NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

K-12 Professionals

Using Augmentative/ Alternative Communication to Build Academic Skills

EDUC 600




Instructor: Michelle Kalina

Grading: Graded

Spring, Summer & Fall (Ongoing)

Instruction Mode: Correspondence

Academic Level: K-12 Professional Development

Course Fee: $150

Class Offered Through Northstar Continuing Education

Course Description:

Many students using augmentative and alternative communication devices in general and special education classrooms are not working up to their academic potential, despite having access to superior technology. In this course, teachers will learn how to assess the needs of their students using AAC and how best to translate use of this technology into academic success, regardless of cognitive ability. Teachers will learn how to adapt the general curriculum and bring students beyond emergent literacy skills to their functional use in the classroom. Specific technology applications, such as word prediction software, communication boards, and speech generating devices and how they can best be used to improve academic success will also be discussed.


As a result of this participation in this course, students will:

1. Adapt the general curriculum for students using AAC;

2. Promote the development of positive social relationships between peers and students who use AAC;

3. Develop IEP based on the student’s literacy, language and communication goals;

4. Support student’s successful use of a variety of AAC technologies;

5. Promote movement beyond emergent literacy to functional literacy skills;

6. Determine students’ continuing needs of through ongoing reading, writing and language assessments;

7. Collaborate with professionals to improve academic and social outcomes for their students who use AAC.


Soto, G. & Zangari, C. (2009). Practically Speaking: Language, Literacy and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs.

Textbook(s) not included in the cost of the course.

About The Instructor

Michelle Kalina
Michelle Kalina

Michelle Kalina earned an M.S. in Speech/Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin, Steven's Point. Michelle also has a B.S. in Communicative Disorders and a B.A. in German and History, with a minor in Russian. Michelle is ASHA and DPI certified in Early Childhood through Adult Populations in Educational Settings. Michelle has over 17 years of experience as a speech/language clinician.


**Registration Instructions:

A minimum $20 processing fee will be assessed per person for cancellations received after the start of the course. Refunds are not issued after the start of the course or after access to the course has been provided.

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