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The history of the department at Penn State goes back to 1933. The department always has been nationally recognized for its academic, research, and clinical outreach programs for educating speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

In 1987, the department joined the College of Health and Human Development to continue its mission of excellence in research, teaching, and outreach activities in speech, language, and audiology.

In the early 1990s, a new, critical area in the discipline emerged (augmentative and alternative communication) in which the department became a key leader worldwide, along with a few other universities.

Since that time, the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Program at Penn State became a national leader in training research scholars and master clinicians.

The AAC Program at Penn State is the number one program in the United States focusing on translational research, teaching, and outreach activities to improve the lives of children and adults with severe communication disabilities.

The department continues to expand its role as a worldwide leader in AAC, offering unique learning and research experiences with direct applications for enhancing the quality of life for children and adults with severe communication disabilities. 

In 2007, the department moved into a newly renovated space in the Ford Building with four floors for teaching and research activities and a newly designed Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic.

The undergraduate program continues to flourish as numerous publications have named speech-language pathology and audiology careers among the top 10 best careers in the United States.