SLPA Frequently Asked Questions
1. 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:
o Attend an information session the semester prior to beginning (held in Fall and Spring semesters)
o Review the SLPA Curriculum and Sequence, Technical Standards, and Handbook (on SLPA website)
o Enroll in Cerritos as a current student (this is free and online)
o Transfer any academic records to Admissions and Records
o Make an appointment to meet with a Health Occupations Counselor to plan out your degree completion
o Begin taking classes in accordance with the Course Sequence and recommendations of the Health Occupations Counselor and/or Department Chair
2. Do you offer online classes or summer classes?
No online or summer classes are available at this time.
3. 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. BA/BS students with degrees in Communicative Disorders/Sciences/Speech-Language Pathology must enter and complete the ENTIRE program and obtain an AA degree.
- Effective 11/2015, the SLPA program will no longer be able to provide expedited clearance for students with BA degrees in Communicative Disorders/Sciences/Speech-Language Pathology. This is due to the large influx of BA/BS students attempting to obtain the required courses and fieldwork necessary to apply for a state license. This program is designed to provide an Associate of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology Assisting. Students with BA/BS degrees should seek advice from their four year institutions on next steps if they choose not to pursue a master’s level education in Speech-Language Pathology. BA students are welcome to complete an AA degree at Cerritos College following the recommended course sequence, as posted under “Curriculum” on the website.
4. 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 for SLP courses only
- 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.
5. 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 & Requisite Clearance Request 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.
6. What kinds of degrees and certificates are available for SLPA majors?
- A SLPA major may earn an Associate of Arts degree upon successful completion of all program and college requirements.
- 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).
7. What is a speech aide?
- 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
- A speech aide certificate is available through Cerritos College. Please see the catalog for up to date information on SLPA certificates and degree programs.
8. 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.
9. 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.
- A SLPA is required to obtain a state license in order to be employed and work under that title. They must have a licensed supervisor for supervision in the workplace.
10. 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).
11. 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?
- Field placement assignments are arranged by SLPA faculty in the LA Metro area, South Bay and Orange County based on contracts with cooperating sites; students are often placed in schools and clinical settings.
- Each Field Experience classes requires at least 81 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.
12. 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.
13. How much does a SLPA job pay?
The pay varies depending on the setting and the level of his/her education and experience. In general, SLPAs can start at a rate of $12-20/hour.
14. 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. HR websites for these companies and organizations are the best source to find employment opportunities.
- The SLPA Job board posts new jobs about every other month as they are made available to the department; it does not provide comprehensive job search support.
- Prospective SLPAs should use 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.
- The California Speech-Language Hearing Association (csha.org) provides job postings and information about SLP-related jobs in California.
15. How long will this program take to complete?
It depends. Students should see the required list of classes under “Curriculum” to determine which classes need to be taken in which order. Students who have their GEs completed or mostly completed will take 2 years to complete the program if they enroll and pass SLP 101 & 105 in the first semester. Part-time students may take 3 years to complete the program if they are able to enroll in all of the classes. Students should adhere to the recommended course sequence.
16. How much does it cost to complete this AA program?
Students can multiply the number of credits (60 for an AA degree, 42.5 of that is taken up in SLPA program requirements) by the cost per unit (currently $46), which is subject to change. Student fees will also apply. Students are required to purchase or rent textbooks and buy additional supplies such as a digital recorder, therapy materials, and office supplies. A personal computer, Microsoft office applications, and personal printer are highly recommended but are available in the campus computer labs.