Speech Pathology Programs in Montana - MT
According to the University of Montana, there is “a great need for improved intervention services related to oral and written language and literacy skills among adolescents”. Almost 17 percent of Montana's population is comprised of people between the ages of five and 18 years of age who may have speech issues as a result of hormonal changes in the womb, a traumatic event, or even a mental illness. Senior citizens, who obtain speech disorders as a result of dementia, stroke, or other debilitating illnesses, also make up a large portion of Montana's population. Montana's numbers make it a land of opportunity for Speech-Language Pathologists, who can reduce the number of communication disorders in Montana's population.
How to Become a Speech Language Pathologist in Montana
Speech Language Pathologists in Montana must have a Master's degree before they can practice in any of the State's schools, clinics, hospitals, or mental health facilities. They must, therefore, finish high school and get a Bachelor's degree before they can go to graduate school.
Students should look for online or campus based Montana speech pathology graduate programs that build upon their undergraduate skills and provide a curriculum that focuses directly on their interests. These programs should also provide students with 400 hours of observation and direct contact experience with adult and juvenile patients.
According to Montana's Board of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists in Montana are required to spend 36 weeks under the guidance of a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. During that 36-week period, they must gain 400 hours of experience before they can become licensed in the State. They must work directly with adult and child patients for 375 of their clock hours, and spend the remaining hours in observation.
Speech-Language Pathologists in Montana have to take the National Examination for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, or the Praxis Exam. The test is created by ASHA, and measures a student's readiness to enter the profession. The State of Montana does not have any documentation stating a limit on the number of times a student can take the exam, but students should aim to pass Praxis the first time.
Montana does require applicants to take and pass a jurisprudence exam, an open-book test that examines their knowledge of the State rules and statutes that regulate their profession. Applicants must pass this test with a 95 percent or higher.