A Brief History of Our Department

J.B. George Building

The J.B. George Building

The Early Years

Our department has a tradition that started more than half a century ago. In the early 1950s, speech therapists trained in the Division of Speech Arts at The University of Southern Mississippi. The Speech and Hearing Clinic was established in 1954, and, in 1958, the department began offering the master of science. By 1961, the term "speech therapy" was replaced by "speech pathology," and the department began offering different courses of study for speech pathology and audiology.

Children's Center entrance

The Children's Center

The DuBard School for Language Disorders was created in 1962 [originally known as the "School for Deaf and Aphasic Children," then later as "The School for Children with Language Disorders"]. The Education of the Deaf program began in 1966 and was accredited by the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) in 1995.

In 1971, our department first received accreditation from our national organization, then known as the American Speech and Hearing Association. We currently maintain accreditation through the "Council on Academic Accreditation" of the "American Speech-Language-Hearing Association."

DuBard School

The DuBard School

Prior to 1976, classes were held in a number of academic buildings on campus, including the George Hurst building and Honor House [now the Alumni House]. In 1976, the Speech, Reading, and Special Education Building (SRS) [commonly referred to as the "Speech and Hearing Building"] was completed, and all the functions of the department were consolidated into one location. In 1974, the Preschool Language Program [now known as "The Children's Center for Communication and Development"] was created, serving preschool children from all over the southern part of the state.

Through the decade of the eighties and nineties, the department continued to provide quality services through its clinics and schools, while training hundreds of speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and educators of the deaf.

100 year logo


The New Millennium

In 2003, The DuBard School moved into The Kelly Gene Cook Building. The Children's Center completed renovations to their newly acquired space in the SRS Building during the 2008 school year.

The new millennium also brought major changes to the department. We moved from the College to Liberal Arts to the newly established College of Health in 2004. Our first class of Au.D. students began their studies in 2005, and a new master's degree program in Early Oral Intervention was initiated in 2008. In 2012, the SRS Building was officially renamed the J.B. George Building.

Since the program's inception, graduates of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences have served the citizens of Mississippi and the nation and have gained a reputation for competence, compassion, and professional leadership. We continue to evolve and grow as we face the challenges of a new century. As a student in our program, you are joining a respected chain of SHS alumni. We welcome you and extend our best wishes for academic and professional success!

Source: 1999 SHS Academic Handbook
Updated: 6/8/15