We are pleased to welcome Karen Jones Green, EdD, SLP-CCC,
as our guest host for the SLP chat tonight, Monday,
October 27, 2003 at 9:00pm EST. She will be addressing
the topic of Distance Education Opportunities in
Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Dr. Karen Jones Green is the Program Coordinator for
the On-Line Masters Degree Program in Communication
Disorders and Sciences at California State University,
Northridge. She has years of experience in diagnosing and
treating language-based learning disabilities. and has worked in
many different settings including universities, public schools,
private school, hospitals, psychiatric facility, nursing homes,
and private practice. Her presentations have included topics on
distance learning, learning disabilities, innovative university
classes, treatment in an adolescent psychiatric facility,
inservice training for the regular education teacher, private
practice, teacher beliefs concerning mainstreaming, and language
performance of Anglo and Mexican-American children. Dr. Green
has been a faculty member at CSUN since 1995. In 1997, she began
working on the distance learning program. Classes began for the
first masters' cohort on May 5, 1999, and the program remains in
continuous operation on a year-round basis.
<Robin> Welcome! Tonight we are chatting with Karen Jones Green, EdD, SLP-CCC, about Distance
Education Opportunities in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Karen Jones Green
is the Program Coordinator for the On-Line Masters Degree Program in Communication
Disorders and Sciences at California State University, Northridge.
<Robin> Dr. Green, will you give us an overview of Distance Learning (DL) for a degree in speech
<Karen_Jones_Green> There are several distance masters programs in the U.S. Ours began in 1999.
We have graduated 2 classes and have 2 cohorts going right now.
<Karen_Jones_Green> We have begun the application process for Cohort 5 which will start in
September of 2004.
<Robin> What is a cohort?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Good question about the meaning of the word "cohort". A cohort is a group
of student who process through the masters program (3 years) in a lock-step fashion.
<Robin> What do you mean by lock-step fashion?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Another good question-lock step means that the students start together,
progress together and graduate together. The same students are in every class.
<tammyslp> How many are accepted into a cohort?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Usually, we accept 30 into a cohort. Other campuses vary. We had so many good
applicants in our last round that we accepted 38!
<Robin> So you have 38 students for a three year program?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Actully, I have 65 students for 2 different 3 year programs. Does that make
<tammyslp> I completed my masters via distance learning here in Kentucky and it was a wonderful
<Karen_Jones_Green> I am so glad that you are here Tammy to tell everyone the viewpoint from the
<Julie> I have supervised clinicals for a distance learning student this past year.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Terrific, Julie! We have 5 clinics and use field supervisors from all over
the nation. The field supervisors are mentors and they are what makes this program work.
<Robin> Tell us about the structure of the program...how courses are taken, etc.
<Karen_Jones_Green> First, we offer a pre-tutorial just to make sure that the students are
comfortable with the web platform....
<Karen_Jones_Green> Then we offer 1 or 2 courses in a "block" fashion.....
<Karen_Jones_Green> Some of the blocks are 8 weeks long, some are 10 weeks long, some are 14 weeks
long according to the course content.
<Robin> Do the classes meet on line at a specific time, or do you read the material when its
convenient for you?
<Karen_Jones_Green> The students purchase books online. There is a web site for each course.
They receive a coursepack for each course.....
<Karen_Jones_Green> Some of the courses are augmented by CD ROMs, DVD, or video.
<Karen_Jones_Green> The students progress through 57 hours in 3 years.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They communicate with the professors and with me by email, listserv, chat
rooms and discussion boards.
<Robin> Dr. Green, can you tell us specifically how a course is taken? Is it a tutorial where
you read on your own and then take a test online?
<Karen_Jones_Green> No, it is more involved and much more interactive than that.....
<Karen_Jones_Green> A student is given a syllabus which outlines the weekly assignments including
reading, projects, and group projects.
<Robin> Is the learning done individually by reading the course material by a certain date?
<Karen_Jones_Green> The learning is individual and that is very important. It requires
excellent time management and study skills for the student.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Testing is done in a variety of ways: open book exams through the digital
drop box, proctored exams, graded exams on the computer.
<AdrienneFSU> How do you verify that the student is taking the test (closed book, not a stand-in,
<Karen_Jones_Green> Cheating is possible but not very likely.
<molly> From experience as a student, I find in class exams much more intense. It requires more
learning and studying.
<molly> I believe that when a student knows they are going to be tested over the computer, it
is easier to rely on your textbook that is open in front of you.
<tammyslp> From a former distance learning student most of our online tests were timed and
believe me you didn't have time to look up the answers and if your test was not complete
and turned in before the time ran out you were given no credit for that exam.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Also, the professors absolutely KNOW when the text is used for a test!!
