Speech Pathology Programs in Nebraska - NE
The aging baby boomer population is causing an influx of job availability in the health care industry, especially in Nebraska. Thirteen and a half percent of Nebraska's residents are over the age of 65, a number that will grow dramatically over the next ten years. These residents are the most at risk of losing their ability to swallow and speak effectively due to the effects of strokes, brain tumors, dementia, Parkinson's Disease, and other debilitating illnesses. The potential increase of the occurrence of these events in Nebraska creates a strong market for Speech Pathologists, who can profit through the year 2018.
How to Become a Speech Language Pathologist in Nebraska
Aspiring Speech-Language Pathologists should develop a thorough background English, foreign languages, psychology, communications, and biology in their last two years of high school. These classes will give them a strong foundation for the classes they will take as undergraduates, and help them build the necessary verbal communication, collaborative, writing, and scientific reasoning capabilities.
When students are ready to begin their four-year college curriculum, they should look for programs accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Council For Clinical Certification (CFCC), which determines whether programs are preparing their students adequately for the National Examination for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (Praxis Exam).
Students should choose a school that will give them a strong sense of the speech pathology or communication disorders field, provide them with opportunities for personal and professional growth, and allow them access to speech-language-hearing labs. They should also consider universities that will allow them to study abroad with their majors, which is especially beneficial if they plan to work with non-native English speakers.
In this state Speech-Language Pathologists are required to have a Master's degree from one of the ASHA-approved online or campus based Nebraska speech pathology graduate programs. These degree programs focus more on issues within speech pathology, and allow students to combine their theory classes with their professional practicum.
Praxis and State Exam
The Praxis Exam provides Speech-Language Pathologists with a National certification, allowing them to practice in any State of their choosing. The State of Nebraska requires students to take and pass Praxis before they can move any further in the licensing process. Students can prepare for Praxis by picking up practice materials at a local bookstore, and reviewing their notes from their undergraduate and graduate classes.
Clinical Experience and State Licensure
The State of Nebraska requires their Speech-Language Pathologists to be in direct contact with patient of all ages for a period of 36 weeks. They must complete this clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed professional, and must be able to commit themselves full-time.
Applicants can apply for Nebraska licensure as soon as they pass the Praxis Exam and meet all State requirements. When they apply for licensure, they should provide the State with a completed application, application fee, proof of citizenship, proof of good moral character (criminal background check), official transcripts and test scores, and a register that verifies their 36-week externship.