Become A Speech Language Pathologist: Steps and Suggestions

If you have been wondering how to become a Speech Language Pathologist... don't have to wonder anymore.

Step 1 - Get a Bachelor's Degree in Communicative Disorders

It is important that you get the best grades you can during undergraduate coursework. However, it is equally important that you

  • study for

  • do well on

...the Graduate Requisite Exam (GRE).

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SEE ALSO: 8 Activities for Using Multi-syllabic Words

If you are trying to get into a top school, you should also consider doing as much volunteer work as you can. 

Volunteer work with different groups and organizations shows your ability to work with multiple groups of people.

This will build your resume and help you stand out to prospective Graduate schools when they review your application.

Be sure to apply to a few Universities so you have some back-ups.

Step 2 - Get a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology

Once you get accepted to an accredited University, it won't be long before you become a Speech Language Pathologist. The only way you will blow it is if you...

...let your grades drop.

This may seem like a no brainer, but I have seen it happen. I went to Utah State University and we weren't allowed to get lower than a B- in any class.

This includes 2-3 or more internships where you are graded on your ability and clinical skills, not on how well you memorize information from a book.

You don't want to work hard to get into Graduate school, only to get kicked out.

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Step 3 - Complete a Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY)

A clinical fellowship year is 9 months of supervised (and paid) work as an SLP. It can be done in both school and medically based settings. During this time you will be required to meet with your supervisor once every 8 weeks or so.

He or she will observe you at your location. During these days they will "watch you in action". 

This includes observing the effectiveness of your therapy sessions, data tracking skills, and testing and report writing abilities.

Then they will rate you on how well you are doing.

Achieving a passing score on each of these supervisory evaluations will make you eligible to earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). If you score high enough and send in your paperwork you will get your CCC.

Once you have this certificate you will no longer need to be supervised and you will be considered competent to use good judgment as an SLP.

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SEE ALSO: 21 Free Apps for Speech Therapy

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