<Julie> As a clinical supervisor, I can tell if a student knows the material or not, sometimes
that is a greater test than the written.
<Julie> Have you found that it is more difficult for the students to obtain clinical hours or
easier than traditional students?
<Karen_Jones_Green> I think clinical hours are harder for distance. Our students are usually
working in the schools with a bachelor's degree.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They usually have 3 pediatric clinics in the school district where they
are working then we work together to select a full time 8-10 week hospital site.
<tammyslp>That was my experience as well. I was working in the schools and had to do my clinical
hours after work in the evenings, on weekends or during summers.
<Robin> Dr. Green, how can you judge if a student will be successful in a distance learning
<Karen_Jones_Green> Well, of course the first measure is the grade point average. Other outcome
measures we use are scores on the Praxis and completion of CCC and employment.
<Robin> What are the pros and cons to distance learning?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Pros are that you can study at any time. You do not have to commute to
<Karen_Jones_Green> Our demographics show us that this program appeals to older students who
do not have an accessible program nearby.
<tammyslp> I loved being able to go to the comforts of my own home after work to go to class and
not having to drive nearly two hours to the closest university with a SLP program to
complete my coursework.
<Robin> Good points...any other pros tammy?
<tammyslp> For me not having to take notes was a huge plus as I have rheumatoid arthritis and
could just hit "print" and have all my class material.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Some students tell me that you can get the lectures over and over again just
in case you miss some of the points the first time.
<molly> I am an undergraduate, I have not done any "distance learning" however I have had several
classes that are web based
<molly> As a student I find that going to class and actively participating by writing notes is
very beneficial in my understanding the material.
<molly> That shows everyone learns differently I guess!
<Karen_Jones_Green> The cons of Distance Learning are that it requires super organizational
skills. Everyone MUST participate in a distance class. And they are hard!! The quality
is the same between distance and campus.
<Robin> Any cons tammy?
<tammyslp> Well as a distance learning student you have to learn to do a lot of things
<tammyslp> It isn't easy to work full-time, have 3 classes a semester plus try to squeeze in
<tammyslp> Distance Learning programs are not the breeze many people assume they are.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Most of my students complain that the program is "too" fast.
<Julie> The student I supervised complained that she could not stop the teacher during a lecture
and ask a question when the lecture was on CD.
<tammyslp> It does fly by... I remember thinking when I started that 3 years seemed like an
eternity and it was over before I knew it.
<tammyslp> I think I collaped in exhaustion at the end of my 3 years!
<Jessica> How many classes will be taken in a semester?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Our students average about 3 a semester but they are offered in blocks.
They go year around with few breaks.
<Jessica> What are blocks?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Blocks are time periods-either 8 or 10 or 13 weeks.
<Robin> How do the students communicate with the professors....telephone, email, etc. ?
<tammyslp> We did everything from scheduled chats to email to phone to ask our professors
<Karen_Jones_Green> Communication is through email, telephone, listserv, chat, and discussion
board. We also have an Advisement Web Site which is very helpful.
<Robin> What is the Advisement web site?
<Karen_Jones_Green> The Advisement Web Site is like a course website. There are documents about
the Praxis, the campus paperwork, clinical hours etc.
<Karen_Jones_Green> We also have chats there too. It is big help. We also use our distance web
site to post forms etc. and that is helpful too.
<Karen_Jones_Green> We also have a Distance NSSLHA chapter and we have online meetings just like
<Robin> Are the costs of a distance learning program comparable to an on campus program tuition?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Our program is a self support program so the tuition is higher. Can you
answer that Tammy?
<tammyslp> The program I completed was a collaborative effort between the 5 universities here in
Kentucky that offer SLP programs, thus our tuition for each course was based on the
tutition rates for which university was teaching that particular course.
<Julie> Is financial aid available for DL?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Yes, financial aid is available for all matriculated students. It is the
government Stafford Loan.
<tammyslp> Many of my classmates got financial aid the same as if you were in a on campus program.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Many of our students get financial aid also.
<Robin> How many distance programs are there currently for communicative disorders?
<Karen_Jones_Green> I think there are about 5.
<tammyslp> Is there a way for students to find out which universities offer distance learning
programs? I have students ask me this question all the time.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Yes, tell the students to go to gradschools.com and look under distance.
<tammyslp> Wonderful, thank you!
<Karen_Jones_Green> Also tell them to do a web search for an individual class. Some universities
offer one class but not a program.
<Julie> Are there any Ph.D. programs?
