ASHA Accredited Online Speech Language (SLP) Programs (ASHA online slp program) are convenient options. Many learners nationwide want to pursue a career in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech, language, and hearing science. These online SLP programs, accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), equip students with the knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat speech and language impairments in different settings. Like traditional on-campus programs, ASHA online SLP programs provide the same curriculum but with the added advantage of online coursework and clinical experience. Students graduating with ASHS-accredited online SLP programs can apply for state licensure and certification through ASHA. Also, with the demand for speech therapy services on the rise, pursuing an ASHA online SLP program can provide a rewarding career for several students enrolled in the programs.
Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)
Speech-Language Pathology (SLP), also called speech therapy, is a healthcare field that focuses on diagnosing and treating communication disorders, including phonology, motor speech disorders, articulation and language delays, and swallowing disorders. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), also known as speech therapists, work with people of all ages who have problems with their speech, language, voice, fluency, and swallowing difficulties. The SLPs assess and offer therapy for several conditions, such as language and voice disorders.
Therefore, with the growth of online education, ASHA-accredited online SLP programs are available for many students who wish to pursue a career in this field. With ASHA accreditation, an ASHA online SLP program has to meet the highest accreditation standards regarding clinical training, faculty qualifications, and education. Also, online SLP programs are an added advantage for individuals with fixed schedules to pursue their degrees.
What is ASHA Accreditation?
Attending an accredited school is important, because accreditation affects how a college degree is considered in another country and viewed by potential employers. ASHA accreditation refers to the rigorous steps the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) takes to evaluate and recognize graduate programs in speech-language pathology and audiology that meet set quality standards.
The primary purpose of ASHA accreditation is to ensure that SLP programs equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to practice in the field of SLP or audiology after acquiring a certificate and licensure.
Institutions offering SLP programs, whether online or on-campus, have to pass standards in areas such as student outcomes, faculty, curriculum, and clinical experience. It’s also important to note that the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of audiology and SLP in ASHA offers voluntary accreditation to university graduate degree programs.
Students graduating from ASHA-accredited programs are confident to have received a high-quality education that meets the set standards, preparing them for fruitful careers in SLP or audiology.
How do schools become ASHA Accredited?
ASHA accreditation is important for students who want to attend SLP programs to ensure they receive a quality education that meets national standards.
For a school to be accredited by ASHA to offer audiology or SLP programs, the school has to pass a series of tests that involves meeting set standards by ASHA.
This process begins with a school wishing to offer the program application and a self-study report to ASHA’s CAA in audiology or SLP. The self-study report is essential as it outlines the school’s curriculum program, faculty qualifications, student outcomes, and clinical practicum opportunities.
The ASHA’s CAA experts will review the school’s self-study report, after which a team will conduct an on-site evaluation of the program. During the review period, the accreditation team will review the school’s program facilities, meet with the faculty and students, check classes, and ascertain whether the school’s programs comply with ASHA’s standards.
Whether to grant accreditation to the program will depend on the CAA recommendations to ASHA’s board of directors. The recommendation will be based on the self-study report and an on-site evaluation.
The requirements that higher learning institutions offering SLP programs must achieve to be recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association are ASHA accreditation standards. ASHA standards guarantee that SLP programs provided by various schools within the country meet stringent educational and clinical requirements to prepare students for successful careers.
ASHA accreditation criteria cover several areas, including faculty qualification, clinical education and training, program administration, and the curriculum. These standards mostly concentrate on integrating academic coursework with clinical practice, providing various clinical experiences, and applying the evidence-based practice in clinical education.
They are reviewed and updated regularly to ensure ASHA accreditation remains practical and relevant in promoting high-quality SLP education and practice. Also, for learning institutions to continue retaining the ASHA accreditation for their SLP or audiology programs, they must meet the set requirements and undergo a rigorous assessment process.
Why is Accreditation Important?
ASHA accreditation is important to both students and institutions of higher learning. This accreditation ensures schools meet national standards and students receive quality education for SLP or audiology programs. ASHA’s standards provide programs offered by schools that are current, relevant, and reflect the most recent research and best practices in the field of SLP.
Since many employers prefer individuals who are graduates of ASHA-accredited programs, ASHA accreditation helps enhance job opportunities. Therefore, this accreditation assures employers that the graduates who are their potential employees have received quality education and training.
Another importance of ASHA accreditation is that graduates of ASHA-accredited audiology or SLP programs are eligible for licensure and certification in their respective states.
Popular ASHA-Accredited Online SLP Programs
Various institutions across the country offer many ASHA-accredited online SLP programs. Some popular options include the following:
- Auburn University: The Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology program at Auburn university is fully accredited by ASHA’s CAA.
- George Washington University: This program offers an online Master’s in Arts in SLP program, which provides a comprehensive insight into communication disorders and their consequences for individuals and society.
- Ithaca College: This institution provides a master’s program in speech-language pathology that equips students with broad clinical experience and academic instruction. Hence, students are well-positioned to enter the workforce.
