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Education Pathways to Speech-Language Pathology Assistants Certification

Speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) who want to become ASHA-certified and hold the C-SLPA credential must meet the requirements set forth in the Standards for SLPA Certification, which include

Eligibility Pathways

To be eligible to take the SLPA certification exam, all applicants for ASHA SLPA certification must complete one of three pathway options that best fits their education and qualifications.

Education Option 1

  • 2-year SLPA program degree from an accredited institution (e.g., associate's degree from a community college or technical training program)
  • Complete the three 1-hour prerequisite courses listed below
  • Complete the clinical field work requirement listed below

Education Option 2

  • Bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from an accredited institution
  • Complete ASHA’s online SLPA education modules or academic equivalent
  • Complete the three 1-hour prerequisite courses listed below
  • Complete the clinical field work requirement listed below

Education Option 3

  • College degree (associate's or bachelor's) from an accredited institution
  • Complete an SLPA certificate program with equivalent coursework, or complete academic coursework from an accredited college institution, in the areas below:
    • Introductory or overview course in communication disorders
    • Phonetics
    • Speech sound disorders
    • Language development
    • Language disorders
    • Anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing mechanisms
  • Complete ASHA’s online SLPA education modules or academic equivalent
  • Complete the three 1-hour prerequisite courses listed below
  • Complete the clinical field work requirement listed below

Prerequisite Courses

In addition to finishing all the requirements of that option, applicants must also complete the following mandatory requirements:

  • Completion of a 1-hour of ethics course*
  • Completion of a 1-hour course in universal safety precautions*
  • Completion of a 1-hour patient confidentiality training course (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, etc.)*
  • Clinical field work (also called "clinical practicum" or "on-the-job" hours): A minimum of 100 hours, to include
    • 80 hours of direct patient/client/student services under the supervision of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist (SLP)**
    • 20 hours of indirect patient/client/student services under the supervision of an ASHA-certified SLP**
    • Observation hours cannot be used toward this requirement.

* These three prerequisite courses must be completed no more than 2 years prior to application. These requirements may also be met as part of an academic course. Applicants who have not had specific academic training in the roles and responsibilities of working as an assistant must also complete ASHA's online education modules for assistants, or an equivalent academic course.

** Supervised clinical experience as an SLPA student or SLPA—for purposes of assistants certification—must have been completed no more than five years before applying for the C-SLPA; hours may be verified by your clinical practicum supervisor or a former/current supervisor after graduation. Required hours of direct and indirect patient/client/student services (a) must be completed before individuals may apply for assistants certification and (b) may be obtained as part of an academic program or on-the-job training/work. Clinical hours will be verified as part of the online application process; no documentation needs to be submitted. Any hours completed January 1, 2020, or after must have been supervised by an ASHA-certified SLP (See Standard III.)

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