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There are four requirements to earn a speech therapy degree: meet the application criteria, select the appropriate school, pay the tuition, and complete the coursework. A speech therapy degree program is available from a broad range of universities and community colleges. This type of degree provides training in speech development, working with speech impediments, and how speech is processed in the brain. These programs may be listed as speech language pathology in the academic calendar.
In order to gain acceptance into a speech therapy degree program, there are specific application criteria that must be met. Candidates must have successfully completed high school courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and English. The number of applicants for speech therapy degree programs is decreasing, as people move toward other health science related positions, where there is a greater demand.
When selecting a school for a speech therapy degree, it is important to review three main items: reputation, breadth of program offerings, and internship opportunities. A school with an excellent reputation has dedicated significant money, time, and resources to the program over a period of years. Look at the qualifications of the professors, their areas of expertise and research. Review recent publications in speech language pathology magazines and journals to learn more about their philosophies and approach. Read the school website for detailed biographies.
Internship and cooperative job placement opportunities are critical to gaining valuable experience. When selecting a school, this may be the most important item to consider. Speech therapy programs with free clinics or connections to local hospitals or schools can provide a wider range of potential opportunities and greatly improve your resume.
A speech therapy degree is one of the less expensive programs and is typically the same price as a bachelor of arts degree. Talk to your academic adviser about scholarships, student loans, bursaries, and grants to help reduce this cost. When selecting a school, look for ones that have a strong health sciences faculty, as it will increase the opportunity for inter-discipline learning.
The coursework for a speech therapy degree is a combination of theory and application. The theoretical courses focus on how the brain processes sound, the communication center, the psychological impact of speech issues, and common speech disorders. The application portion of the courses focus on interpersonal counseling, methods to engage clients at all ages, and how to work with people who have experienced a sudden loss of speech.
While the quality of the training program is very important, the most critical element required to earn a speech therapy degree is the level of effort by the student. Even the most basic training program can create top caliber candidates if the student is dedicated, hard working, and focused. Think about how much work is required and be prepared to apply yourself to the best of your abilities.
Oasis11-About fifty percent all speech therapists work in the school system, while the remaining work in nursing homes, hospitals, or private practice.
The average salary for a speech pathologist is $63,000, while the more experienced speech therapists easily earn in the six figures. This field is expected to grow about 20% within the next twenty years.
Sneakers41-I know what you mean. My friend tried to get a speech evaluation for her child in the public school system, and it was taking forever. So she too decided to go with a private therapist too.
But it's not easy, because it can be very expensive and your insurance will not cover speech therapy.
There is so much demand for speech and language therapy that this is considered a shortage area for the public school system. This means that people considering degrees in speech and language therapy often earn higher starting salaries.
For example, most speech language pathologists starting in the Miami Dade County Public school system earn about $42,000 to start.
Those working in
private practice can earn significantly higher than that. I have friends that charge from $35 to $75 for a half hour session.
Most people that seek a speech therapy education go on to get a Master’s degree. Most speech therapy degrees require course in language, speech pathology, speech disorders, anatomy and physiology, along with phonetics.
A degree in speech therapy is a great investment. Speech therapists are in great demand. Some work in a hospital setting, while others work in a school, or private practice.
For example, when I tried to get a speech evaluation for my daughter, the hospital that I contacted told me that they would put my daughter on a waiting list and I should be contacted in about six months.
I went ahead with a private speech therapist instead.
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