Speech-language pathologists that work in school settings help their students communicate more effectively and efficiently. Children might be struggling with a stutter, disability, emotional stress, or cognitive-communication impairment. Regardless of the scenario, an SLP must obtain a graduate degree from a program or university that has been accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), before they can begin working.
Deciding on a Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Program
Selecting which CAA-accredited graduate program you choose to attend is not an easy decision. One of the first decisions you must make is if you want to pursue a Master's Degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders or Speech-Language Pathology. You could even choose to receive your Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology. Next, you will have to decide what program is right for you; full-time, part-time, online, or maybe a combination of both.
Affordability is another huge factor that will sway your decision. Typically, private schools are much more costly than public state schools. However, many private schools are considered prestigious and highly sought after degrees. There are many other deciding factors such as location, size, and acceptance rate that will affect your decision.
Top Graduate Schools for Speech-Language Pathology
The University of Iowa and Vanderbilt University are considered the top graduate schools for speech-language pathology and audiology, according to a U.S. News and World Report survey, which was based on academics at peer institutions. Many of the programs from the top 20 list are state schools. This is beneficial to those interested in a graduate SLP program because large state schools tend to have a network of resources and are more affordable, especially if you live within the state. Some of these schools include the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the University of Arizona, and the University of Kansas. There is no shortage of programs, and many of the best colleges for speech-language pathology are spread evenly across the United States.
Most schools that have a speech-language pathology and audiology program are CAA-accredited. However, visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) website to confirm if your school of interest is CAA-accredited. The website is easy to use and allows users to search by location, degree type and area of study offered.