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Hello everyone, I am looking into becoming an SLPA in Illinois and have found limited information on how to do so. I have my bachelor degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and am currently obtaining my Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology in a part time program. I did find an application to become an SLPA in Illinois but it says that if you have a bachelors degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders you don't qualify for this type of licensure. Does anyone know what type of licensure I would qualify for?

 

Thank you for your help!

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Piggybacking off of @futurespeechpath1, I'd look into your current university as well. You might be able to use some of your undergraduate degree credits or current MS-SLP credits if your university offers an SLPA (or SPA) 2-year program. After looking into the requirements, most gen-ed and introductory courses seem similar for most programs and might be transferrable. Get in contact with an advisor from some programs that look good to you at community colleges as well and see if they will allow you to transfer credits you've already received. I doubt you'd need to do much more than the fieldwork requirements. 

Another idea: you could look at teletherapy options. Some states only require a bachelor's degree in CSD in order to qualify as a SLPA. I'm fairly certain that you'd technically be practicing in the state you're providing teletherapy in, so you'd only need to satisfy that state's requirements for licensure. For example, California only requires a Bachelor's degree + 70 hours of clinical experience (ASHA) and here's a current opening for a teletherapy SLPA in the state of CA. 

 

From https://www.ishail.org/illinois-licensures:

Individuals must complete a two-year IDFPR-approved program in speech-language pathology assisting in order to qualify for a speech-language assistant license.  In addition, speech-language pathology assistant candidates must successfully pass the licensure test and pay the application fee.  A speech-language pathology assistant license is required in order to work in any setting in the state of Illinois.  Speech-language pathologist assistants can work in the school setting, private practice, healthcare settings, and early intervention under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist.  Speech-language pathology assistants must complete 10 hours of continuing education every two years (renewal cycle).  

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The national licensure for SLPA have changed as of 2020. Check the ASHA site for more details. https://www.asha.org/certification/2020-slpa-certification-standards/

Here's the rundown: 

1. SLPA program or Bachelor's degree in SLP/CDIS or SLP core courses+Bachelor's degree in another field. You need one of these 3

2. 3-hour course (1-hour on each topic - ethics, patient confidentiality, and universal safety)

3. 100 supervised hours (80 direct and 20 indirect - teletherapy counts!)

4. pass national exam!

5. maintain licensure every 3 years!

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@SLPending State licensure takes precedence, you can hold ASHA's C-SLPA and still be unable to practice in your state if you have not met the state's requirements. (TL;DR at the bottom)

On the other end of the spectrum, you might be able to practice without the rigorous requirements of the C-SLPA certification if your state does not yet require it. (Some states only require a high school diploma.)

Illinois would fall in the middle: https://www.ishail.org/illinois-licensures

This is because state laws and regulations govern the schools and medical facilities where you'd be working. There are no national laws or regulations (that I know of, and I've done some extensive digging) stating that you must hold a C-SLPA, or CCC-SLP for that matter, these requirements are left up to the states.

That being said, the first SLPA certifications should have been given toward the end of 2020. I believe that many states will move toward aligning their requirements with ASHA's, or just require ASHA certification in lieu of specific state certification (I.e., you'd be licensed to practice if you can give them a copy of your certification + whatever additional documents they might need in the application.)

As of now, I do not know of any states that have made these moves, as changing state regulations takes quite awhile.

This is similar to state regulations for SLPs. Though ASHA is nationally recognized, and the designation CCC-SLP is the standard, there are states that do not require it to practice as an SLP.

Most states require a clinical fellowship of 36 weeks (equivalent to ASHA requirements) and around 400 hours of supervised clinical practicum. States that do not require a CCC-SLP still require candidates to meet similar educational standards and to pass the same Praxis exam used to meet CCC-SLP requirements.

From ASHA:

What is the difference between ASHA certification and state licensure?

Licensure is designed to protect the public from harm. Certification is the public’s assurance that an individual has voluntarily met rigorous, peer-developed and reviewed standards endorsed by a national professional body.

Do I need to apply for ASHA certification?

The Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) is a credential that offers many benefits. Holding the CCC is voluntary; it is your decision whether or not to apply.

 

TL;DR

My advice? Take the path of least resistance. The goal here, I'm assuming, is having relevant work experience before applying to grad school. So, if your state only requires a high-school diploma: do that. But always make sure that you are at least meeting state requirements if they happen to be more rigorous than ASHA's C-SLPA. You MUST have state licensure or certification; certification from ASHA is VOLUNTARY unless your state requires it. 

Edited by www.jomyers.online
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