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What Current Graduate Students Need To Know: ASHA Membership and Certification

Now that you’re enrolled in a clinical graduate program in audiology or speech-language pathology, you may want to start thinking about what you’ll need for ASHA membership, certification, and state licensure.

On this page:

Students Earning a Doctoral Degree in Audiology

ASHA membership, ASHA certification, and state licensure are separate—but related—options for graduates of audiology clinical doctorate programs.

  • During the graduate program, students may choose to join ASHA through National NSSLHA.
  • After graduation, graduates may choose to become ASHA members. Members of NSSLHA may be eligible for discounts converting to ASHA membership, and ASHA also offers discounts to new graduates applying for ASHA membership.
  • Being “ASHA certified” means holding the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), a nationally recognized professional credential that represents a level of excellence in the profession of audiology (CCC-A).
  • State licensure is required before an individual may practice as a clinician in most states. It is regulated by the individual states and is separate from ASHA certification and membership.

National NSSLHA and ASHA Memberships

National NSSLHA Membership Benefits and Discounts

When students join National NSSLHA for the last 2 years of their doctoral program, they’re eligible for the NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount (see more below). With this discount, they can receive $225 off the initial dues and fees of ASHA membership and certification. As a National NSSLHA member, they’ll receive all the benefits a student needs to advance their educational career—like discounts, volunteer and networking opportunities, publications, and much more.

ASHA Membership Value and Benefits

ASHA offers members the resources and information they need to stay up to date on the latest developments and issues in the professions, as well as career-building programs, advocacy and awareness outreach, networking opportunities, and more. One option for starting the process is to join National NSSLHA while you’re still a student.

NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount

To qualify for the NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount, students must be a National NSSLHA member for the last 2 years of their doctoral program. Eligible members must submit their application for ASHA membership and certification to the ASHA National Office by or before August 31 of the year following graduation. Students must confirm their 2 years of National NSSLHA membership and their eligibility for the NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount prior to applying for membership and certification.

ASHA's Professional Membership Package

ASHA's New Professional Membership Package gives up to 24 months of ASHA membership to recent master's and doctoral graduates who apply for ASHA membership and certification from January 1 to August 31. Applicants receive membership through December 31 of the following year.

Note: Applicants may receive both the New Professional Membership Package and the NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount, if eligible, upon application.

ASHA Certification

Being “ASHA certified” means holding the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), a nationally recognized professional credential that represents a level of excellence in the profession of audiology (CCC-A). Those who have achieved the CCC-A have voluntarily met rigorous academic and professional standards. They have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to provide high-quality clinical services, and they actively engage in ongoing professional development to keep their certification current.

Holding ASHA certification offers increased opportunities for employment, mobility, career advancement, professional credibility, and more—because nearly every state’s regulatory agency recognizes it.

Apply for Audiology Certification

Follow the Audiology Pathway to Certification for a step-by-step process to apply for the CCC-A. Note that as of January 1, 2020, new standards and implementation procedures went into effect for all who apply for the CCC-A. Know which standards are in effect at the time that your students apply for certification.

In order to be eligible to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology, the student must graduate from a CAA-accredited program or from a program with CAA-candidacy status. 

Navigate the Clinical Fellowship Experience

Follow the Clinical Fellowship Pathway, and consult the Guide to the ASHA Clinical Fellowship Experience.

Connect to the ASHA Career Portal, and find resources to help students prepare for the next step in their careers and to find their dream jobs.

Remember: ASHA certification and state licensure are two separate processes. They may require many of the same types of documentation, but state licensure varies by state, whereas ASHA certification is a national credential. You can check your state’s licensure requirements by going to ASHA’s State-by-State webpage.

One of the first steps for obtaining both certification and licensure is to take the Praxis Examination in Audiology (see below).

About the Praxis Examination

The Praxis Examination in Audiology assesses beginning practitioners’ understanding of essential content and current practices. The Praxis Examination is used as a requirement for one or more of the following:

The Praxis Examination in Audiology (5342) is an integral component of ASHA certification standards. The development of the examination is commissioned by ASHA and is facilitated by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to provide a system of thorough, fair, and carefully validated assessments. The Praxis Examination in Audiology is owned and administered by ETS as part of The Praxis II®: Subject Assessments; however, ASHA’s Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) appoints subject matter experts, makes a final determination for the passing score, and reviews Praxis Exam Policies [PDF] for fairness.

