placements to accommodate all candidates, so each request is viewed individually.
Can I get an out-of-area placement for my speech-language pathology practicum?
A SPED 8510 or 8520 placement that is more than 60 miles from Omaha, including Lincoln, is considered out-of-area. In special circumstances, a candidate may submit a written request to the SLP faculty to be considered for an out-of-area placement. These are allowed only if the first SPED 8510 or 8520 is taken in the Omaha area.
Are there English proficiency criteria for non-native English speakers?
Yes. If your native language is not English, you will be required to demonstrate your ability to undertake advanced academic work in an English-speaking institution through English language proficiency tests such as the TOEFL. We require the following minimum TOEFL scores: Paper-550 Computer-213 Internet-79. If your TOEFL scores are more than two years old, you may be required to retake the TOEFL.
What if I am concerned that my speech-language pathology graduate program is not meeting the standards set forth by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)?
The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology accepts complaints from students that relate to the Standards for Accreditation of Entry-Level Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology. There are specific guidelines to follow.
Where can I find a copy of the department's Strategic Plan?
A copy of the department strategic plan can be obtained by contacting the department chair, Dr. Kristine Swain.