- Kansas State University: The Master of Science degree program in SLP at Kansas State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This program provides students with clinical knowledge about the speech-language pathologist’s societal role.
- Miami University: The institution offers Master of Science and Master of Arts educational programs in speech-language pathology and is accredited by the CAA of ASHA.
Full List of ASHA-Accredited Online Speech-Language Pathology Programs
According to ASHA.org, over 300 learning institutions offer degree programs in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech, language, and hearing science.
It is important to always refer to the ASHA website for the current information regarding accredited institutions offering SLP programs.
ASHA Accredited Master’s Coursework
According to ASHA.org, the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) is the council within ASHA that formulates rules and regulations for certification in SLP programs. The CFCC announced changes to the SLP certification standards in November 2017, in which physical science requirements must be met by completing coursework in chemistry or physics.
All the master’s coursework and classes are listed in Standards IV-A through IV-C. The council requires them to be completed and passed at the undergraduate or graduate level at an ASHA-accredited higher learning institution. It must appear on a student’s undergraduate or graduate transcript.
The council also disqualifies high school-level classes for not being eligible to meet the requirement. However, advanced placement (AP) courses appearing for credit on a student’s college/university transcript are eligible.
As of January 1, 2020, the council recommended ASHA accredited master’s coursework in physical science should include content in either physics or chemistry. Also, the CFCC does not accept coursework from massive open online courses (MOOCs) such as edX, Khan Academy, and many more.
Benefits of Attending an Online ASHA Accredited SLP Program
Attending an online SLP program offers numerous benefits to students. This can especially benefit students with tight schedules such as work or family commitments. The following are the various benefits of attending an online ASHA-accredited SLP program:
- Access to many programs: Online SLP programs provide students access to more than one program than they have been able to attend on-campus due to location or other limitations.
- Accreditation: For a school to offer SLP programs, it has to pass ASHA accreditation. This accreditation ensures students can access high-quality SLP education and prepares them for professional certification in speech-language pathology. ASHA accreditation also ensures institutions of higher learning meet national standards to offer SLP programs.
- Career advancement: An ASHA online SLP program can equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to advance their careers in the speech-language pathology field.
- Flexibility: With online learning, students from different locations can access SLP programs of their choice on their schedules. Online SLP programs are more flexible in terms of scheduling and location. Students complete their education at their own pace and from anywhere with an internet connection. Also, online SLP programs can benefit students who live in remote areas and those with disabilities or health concerns. This allows the students to learn on their own schedule without attending in-person learning.
- Cost: When it comes to online or on-campus learning, the cost is usually an important factor students must consider. Compared to on-campus learning, online SLP programs can be very cost-effective as students don’t have to incur other costs associated with commuting or on-campus housing expenses.
- Personalized learning: Unlike in-person learning, online programs can provide students with personalized learning experiences. This is because online SLP programs allow students to interact with their teachers one-on-one.
- Inclusion: Online SLP programs can bring students of diverse backgrounds and experiences, creating a more inclusive and diverse learning environment.
It is also important to note that an ASHA online SLP program may not be suitable for every person wishing to pursue the program for their career path since it requires discipline and commitment in an online setting. However, it can be effective for students suited for online learning.
How to Apply for ASHA Certification
Before acquiring ASHA certification, there are several steps you will have to follow. The steps involved in applying for ASHA certification include the following:
- Eligibility requirements: As the first step, you must check on the ASHA website to see if you meet the requirements for education, professional licensure, and clinical experience to apply for ASHA certification.
- Open an ASHA account: As a new member, you must first create an ASHA account. By visiting the ASHA website, you will find a section to create or access your account if you have already opened one.
- Complete the application: After creating an ASHA account and accessing your account, you can start the application process, where you will need to share your professional education, clinical experience, and licensure information. Also, before submitting your documents, you must pay a nonrefundable processing fee of $50, according to ASHA.org.
- Submit required documents: For the ASHA to certify your eligibility, you must submit your supporting documents for verification. The documents can include transcripts or employment verification.
- Wait for the review: After submitting your documents, you will have to wait for some time, approximately six weeks, according to ASHA.org, for verification by the ASHA team to verify your eligibility requirements for certification.
- Receive ASHA certification: ASHA will determine whether you are eligible for certification after verification. If you are eligible for certification, you will be certified as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist. With the certification, you can use the ASHA certification in practice, and you will also be listed in the ASHA certification directory. However, if you are deemed ineligible for ASHA certification, you will receive a refund of the initial application fee, less a $50 nonrefundable processing fee.
ASHA Certification of Clinical Competence
ASHA also offers a Certification of Clinical Competence (CCC) in SLP. CCC certification is recognized nationally as a credential demonstrating a person’s expertise in providing high-quality speech and language services.
For you to obtain a CCC certificate, you have to meet the following educational and clinical requirements:
- Graduate from an accredited program
- Pass an exam
- Complete a fellowship
- Complete required clinical practicum hours
After obtaining your CCC-SLP certification, you must engage in ongoing professional development and comply with ASHA’s Code of Ethics to maintain your certification. According to ASHA.org, the ASHA Code of Ethics reflects professional values and expectations for scientific and clinical practice. Therefore, this certification ensures certified members are current with current research and practices in the speech-language and pathology field and provide speech and language services that meet the set standards.
