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The University of Vermont offers an online continuing education program for those interested in becoming a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) to care for inpiduals between the ages 0-21. Students will be trained under the direct supervision of a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) who is certified by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Requirements to enroll in this program include a transcript that shows the completion of a Bachelor’s Degree and minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.
The course work includes 21 credit hours (seven courses) broken into 15 academic credits and 6 of clinical practice. Before clinical coursework starts 25 hours of observation by an ASHA certified SLP must be completed. Furthermore, 100 hours of clinical practice under the supervision of a certified SLP are accrued along with practicum coursework. Throughout the program a GPA of 2.5 must be maintained. Placement on academic trial results if a 2.5 GPA is not kept and if the GPA does not rise to the expected level clinical work is not allowed. Dismissal from the program may result at that point.
The curriculum focuses on the development of communication disorders and how to create strategies to help children with these differences. Collaboration with the supervising SLP and other team members in culturally perse settings is also one of the main goals of the program. Likewise, a portfolio must be compiled throughout the course of the program to demonstrate your understanding of the value Speech Language Pathology Assistants in schools.
A student must complete six prerequisite courses and an elective course focusing on one specific area of interest. Courses are available at different times during spring, summer and fall terms. It takes 17 months to complete the program and courses must be taken in the sequence they are offered. A request to transfer 3 credit hours of comparable coursework is available and the Program Coordinator will determine if the class meets the requirements.
The benefit of completing the Speech Language Pathology Assistant program is that it improves employment opportunities in school settings. Furthermore, courses taken can be applied to University of Vermont undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech Language Pathology through the Department of Communication and Sciences and Disorders.
New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
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