A slightly different sequence of courses prepares students to work in a school setting with birth – 22-year-old students as a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA). This SLPA Certificate Track meets all of the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA’s) guidelines for preparation of SLPAs.
The course sequence for SLPAs requires the completion of 22 credits (7 courses), with 16 credits being academically-based and 6 credits concentrating on clinical practice.
Prior to commencing the clinical coursework, students need to complete 25 hours of observation with an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. In addition, 100 hours of clinical practice, under the direct supervision of an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist or state licensed SLP, will be accrued in combination with the clinical practicum courses that end the program.
Throughout the program, students compile documents and artifacts to be included in a portfolio that demonstrates learning and understanding of the role of SLPAs in schools. The completed portfolio will be graded as part of the clinically-based coursework at the completion of the program.
You can find information regarding SLPA licensure by state on ASHA’s website here. You can find information regarding ASHA’s guidelines for SLPA preparation and scope of practice here.
Before applying to the program, check with your state’s Department of Education or Health Department for SLPA licensure requirements, which vary from state to state. Some states may require 1-2 additional courses for SLPA state licensure; often offered online through UVM.
The Speech-Language Pathology Assistants program is appropriate for any individual with a baccalaureate degree. The program provides a certificate specifying that the recipient has achieved the knowledge and skill level recommended by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) for individuals who are serving as support personnel to assist Speech-Language Pathologists with the diverse needs of children with communication disabilities and their families in the school setting. At the same time, students who complete these courses will be prepared to apply to a graduate program in SLP in the future.
Requirements to Complete the Speech-Language Pathology Assistants Course Sequence
- Students must begin the online program in the Spring semester.
- Students typically complete the program in four semesters by taking two online courses each term.
- Courses must be taken in the order in which they are offered.
- Prior to enrolling in CSD 225, students need to complete 25 observation hours with an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist.
- Admitted certificate students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 or above to remain in the program.
Required Courses for Speech Language Pathology Assistant
- CSD 020: Introduction to Disordered Communication
- CSD 022: Introduction to Phonetics
- CSD 023: Linguistics for Clinicians
- CSD 094: Development of Spoken Language
- CSD 101: Speech and Hearing Science
- CSD 225: Working with Speech Disorders
- CSD 226: Working with Language Disorders
SLPA Certificate Track Sequence of Online Course Work
The following is a breakdown of when the seven SLPA Certificate Track courses are offered. The course sequence begins in spring which is the recommended starting point. In order to be able to take CSD 225 (in the fall) and CSD 226 (in the following spring), you would need to complete the prerequisites CSD 020 and CSD 022 in the first spring term. CSD 101 may be taken with CSD 226 in the second spring term, thus keeping the number of courses to 2 in any given semester. Taking it in the first spring term, which is an option, would result in taking three courses.
- CSD 020: Intro to Disordered Communication (3 credits)
- CSD 022: Intro to Phonetics (3 credits)
- CSD 094: Development of Spoken Language (3 credits)
- CSD 023: Linguistics for Clinicians (3 credits) or LING 080
- CSD 225: Working with Speech Disorders (3 credits)
- CSD 226: Working with Language Disorders (3 credits)
- CSD 101: Speech and Hearing Science (4 credits)
Courses are three credits unless otherwise noted.
CSD 020: Introduction to Disordered Communication
Survey of language, speech, and hearing disorders, emphasizing the importance of understanding such disorders as a part of the fuller understanding of human behavior.
CSD 022: Introduction to Phonetics
Linguistic, acoustic, and articulatory phonetics applied to the description of speech. Stresses use of the International Phonetic Alphabet with English, foreign languages, and disordered speech.
CSD 023: Linguistics for Clinicians
Linguistic concepts, applications to clinical contexts. Topics include language components, language processing in the brain, individual differences and disorders, dialects, normal and disordered language acquisition.
CSD 094: Development of Spoken Language
Speech and language acquisition interpreted in light of current learning and cognitive theory, linguistic theory, and methods of linguistic analysis.
CSD 101: Speech & Hearing Science (Pre-requisite for M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders)
Please note: this elective is recommended only for those planning on going onto graduate school.
Structure and function of the respiratory, phonatory, articulatory, and hearing systems, coupled with models of speech and hearing as part of human communication. 4 credits.
CSD 225: Working with Speech Disorders
Students will develop an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of speech language pathology assistants (SLPA) within school or rehabilitation settings, working with infants to 22-year-olds. An overview of relevant special education regulations, HIPAA standards, and health and safety issues is provided. Observation techniques, data collection practice, and team collaboration skills, including working with a supervising speech language pathologist (SLP) will be emphasized. Completion of at least 50 hours of practicum experience coincides with this course. Prerequisites: CSD 020, CSD 022, LING 081, CSD 094.
CSD 226: Working with Language Disorders
Students will further develop skills commenced in CSD 225 and learn relevant screening tactics. Intervention strategies including evidence-based practices and response to intervention strategies for articulation, language, fluency, and voice will be explored. Working with diverse populations, communicating with families, and working through difficult treatment situations will be discussed. Completion of at least 50 hours of practicum experience coincides with this course. Prerequisite: CSD 225.
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