The current passing score for purposes of ASHA certification is 170 (on a 100–200 scale).

Students Earning a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology

ASHA membership, ASHA certification, and state licensure are separate—but related—options for graduates of master’s programs in speech-language pathology.

  • During the graduate program, students may choose to join ASHA through National NSSLHA.
  • After graduation, graduates may choose to become ASHA members. Members of National NSSLHA may be eligible for discounts converting to ASHA membership, and ASHA also offers discounts for new graduates applying for ASHA membership.
  • Being “ASHA certified” means holding the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), a nationally recognized professional credential that represents a level of excellence in the profession of speech-language pathology (CCC-SLP).
  • State licensure is required before an individual may practice as a clinician in most states. It is regulated by the individual states and is separate from ASHA certification and membership.

National NSSLHA and ASHA Memberships

National NSSLHA Membership Benefits and Discounts

When students join National NSSLHA for the last 2 years of their master’s or doctoral program, they’re eligible for the NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount (see more below). With this discount they can receive $225 off the initial dues and fees of ASHA membership and certification. As a National NSSLHA member, they’ll receive all the benefits a student needs to advance their educational career—like discounts, volunteer and networking opportunities, publications, and much more.

ASHA Membership Value and Benefits

ASHA offers members the resources and information they need to stay up to date on the latest developments and issues in the professions, as well as career-building programs, advocacy and awareness outreach, networking opportunities, and more. One option for starting the process is to join National NSSLHA while you’re still a student.

NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount

To qualify for the NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount, students must be a National NSSLHA member for the last 2 years of their master’s or doctoral program. Eligible members must submit their application for ASHA membership and certification to the ASHA National Office by or before August 31 of the year following graduation. Students must confirm their National NSSLHA membership and their eligibility for the NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount prior to applying for membership and certification.

ASHA's Professional Membership Package

ASHA's New Professional Membership Package gives up to 24 months of ASHA membership to recent master's and doctoral graduates who apply for ASHA membership and certification from January 1 to August 31. Applicants receive membership through December 31 of the following year.

Note: Applicants may receive both the New Professional Membership Package and the NSSLHA to ASHA Membership Conversion Discount, if eligible, upon application.

ASHA Certification

Being “ASHA certified” means holding the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), a nationally recognized professional credential that represents a level of excellence in the profession of speech-language pathology (CCC-SLP). Those who have achieved the CCC-SLP have voluntarily met rigorous academic and professional standards. They have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to provide high-quality clinical services, and they actively engage in ongoing professional development to keep their certification current.

Holding ASHA certification offers increased opportunities for employment, mobility, career advancement, professional credibility, and more—because nearly every state’s regulatory agency recognizes it.

Apply for Speech-Language Pathology Certification

Follow the Speech-Language Pathology Pathway to Certification for a step-by-step process to apply for the CCC-SLP. Note that as of January 1, 2020, new standards and implementation procedures went into effect for all who apply for the CCC-SLP. Know which standards are in effect at the time that your students apply for certification.

In order to be eligible to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), the student must graduate from a CAA-accredited program or from a program with CAA-candidacy status. 

Navigate the Clinical Fellowship Experience

Follow the Clinical Fellowship Pathway, and consult the Guide to the ASHA Clinical Fellowship Experience.

Connect to the ASHA Career Portal, and find resources to help students prepare for the next step in their careers and to find their dream jobs.

Remember: ASHA certification and state licensure are two separate processes. They may require many of the same types of documentation, but state licensure varies by state, whereas ASHA certification is a national credential. You can check your state’s licensure requirements by going to ASHA’s State-by-State webpage.

One of the first steps for obtaining both certification and licensure is to take the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology (see below).

About the Praxis Examination

The Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology assesses beginning practitioners’ understanding of essential content and current practices. The Praxis Examination is used as a requirement for one or more of the following:

The Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology (5331) is an integral component of ASHA certification standards. The development of the exam is commissioned by ASHA and facilitated by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to provide a system of thorough, fair, and carefully validated assessments. The Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology is owned and administered by ETS as part of The Praxis II®: Subject Assessments; however, ASHA’s Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) appoints subject matter experts, makes a final determination for the passing score, and reviews Praxis Exam Policies [PDF] for fairness.

The current passing score for purposes of ASHA certification is 162 (on a 100–200 scale).

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