Here are some important links to gather information about becoming a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA):

University of Vermont's Online SLPA Program

American Speech/Language/Hearing Association

SLP-A Program Director

During my career as a speech language pathologist (SLP) there has always been a world-wide shortage of SLPs. Being an SLP is a rewarding and fascinating profession.  Within recent years, in an effort to extend services provided by SLPs, there has been an emphasis placed on developing well-trainined assistants for speech/language pathologists (SLPAs) as in the disciplines of occupational and physical therapies.

I have had the privilege to train future speech language pathology assistants through distance learning opportunities at the University of Vermont. I coordinate the university's fully online training program for SLPAs. This program is presented asynchronously so that students may access at their leisure during the week.  Blackboard is the mode of operation.

Additionally, I am adjunct professor for three of the courses: Development of Spoken Language, Becoming an SLPA, and Support for Children with Communication Disorders. I advise students to choose courses during their 17 months in the program and guide to find appropriate supervising speech language pathologists in their local community. Students from Texas, Colorado, Illinois, New Hampshire, Michigan, Massachusetts and Virginia have joined students from Vermont in this distance learning opportunity.

The SLPA program is a sequence of seven courses, offered over four semesters beginning in January each year - May of the following year:   

  • Introduction to Disordered Communication
  • Introduction to Phonetics
  • Development of Spoken Language
  • Linguistics for Clinicians
  • Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Becoming an SLPA
  • Supporting Children with Communication Disorders

Additional online elective courses are available for those needing to meet particular state requirements:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Assessment and Intervention
  • Introduction to Audiology
  • Hearing Rehabilitation
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

During the final two semesters (fall and spring) students complete 100 hours of practical experience typically within a school setting. The practicum experience is under the supervision of an ASHA certified or state licensed speech language pathologist in the student's local community and is completed concurrently with two practicum courses.