ASHA Clinical Fellowship
ASHA offers a clinical fellowship program for graduates who have completed their master’s or doctoral degrees in SLP and want to receive clinical experience under the guidance of a licensed speech-language pathologist.
For you to be certified through ASHA’s clinical fellowship program, you have to complete the following steps and requirements:
- Obtain a master’s or doctoral degree in SLP from an ASHA-accredited CAA program
- Completed a clinical fellowship of 36 weeks of full-time supervised clinical experience or part-time of 1260 hours
- Find a qualified speech-language pathologist who is a holder of ASHA certification
- Register for ASHA’s clinical fellowship program and pay the required dues and fees
- Submit your supporting documents to ASHA
- Pass praxis examination in SLP
Once your application has been reviewed and deemed eligible, you will be awarded the CCC-SLP certification from ASHA. This certification is a nationally recognized credential.
Is ASHA Accreditation Required for Licensure?
According to ASHA.org, ASHA certification is voluntary. This is because licensure requirements vary from state to state. Some licensure requirements may include meeting education and clinical experience, passing an examination, and getting certified by a professional body like ASHA.
It’s also important to note that even though ASHA accreditation for licensure is voluntary, the certification is a nationally recognized and respected credential in speech-language pathology. ASHA-accredited SLP programs are deemed too high for national academic and clinical training standards, and some employers may prefer job seekers with ASHA accreditation licensure.
Therefore, it’s important to always check your state’s licensure requirements for you to become a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist.
FAQ about Online ASHA Speech-Language Pathology Master’s Program
The following are FAQs about the online ASHA speech-language pathology master’s program:
How Much Does a Speech Language Pathology Master’s Program Cost?
The fee for an ASHA online SLP master’s program varies from school to school, with an approximate range of about $30000 to $100000. Some learning institutions may offer financial assistance or scholarships to their students.
How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Speech Pathology Master’s Degree?
The duration of earning an online SLP master’s program usually varies from learning institution to learning institution. However, it usually takes an average of about 3 to 3.5 years to complete a part-time program. Full-time programs may take less time, about 2 to 3 years.
What is the average salary of someone with a master’s in speech-language pathology degree?
Also, the average salary for some with a master’s in speech-language pathology degree varies based on location, years of experience, education, and work setting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2019, the median annual wage for speech-language pathologists was $79120. This was almost twice the median annual wage for all workers.
Is a Graduate Degree Required to Become a Speech Pathologist?
Yes. A graduate degree in speech-language pathology is required to become a speech pathologist. Also, some states may require you to have licensure or certification to practice as a speech pathologist.
Do Online Speech Pathology Programs Require the GRE?
While other SLP programs may require Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), others may not. This requirement varies from institution to institution. Therefore, if you are seeking to enroll for a master’s in speech pathology, you should check the minimum requirements for the program.
What Are Career Options for someone with a Master’s in Speech Pathology?
You can get numerous career options with a master’s in pathology. First of all, with a master’s in pathology, you can work in the following settings:
- Early intervention and K-12 schools
- Health care settings
- Private practice
- Colleges and universities
The following are some of the career options for you if you have a master’s in speech pathology:
- Speech-language pathologist: This is the most common career option if you have a master’s in speech pathology. You can work with people with speech, language, and communication disorders by helping them improve their communication abilities.
- College/university professor: You can pursue a career as a college or university professor with a master’s in speech pathology. You will be able to teach a number of student courses related to speech and language disorders.
- Speech therapist: With a master’s in speech pathology and as a certified speech pathologist, you can work remotely and provide speech and language therapy services through telepractice to a number of individuals requiring the services but are in remote areas or far from the nearest health facility.
- Government/nonprofit organization: As a speech pathologist, you can work for government or nonprofit organizations that support individuals with communication disorders. Also, you can provide advocacy and awareness initiatives.
- Consult: You can work as a consultant by providing expertise in speech and language disorders to learning institutions, healthcare facilities, or businesses.
ASHA EdFind: This source lists high-learning institutions accredited to offer SLP and audiology programs.
Apply for Certification in Speech-Language Pathology: This resource provides information regarding the application for certification in speech-language pathology and the requirements for application. Also, the resource provides information on the dues and fees required during the application for ASHA certification.
Benefits of ASHA Certification: This source provides more information about the numerous benefits of ASHA certification. It also provides links on how to apply as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist.
Code of Ethics: This resource provides information regarding ASHA’s Code of Ethics that its members must comply with within clinical practice.
Prerequisite Course Content Areas Related to SLP Certification Standards: This resource provides information regarding master in speech-language pathology academic coursework requirements. The source also highlights the changes made to the SLP certification standards, including a modification to Standard IV-A
Speech-Language Pathologists: This source provides valuable information regarding the median annual wage, work environment, and job outlook for speech-language pathologists.