The Chemeketa Community College Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) Program is a comprehensive training program offering students the option of earning a certificate of completion or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Speech-Language Pathology Assisting. The program includes both theory and practical experience designed to prepare students to become certified Speech Language Pathology Assistants.
What does an SLPA do?
It might be helpful to understand what a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) does and then in relation, what the role of a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) is specifically.
A Speech-Language Pathologist diagnoses disorders and provides treatment in the areas of speech, language, fluency, voice, and swallowing. An individual having difficulty in any of these areas has a Communication Disorder. Often, communication disorders accompany other disabilities.
SLPs and SLPAs work with individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cleft Lip/Palate, Learning Disability, Traumatic Brain Injury, Mental Retardation and many other disabilities and syndromes.
An SLPA would work under the direction of the Speech-Language Pathologist including following treatment plans and providing therapy designed by the Speech-Language Pathologist, assisting with screenings conducted by the SLP, and generally giving input in the team process of planning for a client's therapy needs.
In Oregon, legislation was passed in January 2003 requiring assistants
who work with SLPs to complete specific coursework to be eligible
for certification. Chemeketa provides a state-of-the-art SLPA certification
program with courses delivered in online and distance learning formats
to accommodate students throughout the state and region.
The Chemeketa SLPA program is an approved program by the California Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology Assistant education. (Students in California must earn the AAS degree). The Chemeketa SLPA program is also approved by the Washington Board of Examiners. The program may (and has been) be compatible with other state requirements, students are encouraged to contact their state licensing entities.
Chemeketa's program is the only program of its kind in the Western United States and possibly in the United States as a whole. The program takes approximately 5- 7 terms to complete on a part time basis with an option of receiving a certificate in Speech-Language Pathology Assisting or completing an additional 45 credits to receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology Assisting. An SLPA is then eligible to work with an SLP providing therapy services to clients. SLPAs work closely with others in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, rehabilitative centers, or in private practice.
Admission to the program requires an application process. The application forms are available to download via this site.