Choosing a Speech Therapy School

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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:
If you have any thoughts on speech therapy schools, feel free to share them in the comments section.
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.

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  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Thank you for your informative and insightful comments.
  • Evelyn
    For starters, both are great careers that will always be in demand.  I am a speech path student, and might be a little biased, but I will try to answers your questions.An occupational therapist has a broader range of duties and responsibilites than does a speech pathologist. They work to improve gross and fine motor skills, while an SLP works to improve speech and language skills.  I chose a career in speech pathology for several reasons.  First, I love working with kids and have a very caretaking personality.  Second, I have always had a passion for it; I became addicted to reading at an early age, and always did well in English and foreign languages.  In addition, I desired a career where I would have some independence and also make a good living.  An occupational therapist probably shares many of these qualities, minus the speech/language stuff. You can feel good knowing though, that each job pays decently, and each will always be in high demand.  Good luck!
  • Adilson
    The length of time for an older teen or an adult to fix one scpeeh sound depends completely on the client's motivation and attitude toward hard work.My last client before I retired was a 16-year-old with a frontal lisp (/s/ problem). At the start, she was totally unable to pronounce the sound even in isolation. At the end of the second week, not only was she saying the sound consistently, she had already carried it over to conversational scpeeh. It took only 8 visits because she was so motivated and worked very hard, both in and out of the therapy sessions. You may be able to do the same. Developmental articulation disorders like yours aren't covered by any insurance company I've ever worked with. They only cover post-surgical or other acquired problems, such as a stroke, other neurological disorders (Parkinson's, etc.), and some ENT diagnoses.Sessions can cost as much as $150/session if in a hospital or clinic setting. I suggest contacting a scpeeh pathologist or two and ask if they will see you privately for $50 or $60 per session after work. The standard treatment regimen is twice per week following a complete evaluation.Hope this helps!

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