Speech Pathology Schools in Texas - TX
The number of speech language pathologists (or speech therapists) in Texas has almost doubled since the turn of the century. The population in Texas has grown significantly since 1999, partly due to immigration, and with it, there has been a significant amount of increase in enrollment in the state’s public schools. Enrollment has especially increased for bilingual, Spanish-speaking students who speak English as a second language. Thus, there has been a growing need for new speech therapists in Texas, largely for this reason. In 2008, there were over 9,600 practicing speech therapists in Texas. As an occupation, speech therapy has also become more profitable. The average annual salary for speech pathologists in Texas in 2008 was $61,000, a 43% increase since 1999. Yet the educational and licensing requirements for this job can be taxing, and prospective speech therapists should prepare themselves early for a career that is both rewarding and rigorous.
Texas Speech Language Pathologist Education
The following are steps for obtaining an education in speech language pathology in Texas.
Step 1: Maintain good grades in high school, particularly in math and science classes, as admission into a reputable college can be competitive. Since many speech therapists in Texas end up helping bilingual education students with their English-speaking skills, special attention to Spanish classes is highly suggested. Many times, speech therapists in Texas must consult with parents of bilingual education students, who generally only speak Spanish. If a prospective speech therapist does not yet know Spanish, then high school Spanish classes are a good place to start learning.
Step 2: Enroll and maintain high grades in a bachelor’s degree program from a reputable college or university. The most common major for prospective speech therapists is communication sciences. Again, taking electives in Spanish or other foreign languages is highly suggested. In Texas, if a student completes a baccalaureate degree with 25 hours of clinical observation, 25 hours of assistive experience, and 24 hours specifically in speech language pathology, they can apply for an assistant license.
Step 3: In order to get into graduate school, bachelor’s students must usually take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).
Step 4: After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, students should then enroll in master’s or doctoral degree programs through online or campus based speech pathology schools in Texas that have been accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation. At least sixteen colleges or universities in the state of Texas offer graduate degrees in speech language pathology. Students will encounter course work in biology, anatomy, physiology, and specific courses dealing with the physical nature of communication and common disorders that affect the human body’s ability to speak. In Texas, 375 clock hours of clinical experience must accompany the master’s degree.
Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal for Texas Speech Language Pathologists
Speech language pathologists in Texas must renew their licenses after two years. The fee is $106 for full licenses and $53 for assistant and intern license holders. In each renewal period, professional speech therapists must complete 20 hours of continuing education. If a therapist holds duel licensure for both speech and audiology, then 30 hours are required. Two of the continuing education hours must deal with ethics training. Renewal can be done online at the Board’s website.
Through campus or online programs, aspiring Speech Pathologists in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Laredo, Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Memorial Hermann Hospital, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital and Baylor Medical Centers.