Certification Standards for Speech-Language Pathology Frequently Asked Questions: Course Work/Knowledge Areas
2014 SLP Certification Standards
How much course work must be completed?
Applicants for certification in speech-language pathology must have completed a program of study—a minimum of 36 semester credit hours (47 quarter hours) at the graduate level—that addresses the knowledge and skills pertinent to the ASHA Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology.
What prerequisite courses are required for certification?
Although there is not a uniform curriculum that all applicants must have followed, evidence of courses completed in biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics, and the social/behavioral sciences is required. This evidence is submitted through the Verification by Program Director page included within the certification application.
What courses are acceptable in those four areas?
Individual graduate programs will determine which courses are acceptable in biological science, physical science, statistics, and social/behavioral sciences. The CFCC believes that the individual graduate programs are best equipped to make the assessment as to whether or not specific courses will best serve as providing appropriate and adequate pre-requisite skills and knowledge. A list of courses that might be accepted to satisfy the prerequisite requirement can be found in Standard IV-A.
What professional area courses are required in speech-language pathology?
Under the 2014 standards, the emphasis is on the acquisition of knowledge and skills, not on completion of specific course work. A graduate program is required to periodically assess the student's acquisition of knowledge and skills as listed in Standard IV and V, and the program determines which courses will permit acquisition of the mandated knowledge and skills.
How will the program director know that I have acquired the needed knowledge and skills?
Each academic program determines the specific student learning outcomes and mechanisms they will use to assess students' acquisition of knowledge and skills. The CFCC expects that programs will use a variety of mechanisms (e.g., performance on exams, submitted papers, performance in clinic) and will make these assessments on an on-going basis.
If a student receives a passing grade in a course, won't that indicate that he or she has gained a particular knowledge or skill?
It may, but a grade won't tell the CFCC which knowledge or skill has been mastered. Knowledge may be gained in more than one area through completion of a course. The CFCC is relying on the academic and clinical instructors/supervisors to assess which knowledge and skills have been achieved and how they have been achieved.
Is there a requirement for a certain number of courses or semester hours in speech disorders or language disorders?
No. Beyond the prerequisite courses noted earlier, there are no specific courses in speech-language pathology required for certification; however, graduate programs may have requirements for course work that are above those required for ASHA certification and that is their prerogative. Additionally, individual state licensure boards may have requirements different from ASHA certification requirements and it may be necessary for applicants to provide a breakdown of courses and practicum hours to satisfy those licensure requirements.
Is there a requirement for course work in audiology?
The 2014 standards do not mandate specific course work or clinical practicum in audiology, but individual graduate programs and licensure boards may have different requirements in this area.
In several of the standards there are the phrases "the applicant must have demonstrated knowledge" and "must have demonstrated skills." How will a student demonstrate knowledge?
The individual graduate programs have developed mechanisms for assessing the demonstration of the knowledge and skills outcomes listed in the standards. Their verification, via completion of the "Verification by Program Director" page of the certification application, will be sufficient documentation to the CFCC that the applicant has met the requirements.