<Karen_Jones_Green> The only doctorate program I know about is not a Ph.D. program but a
clinical doctorate from Nova Southeastern.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Lets review some of the questions students ask most frequently.
<Robin> That would be great!
<Karen_Jones_Green> When looking for a program, the first question they ask is about ASHA
accreditation which is an excellent question.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They always want to make sure this is a distance PROGRAM since so many
universities offer classes.
<tammyslp> I know the one I completed did not receive funding to continue, but the professor that
started it has now began a DL program through Western Kentucky University.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They want to know if we have tech support.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They want to know how the classes "operate" just as someone asked tonight.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They want to know how communication is done as you asked tonight.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They want to know how one gets clinical hours.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They want to know if they will have an advisor throughout the program.
<Robin> How often do your students meet with their advisors?
<Karen_Jones_Green> I am the advisor for all of the students. We meet frequently in the chat
room and also use listservs, email and telephone too. We are multi-media!
<Julie> Are all clinical hours completed while doing class work or do they have a complete block
<Karen_Jones_Green> Good question Julie. We do have blocks for clinic because they are "set"
<tammyslp> I always had classes while completing my clinical hours.
<Karen_Jones_Green> The clinics are interspersed with the classwork. There are 5 clinics so it
takes up nearly all 3 years!
<Robin> How do you find clinical settings for your students?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Another good question! Usually the student "find" the first pediatric sites.
Most of the students use their current placement in the schools for all clinics....
<Karen_Jones_Green> Then we work together to find the hospital sites in the areas where the
<tammyslp> We had an individual assigned to assist us with our clinical placements since most of
us knew of particular places where we would like to be placed and this individual
assisted us in obtaining it as a site.
<tammyslp> No one in my cohort seemed to have difficulty obtaining adult hours.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Tammy, thanks for your input. I do the same for externships. I try to visit
sites in California too....
<tammyslp> You are certainly welcome Dr. Green.
<Julie> Do you have difficulty finding adult hours because of billing regulations?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Yes and no. I do the externship (adult) site. There is a provision in
Medicare B which states that billing can be done only with line of sight supervision.
<Karen_Jones_Green> Many of our hospital sites have training students as part of the mission
statement which is very helpful. Supervisors are the heroes of our program.
<Karen_Jones_Green> They spend the time and the effort to train and mentor our students.
<Karen_Jones_Green> As standards change and KASA is implemented, there are new challenges for
both residential and distance students.
<Julie> What is KASA?
<Karen_Jones_Green> KASA is the new knowledge and skills requirement by ASHA in 2005.
<Robin> We have been chatting for nearly an hour......are there any more questions for Dr. Green?
<Jessica> What are the prerequisites for this program?
<Karen_Jones_Green> We require 30 units of prescribed prerequisites. There are actually more
masters programs online than universities that offer prerequisites!
<mizrugby> I'm very interested in the English and Spanish language...did you work with
Spanish speaking students?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Because the university requires the TOEFL for any student, it is important
that English be understood.
<Robin> Dr. Green, do you have bilingual students in your program?
<Karen_Jones_Green> I have a student who graduated who moved here from Puerto Rico.
<mizrugby> Were they fluent in english?
<Karen_Jones_Green> Yes, the student was fluent in English and Spanish. It is beneficial to be
fluent in Spanish with the demand for bilingual SLPs.
<mizrugby> How great is the demand for spanish and english speaking slps?
<Robin> We have had chats about bilingual/bicultural communication......check out the chat
archive on this website to view those chat transcripts.
<Robin> Dr. Green, what is your program's website?
<Karen_Jones_Green> It is http//exlweb.csun.edu/cds
<tammyslp> Now I know of another great DL program to refer students too. So, if you get several
inquires from Kentucky you know why!
<Karen_Jones_Green> Thanks, Tammy. I have heard good things about the Kentucky program too.
<tammyslp> It was great I really enjoyed my DL experience.
<Robin> Many thanks to Dr. Green for joining us tonight!
<Julie> Thank you for your time Dr. Green!
<Karen_Jones_Green> If a student is interested, the first thing to do is to study study study
the distance website.
<Robin> Thank you all for coming and contributing info about your experiences.
<tammyslp> Thanks Dr. Green!
<Karen_Jones_Green> You are welcome. I am delighted to talk about distance. It is and must be my
passion, of course.
<AdrienneFSU> Thanks for the chat! Goodnight!
<Jessica> Thanks for all the great information!! Bye!
<Karen_Jones_Green> Night all!
<tammyslp> Thank you Dr. Green.
<Robin> Thanks all for coming!