Speech Therapy Certification and Courses

Speech therapists treat disorders affecting speech and language function to develop the communication skills of their clients. Continue reading to review the certification process in this field, and check the other requirements for becoming a speech therapist. Get info on degree programs and coursework. Schools offering Bilingual and Multicultural Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Speech therapists are also called speech-language pathologists. To become certified in this field, you must earn a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Certification requirements entail that you take graduate courses to earn a master's degree, preferably from an institution accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation.

Degree Options Master of Arts or Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Master of Science in Communication Science and Disorders
Courses Diagnostic theory, motor speech disorders, phonetics, neuroanatomy, aphasia, voice disorders, dysphasia and related disorders, language disorders in children
Licensure and Certification Almost all states require licensure; ASHA certification usually satisfies state requirements for licensure

Sources: Central Michigan University, Abilene Christian University, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Qualify For Certification as a Speech Therapist?

To qualify for certification, you must earn a graduate degree from an accredited speech-language pathology program, complete a 400-hour clinical practicum, work as a postgraduate clinical fellow full-time for 36 weeks, and pass the Praxis Series examination in speech-language pathology. After completing these steps, you will need to submit an application for certification to the ASHA and pay fees to the organization. To maintain certification, you will need to participate in professional development classes and activities.

Why Do I Need to Obtain Certification?

Certification is voluntary, which means you can become licensed in your state without obtaining certification. However, exceeding the minimum state requirements for licensure and getting your CCC will provide professional credibility with your clients, employers and colleagues. Potential employers are more likely to hire you if you have shown dedication to your profession by achieving certification.

According to the ASHA, many states and school districts also offer financial supplements to certified speech therapists. Because ASHA certification is recognized by most states' regulatory agencies, you can be confident that you can gain licensure in many different states.

What Will I Learn?

To complete graduate school in order to obtain your CCC, you can expect to study a comprehensive mixture of clinical and research experience and classroom study. You will also concentrate on the following areas of interest:

  • Language and speech components
  • Diagnosis of disorders
  • Treatment procedures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Stuttering
  • Motor speech

What Degrees Are Available?

If you're interested in studying speech therapy or acquiring a certification, you'll likely need to enroll in a master's degree program. A Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology might be offered. The degree may also be available as a Master of Science program of study. A Master of Science in Communication Science and Disorders could be another option.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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