Now recruiting for the AAC Leadership Doctoral Program in AAC

We are now looking for interested applicants for the AAC Leadership Project at Penn State University. 

As we announced last year, the AAC Leadership Project has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education (H325D170024). The grant funds will be used to support doctoral students who are interested in pursuing advanced degrees in the area of AAC.


What is the AAC Leadership Project?

A doctoral fellowship program in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) designed to develop high-quality researchers, teachers, scholars, and future leaders in the field of AAC.  

As part of the program, Ph.D. students participate in a comprehensive curriculum addressing issues related to AAC:

  • Core courses dedicated to AAC, including advanced topics in AAC, interdisciplinary approaches to evidence-based practice, and diversity and global issues in AAC; Related coursework in statistics, methodology, and elective areas of language, neurology, grant writing, etc.;
  • Completion of at least three mentored research projects, structured to result in conference presentations and publications;
  • Hands-on lab experiences with state of the art AAC assistive technologies;
  • Direct experience with teaching, including classroom teaching and mentorship of research and/or clinical experiences of pre-service students.

Photo of Jessica Gormley at ISAACWhy Penn State?

  • The program at Penn State is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the top research programs focused on the needs of children who require AAC;

  • The core academic and clinical faculty have more than 60 externally funded grants, over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals, over 500 conference presentations, and extensive experience in evidence based practice in AAC.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the program?

  • The program is designed to be completed during an intensive 3-year period.

Is distance or part-time education possible?

  • No, all students on the grant must be full-time students at Penn State, University Park Campus.

What do current or past students have to say about the program?

  • See what a recent graduate had to say, here.  
  • See what current students have to say, here.  











For more information, please email Dr. Janice Light (

For a recruitment flyer, click here

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