New Online EdFind Offers Customized Searches, Reports on Academic Programs In the 1970s, when ASHA released the first-ever Guide to Graduate Education in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, who would have thought that it would make it to the top of the Association’s “best-seller” list? Or that it would continue to be published in print, and later online, for the next ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   August 01, 2006
New Online EdFind Offers Customized Searches, Reports on Academic Programs
Author Notes
  • Kelly Appler, is ASHA’s associate director of credentialing, for research and quality management. For further information or questions about this article, contact her at hes@asha.org.
    Kelly Appler, is ASHA’s associate director of credentialing, for research and quality management. For further information or questions about this article, contact her at hes@asha.org.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   August 01, 2006
New Online EdFind Offers Customized Searches, Reports on Academic Programs
The ASHA Leader, August 2006, Vol. 11, 28-29. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.11102006.28
The ASHA Leader, August 2006, Vol. 11, 28-29. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.11102006.28
In the 1970s, when ASHA released the first-ever Guide to Graduate Education in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, who would have thought that it would make it to the top of the Association’s “best-seller” list? Or that it would continue to be published in print, and later online, for the next 30+ years, with the online version consistently ranking as the #1 document requested through the ASHA Web site search engine?
In order to retain that top ranking and continue to meet the ever more sophisticated needs of constituents (in this case, students, academic programs, and consumers), the Online Guide to Graduate Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders—or GradGuide as it is more commonly called—will finally undergo an extreme makeover.
Later this year, ASHA will launch EdFind, the new online resource for educational data in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) that will replace the GradGuide. EdFind is an online, on-demand, customized search engine, and is part of the higher education data system that integrates data from seven survey and reporting instruments regularly completed and used by CSD programs.
EdFind offers one-stop shopping and convenient searches and reports on CSD programs, based on features of value to the user. EdFind is just one piece of the new higher education data system currently being launched in stages that will allow ease in data collection and extraction, reporting features, and maintenance.
This new system is part of ASHA’s 2006 Focused Initiative on the Doctoral (PhD) Shortage. In collaboration with the Council on Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD) and the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), ASHA has designed a database with many user-friendly features that will handle programs’ systematic reporting as well as offer customized, at-your-fingertips searches and reports on CSD programs.
Features of the System
In the new design, ASHA has taken into account the many requests for identifying and maintaining current, accurate, and comprehensive data about CSD programs at all degree levels. Consequently, the search engines of EdFind have more robust search parameters, including the ability to locate specific programs based on customized needs, segregate search results based on certain parameters, access specific reports of aggregate data that are of interest to the academic community, access detailed program profiles and department research interests, and generate customized CSD program lists.
Whereas the GradGuide allowed users to search only by location (state), EdFind offers the ability to find academic programs by institution name, location, type of degree program, area of study, distance education availability, full-time or part-time programs, research interests of the CSD department, and multicultural or bilingual-focused programs.
In designing EdFind, ASHA staff collected feedback from students at undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech and hearing science, as to those items that they would most like to see in a customizable academic program search. The ability to compare programs on specific features ranked high on the list.
Since ASHA does not rate or rank academic programs, it is usually up to individual students or users to conduct their own research through multiple mechanisms (e.g., contacting CSD programs individually, conducting elaborate searches through program Web sites, and creating their own chart for comparison, etc.). Now EdFind offers the ability to compare CSD programs on the basis of features or aspects most frequently considered and that are of interest to most users; further, it does so in an easy-to-read (and printable) format. Helping students make well-informed decisions about the academic programs that really match their individual interests is a major benefit of EdFind.
Accessibility of the System
EdFind will be accessible by students, faculty, ASHA members, consumers, legislators, and anyone accessing the public pages of the ASHA Web site and seeking data on CSD programs. Until EdFind is launched later this year, we ask users to continue to access ASHA’s Online Guide to Graduate Programs. For more information about EdFind or the new higher education data system, access updates on ASHA’s Academic Programs Web site.
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August 2006
Volume 11, Issue 10