St. Catherine University and Fontbonne University announce strategic partnership

Partnership will begin with new graduate program in speech-language pathology in St. Paul, including free community clinic for patients with communications disorders.
Logo of Fontbonne University

St. Catherine University announced today it has established a strategic partnership with Clayton, Missouri-based Fontbonne University. As part of this partnership, Fontbonne will open a new graduate degree program in speech-language pathology that begins in January 2023. A free, on-site clinic at St. Kate’s St. Paul campus for patients with communications disorders will provide practical experience and hands-on training by experienced clinicians.

Fontbonne has been a leader in providing speech, language and hearing education for more than a half-century and has one of the most nationally recognized, accredited programs in the nation. The initial program at St. Kate’s is limited to 25 graduate students and includes 40 credit hours of coursework and 15 hours of clinic credits.

“We are excited to partner with Fontbonne and bring this program to St. Kate’s and the St. Paul area community,” said Anita Thomas, PhD, executive vice president and provost of St. Catherine University. “Students will benefit from Fontbonne’s nationally-recognized faculty and alumni who are experts in the Speech-Language field. The program aligns with our tradition of academic excellence, offering another avenue by which our students will make a positive difference in the lives of people they help in the clinic before they even graduate.”

The clinic in St. Paul will offer free evaluations and treatment for a wide variety of developmental and acquired communication disorders. Based on a family-centered philosophy, the clinic’s goals are focused on improving an individual’s communications functionality while also improving their ability to interact with family and friends, engage in social activities, and even return to work.

Students enrolled in the distance education program will receive their Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology degree and Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the College of Education and Allied Health Professions at Fontbonne University.

“Fontbonne is proud of our long and distinguished history in educating the most capable speech-language pathologists.  We’re looking forward to opening the new Speech-Language clinic in St. Paul, exposing more students to a wide range of patients and enabling them to acquire diverse skills under the direct supervision of experienced faculty supervisors,” said Gale Rice, PhD, professor and dean of the College of Education and Allied Health Professions at Fontbonne University.

The demand for speech-language pathologists is expected to grow over the coming decade in settings spanning schools, hospitals, nursing homes, businesses, private practice, universities, research laboratories, corporations, industry and government agencies. Patients include people of all ages from infants, toddlers, school-age children and adolescents to young adults and seniors.

As the program grows, both Fontbonne and St. Kate’s will explore offering select St. Kate’s programs at the Fontbonne campus in St. Louis.

More information about the Speech-Language clinic, as well as applications for child and adult evaluations.


About Fontbonne University

Fontbonne University is a private, Catholic liberal arts university located in St. Louis, Missouri, committed to a transformative education and inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically and act ethically to create a more just world. Currently celebrating its Centennial, the university was founded in 1923 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. For more information, visit