Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Program

Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) program

Support personnel help increase the availability, frequency, and efficiency of services provided to those with communication impairments. Our Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) program is designed to help meet the shortage of speech-language pathologists in Indiana schools.

Support personnel in speech-language pathology perform tasks as prescribed, directed, and supervised by ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists. Under that supervision, SLPAs work directly with clients or patients to conduct screenings for speech, hearing or language disorders, and to provide therapeutic treatment, assistance, and documentation.

The IU program was developed using the guidelines and scope of practice for SLPAs designed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The program also meets the requirement for registration as a speech-language pathology assistant in the state of Indiana.

Classroom & experiential training

IU SLPA program participants receive classroom and experiential training via a 3-credit hour didactic course and a 3-credit hour practicum course. They learn about speech sound treatment, atypical language including autism spectrum disorders, literacy, group and play based treatment, voice and fluency treatment, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), the social and cognitive aspects of language, diversity, and professionalism. They also receive direct training in materials development, data collection, and documentation, as it relates to the public schools.

Upon graduation, students enrolled in this program will have earned the bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences as well as a minimum of 100 hours of supervised clinical training, including a minimum of 75 direct patient contact hours. Supervised training hours occur in a language-based preschool classroom, as well as classrooms in the Indianapolis Public Schools.

Eligibility & more information

It has recently been increasingly difficult for students with solid, but not exemplary GPAs, to get into M.A. SLP programs. The SLPA program was developed to address this reality. The program accepts 6 to 7 undergraduate seniors majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences with GPAs between 2.8 – 3.3 and provides them with another avenue to remain active in the profession.

An informational meeting is held in September for students who qualify, and the cohort is determined by late October. The course sequence is offered each spring. Please contact Laura Karcher with questions.