SLPA Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are SLPAs needed?
- Communication disorders affects up approximately 10% of the US population.
- These disorders include: childhood speech and language impairments, developmental delays, autism, voice problems, stuttering, and language disabilities caused by brain injury and/or hearing impairment. Some people are nonverbal and rely on communicative devices to communicate their needs.
- These communication disorders isolate people from their friends, family and the community and may limit job and educational opportunities.
- SLPAs help support Speech-Language Pathologists to ensure effective and efficient treatment.
2. What does a SLPA do?
- A SLPA works under the supervision of a state licensed Speech-Language Pathologist to develop therapy materials, provide therapy based on the client's treatment plan (as developed by the SLP), and supports the SLP in a variety of other ways (e.g., clerical work, translation, scheduling).
- Please see the "Roles and Responsibilities of a SLPA" posted under the Supervision section and the "Technical Standards" of the SLPA webpage for more information.
3. What kinds of degrees and certificates are available for SLPA majors?
- A Speech-Language Pathology Assistant is a licensed position in the state of California. Only a student who has completed an accredited AA degree program (with field placements) or a BA/BS program (with field placements) may apply for licensure
- Upon receipt of the AA degree at Cerritos, SLPA students may apply for licensure through the state of California. The governing body is the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board (www.speechandhearing.ca.gov).
- A speech aide certificate is available through Cerritos College. A speech aide is able to develop therapeutic materials, do clerical work, translate and provide general support to the Speech-Language Pathologist. A speech aide is NOT authorized to do direct treatment. All SLPs who supervise speech aides must submit their names to the state.
- Please see the catalog for up to date information on SLPA certificates and degree programs at: http://www.cerritos.edu/catalog
4. How do I apply to the SLPA program?
- The Cerritos SLPA program is an open enrollment program, meaning that there is no application process. Students should do the following if they are interested in beginning the program:
- Attend an information session the semester prior to beginning (held in Fall and Spring semesters)
- Review the SLPA Curriculum and Sequence
- Enroll in Cerritos as a current student (this is free and online)
- Transfer any academic records to Admissions and Records
- Make an appointment to meet with a Health Occupations Counselor to plan out your degree completion
- Begin taking classes in accordance with the Course Sequence and recommendations of the Health Occupations Counselor and/or Department Chair
5. Do you offer online classes or summer classes?
- No online or summer classes are available at this time.
6. If I am attending another college, how do I get started with the SLPA program at Cerritos?
- Students should enroll in Cerritos, transfer official transcripts from their current institution to Cerritos College and schedule an appointment with a Health Occupations Counselor to discuss their plan for degree completion.
- All transcripts from other colleges need to be evaluated by a counselor and/or the Department Chair of the SLP Program
- Students may need to be tested for appropriate course placement.
- It is recommended that students complete most of their general education units prior to beginning the SLPA program to ensure on-time graduation and academic success.
7. If I already have taken courses required for the SLPA Program at other colleges, will they transfer to Cerritos College?
- It depends. All transcripts from other colleges need to be evaluated by a counselor and/or the Department Chair of the SLPA Program. Courses completed at accredited colleges and universities within the United States may be considered for the major but formal course descriptions and/or course outlines for completed courses must be submitted along with a Curriculum Adjustment form.
- Students with online programs must be prepared to submit a syllabus for each SLPA course they wish to be considered for transfer and/or equivalency.
- Foreign degrees & transcripts: General Education and SLP courses completed at accredited colleges and universities from other countries may be considered; however, transcripts must be evaluated by an International Evaluation service. Please contact the Cerritos College Admissions and Records Department for additional information.
8. If I already have an A.A. Degree do I need another one to become a SLPA?
- Yes, you will need an additional AA degree (see a Health Occupations counselor to determine what general education units are equivalent or transferrable to Cerritos once you have transferred your official transcripts).
9. If I already have a Bachelor's degree or a Post-Bac in Communication Disorders, can I just do the internship hours then apply for my state license?
- No. Students with a recent BA degree in Communication Disorders (less than 5 years) must undergo a transcript review by the Department Chair. Eligible students must successfully complete SLP 125 (Child Disorders and Treatment) and SLP 235 (Adult Disorders and Treatment) prior to participating in SLP 240 (Field Placement I) and SLP 245 (Field Placement II). Completion of these courses can take 1.5-2 ½ years depending on course availability and openings.
- Due to continual developments in research and evidence-based practice, students who obtained their BA degree in Communication Disorders 5 or more years from the time of inquiry will need to complete the entire SLPA program and obtain an AA degree in SLPA.
- SLPA classes can fill up early; enrollment in courses is not guaranteed at any stage of the program.
- BA students should consult the SLPAB licensing office for more information at www.speechandhearing.ca.gov for application and accreditation information.
10. I am a working student. How much time away from my job will I need to spend during my final classes in Field Experience (SLP 240 & SLP 245) and where will I be placed?
- Each Field Experience classes requires at least 80 hours of off-site clinical experience over the course of 10 weeks meet the Cerritos College and California Board requirements for licensure.
- Students are required to arrange for their own transportation and must have a minimum of TWO FULL DAYS available before the semester begins. All students need to plan accordingly so that release time can be arranged with their employers.
- Students meet weekly on-campus for an in-class component.
- Field placement assignments are arranged by SLPA faculty in LA Metro area, South Bay and Orange County based on contracts with cooperating sites; students are often placed in schools and clinical settings (hospital settings may be available depending on the semester).
11. What do I need to do to prepare for the Field Placement classes?
- See the "Field Placement" page on the SLPA website for the most current information.
12. How much does a SLPA job pay?
- The pay varies depending on the setting and the level of his/her education and experience.
13. Where can I find information on the job outlook for SLPAs and current job opportunities?
- The SLPA job market is competitive; jobs are often found through private contractors, clinics and school districts.
- The SLPA program does not keep a job board; SLPA positions can be found on search engines such as www.indeed.com, www.edjoin.org, and www.therapyjobs.com. A search for "SLPA jobs California" on any web browser will bring up a list of current jobs for the state.