Save the Marymount Manhattan Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Major and Free Clinic

Save the Marymount Manhattan Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Major and Free Clinic

520 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!

Why this petition matters

Started by Mel Grasso

The students and alumni of the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major urge Marymount Manhattan College to reconsider their decision to terminate our major in three years’ time. Along with our major goes the Ruth Smadbeck Communication and Learning Center which has been providing the community with FREE speech, language, and hearing care for 40+ years.


We are a dedicated, passionate, and practical department that sets students up for success through undergraduate clinic experience, 1-on-1 guidance with licensed Speech Language Pathologists, and a thorough education in language development, communication disorders, and the cultural competence needed to thrive as clinicians. Our program is incredibly unique. as Marymount’s own website states, “such training is rarely available at the undergraduate level.” 

Serving the community with FREE speech, language, and hearing services for over 40 years, the Ruth Smadbeck Communication and Learning center is a pillar of the Upper East Side community. Clients receive care at no cost. By terminating our major, the school is removing free healthcare from clients that have been relying on us since the 1980s. 

Removing the Speech Pathology major is an incredible disservice to the Marymount Manhattan community and our Upper East side neighbors. PLEASE do not strip our clients of the free care they have benefited from for years. 

Our school is quick to preach diversity and inclusion yet is considering cutting one of its most diverse majors with close ties to our community through free Speech and Language services which have been present for decades. This decision is a huge mistake and reduces healthcare accessibility. 

MMC’s website states that “the clinic is free to the public, advancing the College’s social justice mission.” Back up this proclaimed mission with action, provide us with support rather than termination. We, too, are dedicated individuals striving to make the world more accessible and inclusive. 

Students of the Communication Services and Disorders department deserve better from Marymount Manhattan College:

●       Three years ago, Kerry Walk informed incoming freshmen and their families that a Master’s program was guaranteed to be added to our department, opening the possibility of graduating in 5 years with a master’s degree. This was presented as a surefire addition, falsely representing the major and causing students to turn down offers from other colleges. After we committed, the Master’s program was stripped away for ambiguous reasons by the higher-ups in the college with no fault to our department. Despite this, we remained in the program, serving in the clinic and passionately diving into our academics. 

●       To announce the termination of our major, our department faculty informed us over email and zoom with no presence from the people above actually making these decisions. As students paying for our education, we deserve communication and straightforwardness from the people deciding our fate. 

●       Upon the retirement of our previous department head, Marymount failed to add a replacement faculty member making recruiting efforts more difficult. With only ONE full time faculty member, we are unable to recruit the number of students our department once did

We will not go away quietly despite MMC’s expectation. Your Communication Sciences and Disorders students and alumni have a deep love for our department. We matter in the MMC community and bring important life to our school. Our clients matter.

By signing this petition, you are showing your support for the Speech Language Pathology Major and urging Marymount Manhattan to preserve our department. We need YOUR help to stop these plans.


520 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!