So you want to be a speech therapist? You’ll need some specific education as well as licensing and certification. To get these documents, most states in the US require a master's degree in speech therapy from a college accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.
Once you graduate from an accredited college, you’ll be eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). This certificate is awarded through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Armed with this certificate, you’ll be able to get your license.
The majority of master’s degree speech therapy programs will emphasize clinical speech pathology. Doctoral programs, on the other hand will focus on field research and advanced clinical techniques. If you intend to work with developmentally arrested patients or those suffering from hearing impairments, you should concentrate on speech therapy programs in school settings.
To get a leg up in your career as a speech therapist, you might consider signing up as a volunteer, performing ancillary speech therapy services. In your search for speech therapy schools, consider those that have on-campus research labs and speech pathology clinics. These labs and clinics will give you the opportunity to conduct research projects and gain valuable hands-on experience.
Here are the top two schools in the nation for speech therapy:
University of Iowa in Iowa City
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa offers a professional Master’s Degree program for those who expect to pursue a career in speech therapy and a general Master’s Degree program for those who plan to pursue a doctoral degree. Call (319) 335-3500 for more information.
Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
Northwestern University offers the second-best speech-language pathology program in the nation. Their Master of Arts program will prepare you to diagnose and treat a variety of disorders in children and adults. You can pursue general study or select a specialty in either early intervention for children or those afflicted with neurological disorders. Call (847) 491-3741 for more information.
For an added perspective, check out this video:
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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.