The history of the Department of Communication Disorders mirrors the evolution of the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. The university offered a "complete speech correction training program" outlined in the 1952-53 bulletin. During this time, the profession of audiology had not yet been born and "speech correction" was the appropriate term.
In 1962-63, a degree in "speech correction" was initiated in the Department of Speech, later to become the Department of Speech Communication. Students initially received a degree in speech with a major in speech correction. This program was directed by Dr. M.G. Lorberg. During the 70's, the program remained a component within the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre under the direction of Dr. Mary Ann Vogelsang and Dr. John Long.
The present day Department of Communication Disorders was formed in 1989 within the newly created College of Health and Human Services. Dr. Mary Ann Vogelsang served as the first chairperson of the department. Founding faculty of the department included Dr. Vogelsang, Dr. John Long, Dr. Leita Hensley, Dr. Kevin Squibb, and Dr. Marcia Brown.
The Department continued under Dr. Mary Ann Vogelsang's leadership until 1996. At that time, Dr. Sakina Drummond became the second chairperson of the department and the department received its first re-accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation as an independent department in 2000.
In 2008, the clinical facility of the department completed an extensive remodeling which included remote video observation system, digital recording and computer capabilities in all clinical suites, an enhanced student work area, and a student locker room. In addition, the new clinic waiting area was designated the Mary Ann Vogelsang Waiting Room in honor of her early service to the department.
In 2009, Dr. Marcia Brown-Haims served as interim chairperson of the department and, in 2010, Dr. Tom Linares was appointed department chairperson. It was during this time that the department reached its highest student enrollment to date of approximately 180 undergraduate majors and 30 graduate majors.