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SLHS 4550: Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Methods

Course Overview

What is an SLPA? 

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 (mwalsh18@msudenver.edu) and include a name and contact information of a certified SLP working in a public school setting in your application.


  • Assist SLP on speech, language, and hearing screenings and assessments. 
  • Follow the treatment or intervention plans developed by the SLP. 
  • Document student performance on records, charts, or graphs and report such to the SLP. 
  • Assist with clerical duties such as preparing materials and scheduling students. 
  • Perform checks and maintenance of equipment. 
  • Support the SLP in research projects and in-service trainings. 
  • Collect data in areas to be determined by the SLP. 
  • Administer diagnostic tests or interpret test results. 
  • Screen students for feeding or swallowing disorders. 
  • Participate in parent conferences or team meetings without the SLP being present. 
  • Provide counseling for students or their families. 
  • Develop or modify a student’s individualized education plan (IEP) 
  • Sign any formal document. 
  • Select students for or dismiss students from intervention services. 
  • Share confidential information with anyone other than the SLP. 

 

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

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree in speech, language, hearing sciences (SLHS) or its equivalent.  (Equivalent = 24 credit hours of required coursework in SLHS from an accredited institution to include knowledge of human communication, communication processes and disorders.).  The Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Certificate at MSU Denver provides the required coursework.  Please see the Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences SLPA Certificate Advising Guide 2020-2021 for the required course work. 

AND

  • 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 4550) meets this requirement.  Please click the button below for a detailed SLP-A course methods overview.

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