Communications Sciences and Disorders
What is a speech-language pathology assistant?
Speech-language pathology assistants provide important assistance to speech-language pathologists. While working under the supervision of the SLP, the SLPA can provide various aspects of patient service including direct patient care, screening and testing without interpretation, record keeping, and material preparation.
Why is it a good time to pursue this field?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 27% growth in jobs for speech-language pathology and the role of the SLPA is becoming an increasingly important part of that job growth. Currently, Harding is the only university in Arkansas and one of just a few in the region to offer a speech-language pathology assistant bachelor’s degree.
The SLPA participates in patient services including:
- Assisting the SLP with speech, language and hearing screenings without clinical interpretation
- Assisting the SLP during assessment of students, patients and clients
- Assisting the SLP with bilingual translation during screening and assessment activities
- Following documented treatment plans or protocols developed by the supervising SLP
- Assisting with clerical duties, such as preparing materials and scheduling activities, as directed by the SLP
- Supporting the supervising SLP in research projects, in-service training, and promotional efforts
Where can I learn more about the profession of SLPA?
Where can I work as an SLPA?
Where can I learn more about licensure?
SLPAs are licensed by individual states and national certification will begin at the end of 2020. States have different requirements for obtaining licensure so you'll want to look specifically at licensure guidelines in the state where you intend to work. Learn more about Arkansas's requirements here.
Is earning a BA in SLPA adequate preparation for pursuing a graduate degree in SLP?
No. While our SLPA students will take many classes with our CSD undergraduates, not all of the courses required for admission into graduate school are included in this degree program.
I already have an associate's degree. Is this enough to work as an SLPA in Arkansas?
Arkansas licensure requires an associates degree in communication sciences and disorders to work as an SLPA. If you already have an AA degree or similar levels of coursework, you may be a perfect candidate for completing your degree with us and would then be qualified to seek state licensure and national certification. We'd love to talk with you!