Speech-language pathology is a great career choice if you are interested in assisting patients in overcoming speech and language disorders.
What is speech pathology?
Speech pathologists help patients improve their speech and language disorders. A speech disorder is a condition that prevents a patient from producing sounds needed for speech. Whereas, a language disorder prevents a patient from understanding and communicating their feelings and thoughts. Becoming a speech pathologist is a wonderful way to impact your community and help those in need. But how do you become a speech pathologist?
There are so many degrees and pathways available for college students. As a result, finding a way to become certified for a career can be overwhelming. Before applying for certification through ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), a linear pathway can be hard to find. To start, here is a step-by-step process to becoming a certified speech pathologist:
Becoming a certified speech pathologist
To begin, you’ll need to get an undergraduate degree. Any bachelor’s degree in a similar field will be useful for preparing yourself to get your master’s degree. Already have a bachelor’s degree? Continue to the next section!
Classes in degrees like a bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders, English, education, or psychology will give you a great springboard for the more challenging content of a master’s degree. After you have your bachelor’s sorted you will be ready to go for your master’s.
How long is speech pathology school?
Next, you will need to take all of the knowledge you have gained and apply it to your master’s degree in speech-language pathology. At Concordia University Wisconsin, we have an excellent Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology program that pushes students to have a positive influence on their communities by challenging critical thinking within their vocation. Over the course of 2-years, you will build confidence in your skills of prevention, diagnosis, and effective treatment.
Graduating with a master’s in speech-language pathology
Our program is CAA (Council on Academic Accreditation) certified. This means you will be fully prepared for the next steps after graduation, like applying for licensure and certification. Also, our own state-of-the-art, on-campus Speech, Language, and Hearing clinic will help prepare you with real world experience to excel in your future vocation.
After you have graduated with your master’s in speech-language pathology, you will be ready to apply for certification through ASHA. Post-graduation and pre-application you also need a passing Praxis Exam score. The Praxis Exam is a content exam that will assess your knowledge in your field developed by ASHA.
When you pass the Praxis Exam, your final task is to complete your clinical fellowship with an ASHA certified mentor. After all your fellowship documents have been received and approved, you will officially be ASHA certified! At this point, you will be able to apply to hospitals or clinics as a licensed speech-language pathologist.
Looking for more on how to become a speech pathologist?
Learn more about the good speech-language pathologists do in the world and paths that brought students success. Take a look at these blog posts for more information:
- Read about Mike’s experience at CUW Audiology Clinic
- Read about Shacale’s path to becoming a speech-language pathologist
This blog was originally published on November 18, 2021. It has been updated to reflect current information.