An advanced career is just around the corner with distance learning speech pathology graduate programs. The field of speech pathology gives individuals the opportunity to help others with a variety of speech and language problems. Speech language pathology focuses on helping people to improve their verbal communication skills through the use of a number of techniques. Speech language pathologists work with people from all backgrounds and walks of life in order to assist them in achieving effective communication methods. This profession can be very rewarding, as it one of the many professions that caters to helping people. However, if you are interested in starting a career as a speech and language pathologist, it will be necessary for you to seek higher education in order to do so.
Educational Requirements for Speech and Language Pathologists
In order to begin a career as a speech and language pathologist there are certain education requirements that have to be fulfilled:
- A master's degree is the basic requirement in order to seek employment as a speech and language pathologist.
- Graduation from an accredited program is not required in all states. However, graduation from an accredited program is highly recommended, particularly if you want to obtain professional credentialing from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
- Along with obtaining a master's degree, it will be necessary to obtain licensing. To obtain licensing as a speech and language pathologist, you will have to have a master's degree, receive a passing score on the national speech and language pathologist test, have completed at least nine months of professional post-graduate experience and have between 300 to 375 hours of clinical experience.
- Licensing must be renewed, which means that you will have to obtain continuing education credits to ensure that your skills are current.
Distance Learning Speech Pathology Graduate Programs
Given that a master's degree is the minimum educational requirement in order to pursue a career as a language and speech pathologist, it is very important to find a program that offers both knowledge and convenience. For this reason, distance learning speech pathology graduate programs are very popular amongst people that are looking for a flexible way to earn their master's degree in this field.
There are a number of schools that offer these programs. For example:
- The University of Northern Colorado has a fully accredited language speech pathology program that can be completed online.
- Another school that offers a distance learning option is East Carolina University. The online master's degree program offered through East Carolina University is specifically for people that hold a bachelor's degree in speech language pathology and who are looking to gain their master's degree.
- Florida State University's part time speech and language pathology program.
To get more information about the distance learning master's degree programs that are available, it is best to consult with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and/or the Council on Academic Accreditation as these organizations provide accreditation for post-secondary degree programs in speech and language pathology.
Required Courses and Additional Work
Distance learning speech pathology graduate programs all have a number of general courses that have to be taken in order to earn the degree. An example of some of these courses includes:
- Courses that delve into the tools that a speech language pathologist will utilize in a professional environment
- Courses on acoustics
- Coursework on the nature of disorders
Students can also expect to take general courses related to physiology, the anatomy of the areas of the body that are related to speech and the psychology of communication. In addition, even the distance learning speech language and pathology graduate programs have a clinical requirement, because this is necessary for accreditation. The completion time for these programs varies and is largely based on whether one chooses to attend graduate school full time or part time. Most graduate schools do have a maximum time period for completion of a graduate degree based on full-time or part-time status.