McNair Symposium

2023 McNair Research Symposium

Nayeli Flores

A Preliminary Investigation of Social Justice Perceptions Among Communication Sciences and Disorders Students

The purpose of this survey research is to provide preliminary data regarding social justice perceptions among Communication Sciences and Disorders students. Recent efforts include identifying how professions develop and implement equitable practices, as indicated by sustainable goals, human rights, and social inclusion tactics in terms of race, gender, class, disability, geography, sexuality, and language. Although these efforts take root in the professional realm, such issues should be introduced earlier. Current research does not adequately address current students’ understanding of social justice in the health professions. For that reason, the current study will culminate with a proposal for a study to collect qualitative data that reflects knowledge and opinions related to social justice in Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) students majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDO), a major that leads to employment as a speech-language pathology assistant or, with graduate work, a speech-language pathologist. The study’s findings revealed that students believe social justice is important in speech-language pathology. The data suggested that graduate students consider an understanding of social justice important in an SLP/SLPA practice. This is consistent with the work of Unger and colleagues (2021), who found that SLPs considered social justice important to them and to clinical practice. This shows that students are aware of such issues in their pre-professional careers, meaning once they become practicing SLPs/SLPAs, they may have the awareness and knowledge needed to perform fair and equitable Services. By participating in this study, participants will gain a better understanding of their self-social justice perceptions. The data collected from this study will help higher education administrators understand where Communication Sciences and Disorders students stand on social justice and whether it should be implemented earlier in their academic studies before heading into the professional realm.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Maura Krestar

Department of Clinical Health Sciences

Nayeli Flores' poster

Nayeli Flores