Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLP-A) Certificate Program

A Speech-Language Pathology-Assistant (SLP-A) is defined as a professional who supports the speech-language pathologist by engaging in tasks that are planned, delegated, and supervised by the speech-language pathologist. In doing so, the SLP-A provides exceptional patient care, provides speech language pathology services, and enhances the productivity of the speech-language pathology practice to improve patient experiences and services in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations (ASHA 2020).

The Department of Communication Disorders at Marshall University is committed to ensure all students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders secure employment. The Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Certificate Program is a 2 semester program (excluding pre-requisite coursework) that provides a pathway students may select to achieve this goal.

Additional information can be found on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website. 

Program Mission

Consistent with the mission of Marshall University and the College of Health Professions, the Department of Communication Disorders is committed to:

  • Offering broad-based undergraduate education and specific career-based education
  • Providing state-of-the-art, progressive, innovative education in the field of communication disorders to prepare the next generation of speech-language pathologists to take their place in a culturally diverse, global societ
  • Providing the community access to excellent, family-centered clinical services that integrates theory, research, and clinical practice
  • Preparing students to become life-long learners
  • Preparing students to contribute to both their profession and their community
  • Preparing students to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice

The mission of the Speech-Language Pathology-Assistant Certificate Program aligns with the departmental and college missions as well as with the mission of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. We are committed to provide an educational program which will allow Speech-Language Pathology-Assistants to become certified assistants, similar to Physical Therapy Assistants and Occupational Therapy Assistants. This program will allow the entire team to practice at the top of their licenses and will positively impact client service delivery.

Our vision is for our undergraduate and graduate education to continue to be recognized as a program of excellence for the state of West Virginia and the region and to prepare students to take their place as future professionals in the field of communication disorders.

Specific to the SLP-A Certificate Program, our MISSION is to:

  • Provide a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary for students to meet the nationwide and state standards of Speech-Language Pathology-Assistants
  • Provide a supportive learning environment that allows an SLP-A, a systematic, diverse, and high caliber curriculum

The SLP-A Certificate Program has a VISION which ensures the quality, evidence-based, and individualized service provision for all those who need speech-language pathology services.

Furthermore, the SLP-A Program at Marshall University offers an excellent professional pathway for students who are interested in working/providing treatment under the supervision and direction of master’s level, certified speech-language pathologists.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the SLP-A program, students will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between the Scope of Practice of the SLP and the SLP-A
  • Independently complete speech, language, and hearing screenings
  • Utilize linguistically and culturally appropriate services
  • Implement evidence-based treatment plans created by a certified SLP
  • Utilize professional oral and written communication
  • Provide administrative support (scheduling, organizing inventories/materials, and equipment maintenance, etc.) for a certified SLP
  • Advocate for the profession as it relates to the SLP-A scope of practice and patient population at the local, state, and national levels.

Outcomes will be measured through achievement of competencies through programmatic formative and summative measures.

Admission to the SLP-A Certificate Program

Students interested in enrolling the SLP-A Certificate Program must:

  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.8 overall (associate degree or bachelor’s degree); formal transcripts must be submitted to the Chair of the department
  • Submit a formal letter of intent. This should provide answers to the following questions:

1) Why are you interested in enrolling in the SLP-A Program at Marshall University?

2) What are your professional goals?

3) What skill sets do you hold that qualify you to be an SLP-A?

  • Submit 2 letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be sent directly from the person writing the letter.  No letters of recommendation will be accepted if sent via student.

The SLP-A Certificate Program at Marshall University has rolling admissions but all students will begin their curriculum requirements in the fall or summer.  Required documents must be submitted to CSDCAS by May 1st of each year.

Entry to the program:

There are two pathways for entry into the SLP-A Certificate program.

  • Pathway 1: The individual is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from an accredited institution
  • Pathway 2: The individual is pursuing or currently holds an associate or bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and has completed the following coursework in person or online: (Courses must have been completed no more than two  years before you apply for the C-SLP-A).
  • Introductory or Overview Course in Communication Disorders
  • Phonetics
  • Language Development
  • Speech Sound Disorders
  • Language Disorders
  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms

Students who are interested in enrolling in the above courses to prepare for admission to the SLP-A Program, should contact Shae Dean at powers4@marshall.edu / 304-696-3577.

In order for students to remain in good academic standing and continue in the program, a GPA of 3.0 must be maintained.

Program Requirements

Once admitted to the SLP-A Program, students will adhere to the following curriculum:

Required Courses:

CD 471: SLP-A Practicum I

  • A supervised SLP-A clinical practicum in the MUSHC and/or other site with a faculty from Marshall University
  • Offered Summer
  • Co-Requisite: CD 471L
  • 3, 1-hour graded credits

CD 471L: SLP-A Practicum Lab: Introduction to the Profession

  • This course will include the ASHA required seminars in ethics, universal safety precautions, confidentiality training, and ASHA Online Assistant Education Modules
  • Offered Summer
  • Co-Requisite: CD 471
  • 2 hours, non-graded credit

CD 472: Clinical Practicum with School Children

  • A supervised clinical practicum with school-aged children
  • Offered Fall
  • Pre-Requisite: CD 471, CD 471L
  • Co-Requisite: CD 472L
  • 3, 1-hour graded credits

CD 472L: School SLP-A Practicum Lab

  • A lab focused on special considerations related to providing Speech Language Pathology- Assistant services in the public-school setting.
  • Offered Fall
  • Pre-Requisite: CD 471, CD 471L
  • Co-Requisite: CD 472
  • 2 hours, non-graded credit

Program delivery

Pre-requisite courses will be delivered via face to face and/or online.  All of the pre-requisite courses are presently part of the undergraduate curriculum for the bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders.  Additionally, these courses will be offered online beginning in the spring of 2021 as part of the online post-baccalaureate program.  These include:

  • Introductory or Overview Course in Communication Disorders
  • Phonetics
  • Language Development
  • Speech Sound Disorders
  • Language Disorders
  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms