Speech Pathology Programs in New Jersey - NJ
How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist in New Jersey
There are a wide variety of conditions a Speech Language Pathologist, often referred to as a speech therapist, can help to treat. Patients with hearing loss or swallowing difficulty can benefit by working with a trained Speech Language Pathologist. As well, individuals that have suffered a traumatic health event such as a stroke or heart attack will find these professionals can assist them in restoring more normal functions of speech. In order to become a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist in New Jersey it is important to understand that it is a process that requires your commitment and excellence in education as you are part of a largely competitive group of students. Read on to learn how you can become a practicing Speech Language Pathologist in New Jersey.
The first and most important step you can take to pursue a career in speech language pathology is to enroll in a 3 or 4-year bachelor's degree program at an accredited university. You will want to major in a communication sciences and disorders in your undergraduate course of study. The grades in your undergraduate program will be highly important as you take the next steps in your pathway to become a speech-language pathologist.
While working on your bachelor's degree, take the opportunity to work with faculty in a research or clinical capacity. This experience will help you to learn more about your chosen profession up close and personal and will also allow you to exhibit commitment and experience when applying to graduate school.
Once you have completed your bachelor's degree, you will want to research New Jersey speech pathology graduate programs and apply to the ones that fit your needs and desires most closely. You must understand that these graduate programs are very competitive and so any manner in which you can stand out among your peers will give you an edge to being accepted into the program of your choosing.
The graduate program in speech language pathology will cover subject matter areas like anatomy and physiology, and the development of the body in relation to the development of speech. As well, you will learn the many different disorders associated with speech and language difficulties, the nature of these disorders and the psychological ramifications of speech and language issues. You will be required, during the course of your master's program to complete 300 to 375 hours of clinical experience that is supervised by a licensed professional. After receiving your graduate degree you will then complete another 9 months of post graduate clinical work.
Once you have met these requirements you will be eligible to take the national Praxis Series examination for Speech-Language Pathologists administered through the Educational Testing Services.
If you desire to work in a school, you will have additional clinical practice and must earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) credential. This credential requires a 36 week full time clinical fellowship after graduation and 400 hours of supervised clinical practicum.
Once you have completed all necessary and required education, training and clinical practice you will then be allowed to apply for a license to practice as a Speech-language Pathologist in New Jersey. Along with your application you must submit to a criminal background check and fingerprinting.