Careers and Outcomes

Become a speech-language pathologist

It takes a lot to communicate. You need physical and cognitive skills.

Sometimes, people face roadblocks.

Fortunately, speech-language pathologists are there to guide the way.

What does a speech-language pathologist (SLP) do?

SLPs make the words and sounds flow easier.

They work to identify, assess, treat and prevent speech, language and swallowing disorders. Just a few examples are:

  • Apraxia
  • Articulation
  • Dysarthria
  • Mutism
  • Stuttering

SLPs help people of all ages – children born with speech impediments to older adults trying to bounce back from a major health event.

How to become a speech-language pathologist

Here are the key steps to joining this rewarding profession:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree (preferably in communication sciences).
  2. Earn a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
  3. Pass the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology.
  4. Complete a one-year clinical fellowship after you graduate.
  5. Apply for state licensure (if needed) and Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.

Once you finish, you can add the “CCC-SLP” industry benchmark to your name.

Where do speech-language pathologists work?

Typically, SLPs work together on a health care team – alongside doctors, nurses, therapists and others.

Your master’s degree in speech-language pathology will prepare you for jobs in:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practice
  • School systems
  • Specialized clinics
  • Rehabilitation centers

Most students look to become a school-based SLP or medical SLP.

Interested in reaching the very top? You can even prepare for future PhD studies by completing a thesis while you’re in the program.

Many alumni stay local

You can find former Bears making a difference all over the Ozarks as SLPs.

They work at or in:

  • CoxHealth
  • Mercy
  • Springfield Public Schools
  • Nixa
  • Ozark
  • Republic