Fontbonne University’s department of communication disorders and deaf education has launched a new program to meet a growing need in the speech-language pathology field.
According to a recent study from the Wall Street Journal, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) remain in high demand throughout the country. In fact, this field had one of the lowest unemployment rates in 2012.
To meet this demand and the needs of SLP professionals, Fontbonne University is now offering a new certificate program for speech-language pathology assistants. Individuals who complete this program will be eligible to apply for licensure to the Missouri State Board of Healing Arts as a speech-language pathology assistant.
“Being a speech-language pathology assistant is an exciting career choice,” said Carmen Russell, associate professor for Fontbonne University’s department of communication disorders and deaf education. “The field is rapidly growing. Assistants work closely with SLPs in schools, nursing homes or other rehabilitation settings to carry out treatment plans. We’re proud to be one of the first to offer this increasingly essential certificate program in Missouri.”
Students must have a bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling, or must be on track to complete a bachelor’s by the time they become certified. Most courses are offered in a blended format, where some of the classes within one course are online and some are face-to-face. The program can be finished in as few as 14 months. The format and timeline are beneficial for current speech implementers and other speech professionals who need this required certification.
This program addresses new Missouri licensure guidelines enacted in July 2012. Many of Missouri’s schools currently employ “speech implementers” who work under the guidance of a speech-language pathologist and have a bachelor’s degree, though not necessarily in a speech therapy field. Many of these professionals will need additional education to meet the new guidelines and to become licensed as speech-language pathology assistants.
In addition to speech implementers, this certificate is also an excellent option for students interested in augmenting their degree programs or for those looking to make an exciting career change.
Upon successful completion of the Fontbonne SLPA certificate program, the graduate will have the 21 credit hours in speech-language pathology courses, as well as the 25 documented clinical observation hours, needed to apply for SLPA licensure with the Missouri Board of Healing Arts.
Learn more about Speech-Language Pathology at Fontbonne.