What is an SLP-A?

The role of speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) is to support clinical services provided by speech-language pathologists (SLPsto, primarily, students in public schools.  No school district can employ an SLPA without assigning a certified speech-language pathologist as supervisor.  This course does not necessarily meet the requirements for SLPAs in other states. If you want to participate in the class while in another state you need to contact the professor ([email protected]) and include a name and contact information of a certified SLP working in a public school setting in your application.

Colorado Department of Education SLP & SLP-A Job Board

About the SLP-A Certificate

The course is composed of a 3-credit online seminar and a 4-credit public school SLP-A internship.  The 4-credit field experience requires 180 hours of internship work under the direction of an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist who has been working in the field for at least three years.  MSU Denver Faculty and Staff will assist students accepted into the course with securing an internship placement. It is not necessary for students to find their own internship supervisors.      

During 80 hours of direct contact with children, SLPA interns learn and practice duties of an SLPA (e.g. screening, collecting data in the classroom relative to IEP objectives & providing intervention).  The SLPA student’s supervisor must directly observe 50% of these hours.   

For a minimum of 100 hours, SLPA students perform other SLPA duties (e.g. preparing materials, entering data in charts, discussing student progress or data with the supervisor, attending meetings, planning intervention lessons) that need not be directly observed by their SLP supervisor.   

Students work at their internship site for 12-14 hours per week for 16 weeks on a mutually agreed upon weekly schedule – typically two full school days per week.   

The course instructor will connect with each supervisor prior to the internship to provide materials on the SLPA scope of practice and our curriculum.  The instructor will be available to consult with the supervisor throughout the experience.  Supervisors complete an evaluation of their interns at midterm and at the end of the internship. 

This course does not necessarily meet the requirements for SLPAs in other states. If you want to participate in the class while in another state you need to contact the professor ([email protected]) and include a name and contact information of a certified SLP working in a public school setting in your application.

Apply for the SLP-A Course

Applications are completed through Qualtrics and available from March - April, and September - October.  Only complete applications submitted by deadline will be considered. 

Access the SLP-A Application Here

In 2003, the Colorado Department of Education approved a Type 1 Authorization:  School Speech-Language Pathology Assistant.  To qualify for this authorization, individuals must:

  • A bachelor’s degree in speech communications, speech language/pathology, or communication disorder/speech sciences OR a bachelor’s degree (in any major) plus 24 semester hours in speech language hearing sciences from regionally accredited college/university.  The Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Certificate at MSU Denver provides the required coursework.  Please see the Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences SLPA Certificate Advising Guide 2023-2024 for the required course work.


  • Complete an approved SLPA program/methods course that includes an internship with a minimum of 80 direct contact hours with a certified SLP.  MSU Denver’s speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) seminar and field-experience course (SLHS 4350) meets this requirement.  Please click the button below for a detailed SLP-A course methods overview.

Need help determining where your older SLHS (catalog year 2020-2021 and earlier) courses fit in with the new SLHS curriculum (catalog year 2021-2022 and later)? Click here for a helpful SLHS Course Conversion Chart!

Observation Hours and Logs

You must have 25 guided observation hours with an ASHA certified SLP, prior to the start of the SLHS 4350 Speech Pathology Assistant Methods course/internship.  If you have not completed 25 guided observation hours when applying, you will need to provide a plan for how you will complete the hours as well as a timeline for completion.

  • The guided observation and direct client/patient contact hours (e.g. the individual receiving services must be present) must be within the ASHA Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology and must be under the supervision of a clinician who holds current ASHA certification in the appropriate profession and who, after earning the CCC-SLP, has completed (1) a minimum of 9 months of post-certification, full-time experience and (2) a minimum of 2 hours of professional development in the area of clinical instruction/supervision. Observations must be recorded in hours in 15 minute increments (15 minutes = .25 hours).  – https://www.asha.org/certification/2020-slp-certification-standards/ 

If you need additional hours to reach the required 25 hours, also provide a plan of how you will be completing the remaining hours.  

  • You can observe any ASHA certified SLPs using the above guidelines. 
  • We offer virtual guided observation hours for students accepted into the course.  Please contact the SLHS Department Administrative Assistant, Shannon Harris, at  [email protected] for more information.

In your application include an Guided Observation Log of how many observation hours are completed with signatures from the supervising clinician.  If you are coming from another university your observation log must include: date of observation, printed name of clinician, signature of clinician, ASHA number of clinician, clinician contact information (email & phone number preferred), location of observation, service observed, population observed, direct contact time. 

Contact Us

The Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences Department is here for you!

Have a question about any of the SLHS programs we offer? Click the button below to send us an email and member of the SLHS department will get back to you.

Email Us

Front Desk Phone:



[email protected]

Mailing Address:

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences Department
P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 34
Denver, CO 80217-3362

TEMPORARY Office Location:

Admin (AD) 510L or 510E.  For In-Person Advising please wait in Admin (AD) 580.

Campus Maps and Parking