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Speech Pathology Programs in Missouri - MO

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, over 35 percent of Missouri's adults are in poor mental health, and four percent of that population have serious mental illnesses (http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?ind=93&cat=2&rgn=27). Mental illnesses can play a large role in how people speak and communicate, which creates a market for Missouri's Speech-Language Pathologists. With strokes, dementia, and other debilitating illnesses potentially on the rise, Missouri will need Speech-Language Pathologists regain normalcy in their lives.


How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist in Missouri

Education
Students planning to become Speech Language Pathologists in Missouri must graduate from high school or obtain a GED before they go on to college and graduate school. They should focus a majority of their secondary study on foreign languages, English, biology, communications, psychology, and statistics, placing emphasis on phonetics, speech mechanisms, language acquisition, human behavior, and psychological disorders.

When students are researching undergraduate programs, they should look for programs that are recognized by the Council For Clinical Certification (CFCC) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), which regulates the certification exam for Speech-Language Pathologists in Missouri. Students should also look for programs that will provide them with a strong textbook curriculum, allow them to gain hands-on experience through observation and practice, and give them access to speech facilities and professional organizations.

Students should also consider these factors when they are researching Missouri speech pathology graduate programs. They should choose a graduate degree program that will extend their knowledge of concepts they learned as undergraduates. They should also consider degree programs that will enhance their professional skills and aptitudes, and prepare them for ASHA's Praxis exam (National Examination for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology).

Examination
The Praxis Exam is a national certification exam developed by ASHA and offered through the Educational Testing Service. The test examines an applicant's mastery of concepts within speech language pathology, and certifies them for practice. Students should prepare for the exam by reviewing all the concepts they learned throughout their graduate and undergraduate study, and take it immediately after they finish their coursework.

Praxis applicants in Missouri should be aware, however, that they can only take the exam three times before they have to pursue more education. If students have to retake the exam, they have to do so within three years of their initial examination date. Exam applicants in Missouri do not have to take a State jurisprudence exam before they are licensed.

State Licensure
When Speech-Language Pathologists apply for initial licensure in Missouri, they have to supply the State with a criminal background check (National and State), a recent photograph (passport photos work best), a completed application, official graduate and undergraduate transcripts, and official Praxis scores sent directly from ETS. Missouri residents who are already licensed in another profession should also be prepared to show proof of past licensure in that profession.

Non-residents applying for licensure in Missouri must combine these documents with proof of licensure in their former State or country. They may also be required to provide the State with proof of citizenship, birth certificates, and translated, notarized copies of official transcripts and test scores. Non-native English speakers will also have to supply the State with TOEFL scores and proof that their college and university are CFCC-approved.


Speech Pathology Schools