The history of speech correction at Northern Illinois University
Clegg, Mary Jane
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This historical study was prompted by the need to determine the origin and development of the twenty-three years that speech correction services have been offered through the Department of Speech at Northern Illinois University. Administrators, faculty, and students interested in the foundations of the Speech correction program at Northern should have such a historical account at their disposal. Catalogues, records, radio scripts, newspaper articles, letters of inquiry, and an original questionnaire were used to obtain information significant to the history of speech correction at Northern. The development of the speech and hearing area at Northern was arbitrarily divided into three periods: 1938-1945, 1946-1953, and 1954-1961. This division was made in light of national, state, and local needs for speech correction services, and the consequent acquisition of speech correction faculty and courses at Northern. The first period, 1938-1945, established the general philosophical and operational framework of the speech correction program. State legislature was passed to reimburse institutions interested in developing their speech correction services; the introduction of the "Illinois Plan...” took place at that time. Dr. Doris Yoakum Twitchell began and directed the speech correction program for the entire seven years of that period. The second period, 1946-1953, witnessed the introduction of a major and minor curricula in speech correction. The addition of speech correction services at the DeKalb Therapy Center occurred in the last year of that period. The Division of Services for Crippled Children Summer Speech Program was begun at Northern in 1949 under the direction of Mrs. Burkland and has continued its annual operation since then. A graduate program in speech pathology and audiology was introduced in 1953. The third period, 1954-1961, was marked by rapid growth. In addition to the College Clinic and Out-Patient Clinic, the Diagnostic Team was added creating three services available during an academic year at the Speech and Hearing Clinic. With the completion of the Student Health Service-Speech and Hearing Clinic building in 1958, and the increased space and facilities, the Clinic was able to serve more college students and members of the community. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program for hard-of-hearing young adults began in 1960 — a summer and nine-month program offered as a four-year grant through the Illinois Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Northern Illinois University. The comprehensive major, speech correction-elementary education, was introduced in 1954; the speech correction major with a psychology minor was offered in 1959. As of 1961, thirty-nine undergraduate students were enrolled in the speech correction major with a psychology minor; and forty-four students were enrolled in the comprehensive major, speech correction-elementary education — a total of eighty-three undergraduate students in the speech correction program. Fourteen graduate students were enrolled for a Master's degree in speech pathology and audiology. These figures represent an all-time high enrollment in the speech and hearing area of the Department of Speech at Northern Illinois University. In Illinois, Northern Illinois University's Department of Speech offers one of the finest undergraduate and graduate programs available in a state university.