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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Speech Pathology

Majors Overview March 8, 2014

Receive information about an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in speech pathology and its educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

A.A.S. Programs in Speech Pathology

Students enrolled in associate’s degree programs in speech pathology are trained to become speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) providing assistance to licensed speech-language pathologists. They are imparted knowledge on language therapy, speech disorders and phonetics, among other areas aimed at making them adept at screening adults and children and implementing therapy plans, in accordance with the direction of the supervising pathologist. Stuttering, hearing, comprehension and articulation are among the common communication issues the programs address.

Educational Requirements

Technical schools and community colleges are among the institutions that offer associate’s degree programs in speech-language pathology. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma apart from the completion of a variety of admissions examinations, such as the SAT or ACT.

Coursework

Coursework pertinent to a speech-language pathology associate’s degree program covers general education class work, professional coursework and clinical studies including fieldwork and observation. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Audiology
•Office management
•American Sign Language
•Voice and diction
•Human development
•Communication disorders
•Linguistics

Job and Wage Outlook

Healthcare support workers who provide assistance to speech-language pathologists may seek work in a wide array of settings such as hospitals, medical offices and schools. A faster-than-average job growth rate of nineteen percent has been projected for the speech-language pathology field during the decade from 2012 to 2022 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In 2012, healthcare support workers took home an average annual wage of $33,880.

Continuing Education Choices

Many schools offer masters and Baccalaureate degree programs in speech-language pathology (BLS). Licensure norms in most states require candidates to hold a masters degree. Once they complete a master’s degree, students can take the national certifying examination and achieve licensure to practice as speech-language pathologists.

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