Nicole M. Koonce, Ph.D., CCC-SLP/L

  Associate Professor
  708-534-4597 ext. 4597
  Office Location: F 1407
  Office Hours: Mon., 10 a.m. - Noon; Tues., 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Thurs., 1 - 4 p.m. Other times available by appointment.
  College: CHHS

Communication Disorders


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Governors State University. I am also a certified Speech-Language Pathologist with more than 14 years of clinical experience in pediatric communication disorders.

I enjoy teaching undergraduate and graduate students and use a variety of pedagogical approaches, including engaged class discussion, collaborative group work, interactive technologies, applied projects and critical analysis of case studies to facilitate students’ mastery of core knowledge and skills required for clinical practice in speech-language pathology.I believe in excellence in scholarship and am committed to helping students develop into their best academic and professional selves as they pursue study in communication disorders. 

I currently teach Anatomy & Physiology of Speech and Hearing, Language Development: Later Stages, and Sociolinguistics in the undergraduate program and Language and Literacy Disorders: Later Stages, and Advanced Speech Sound Disorders in the graduate program.  In addition to teaching, I supervise graduate students in prevention, evaluation and treatment experiences with early childhood and school-age clients in community-based settings.

My research interests are deeply informed by my experiences as a school-based speech-language pathologist.Through my work on multidisciplinary teams, I learned that diagnosis of more subjective disabilities such as language and learning disabilities was affected by many factors.Poor assessment practices, inadequate instruction, knowledge and beliefs about child development, linguistic diversity, availability of school resources and student behavior played as vital a role as interpretation of objective evaluation data in school-based diagnosis of disability.These experiences helped me to begin the process of asking and answering questions about language, culture, and disability.

My current research focuses on three areas of inquiry: (1) development of linguistic profiles of African-American youth, (2) the identification of evidence-based language interventions for school-age children and adolescents with language-learning disabilities, and (3) collaborative models for service delivery in clinical and educational settings.My ultimate goal is to provide rich, linguistic information that that can be used to develop evidence-based assessment methods and intervention programs for older school-age children and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  

The most exciting part of my position at GSU is being afforded the opportunity to integrate my research interests and clinical work into teaching and mentoring experiences that help students develop into deep thinkers prepared to solve the complex communication needs of the individuals who speech-language pathologist serve. 

In my time at GSU, I’ve been able to develop community partnerships that have provided students with clinical experiences directly connected to coursework.The GSU community encourages innovative and collaborative teaching and learning practices that serve the wider community.I look forward to developing research and clinical experiences that help students develop into competent and confident professionals focused on improving the lives of their future patients, clients and students through excellent clinical practice.




Koonce, N.M. (in press). When it comes to explaining: A preliminary investigation of the expository language skills of African American school age children. Topics in Language Disorders. 

Scott, C.M., & Koonce, N.M. (2013). Syntactic contributions to literacy learning. In C.A. Stone, E. Silliman, & G. Wallach (Eds.), Handbook of language and literacy: Development and disorders (2nd ed.).  New York: Guilford. 

Koonce, N.M., & Jones, V. On the outside looking in: The underrepresentation of African American students with learning disabilities in special education reading research. Manuscript in preparation. 

Koonce, N.M. Structural elements in the narratives of African American school-age children. Manuscript in preparation.


Link to Dr. Koonce's Full CV: