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Welcome to OnlineSpeechPathologyPrograms.net – an information portal for anyone interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist. To learn more about how to this profession and the opportunities it presents, click on each question below for a detailed overview. You can also follow our blogger, Tiffani Wallace, who regularly posts on topics related speech, language, and hearing disorders.
- What is speech-language pathology?
- How can I become a speech-language pathologist?
- What are my degree options in speech-language pathology?
- Is certification required to work as a speech-language pathologist?
- Audiology vs. Speech Pathology: What’s the difference?
What is speech-language pathology?
Speech-language pathology is the study of speech and language disorders, such as developmental articulation disorder, fluency disorder (stuttering), delayed speech and language, and Dysphasia and Aphasia disorders. A speech-language pathologist, also known as speech therapist, helps in the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. They study effective treatment plans and use vocal exercises and cognitive therapies to improve the communication skills among the patients.
How can I become a speech-language pathologist?
If you are interested in becoming a SLP, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s degree in speech pathology or audiology. A master’s degree is typically the entry-level degree for employment in the field. There are many degree options that prospective students can choose from. The degrees below can help set you on the right path towards a career in speech-language pathology.
New York University
AT Still University of Health Sciences
Concordia University - Portland
What are my degree options in speech-language pathology?
As previously mentioned, earning a bachelor’s degree is the first step towards becoming a speech-language pathologist, followed by a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders or speech-language pathology. The areas of study listed below provide the foundation courses often required for graduate study in speech pathology:
|Area of Study||Program Description|
|Behavioral Science||Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in behavioral science learn how to analyze human behavior and interactions: These skills are often needed to help speech-language pathologists identify possible causes of the problem.|
|Child Development||A bachelor’s degree program in child development focuses on the study of the different processes that influence human growth and development from birth through adolescence: Many speech-language pathologists work with children of all ages and their families to identify possible delays and disorders, often in schools or out-patient clinics.|
|Psychology||A bachelor’s degree in psychology focuses on the study of the mind, human experience, and behavior and how they interact with one another: Graduate degree programs in speech pathology typically incorporate psychology into their curriculums as a way to better understand the development of speech and language disorders.|
Is certification required to work as a speech-language pathologist?
Speech-language pathologists must be certified by two organizations. The first is the Clinical Competence in Speech and Language Pathology certification (CCC-SLP) and the second is the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. There is also a national written and speech and pathology exam you must take to practice as a speech-language pathologist.
To become certified by the CCC-SLP, the applicant must have 300-400 hours working with speech impaired students. These hours are completed under the supervision of a certified practicing speech therapist. This portion of the master’s program is referred to as clinicals, similar to the clinicals a doctor or nurse completes. Every state requires a license in order to practice speech pathology, but the requirements for that license varies. Some states only need a master’s degree but some do require additional certification.
Both specialties involve expertise in hearing and speech patterns, but what speech pathologists do is quite different from what audiologists do. Below we’ve outlined the key differences between the specialties to help you decide which career path is right for you.
|Job Overview:||A speech pathologist helps people who struggle with speech disorders because of developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and other problems that can affect speech.||An audiologist identifies and assesses individuals with hearing and/or balance concerns, problems or disorders.|
|Certifications:||You can apply for Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) after successful completion of a CAA-accredited academic program in speech pathology.||You can apply for Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) after successful completion of a CAA-accredited doctoral program in audiology.|
Despite different job roles and responsibilities, speech-language pathologists and audiologists work closely together and/or as part of a team given the connection between between speech sound disorders. You’ll notice in the pie graph below considerable overlap in audiologists’ and SLPs’ work settings:
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