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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Becoming a Speech Therapy Assistant

Becoming a Speech Therapy Assistant Cost


How Much Does Becoming a Speech Therapy Assistant Cost?

 
 average costMedium: Typically $3,000-$15,000 

Officially known as speech-language pathology assistants, speech therapy assistants help children and adults with communication disorders work to improve their overall communication skills. SLPAs work in schools, clinics, rehabilitation agencies and private practice under the direction and supervision of a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. Training is typically a two-year associate degree program, although some SLPA programs are designed for students who have already earned a bachelor's degree.

Typical costs:

  • For a two-year associate degree program, tuition, fees, books and other supplies can cost $3,000-$15,000 of more, depending on location, the student's state of residence and whether classes are on campus or online. Total costs (including housing and transportation) will vary depending on local rates and the individual student's circumstances.
  • For example, Pasadena City College[1] estimates costs of $3,500 for tuition, fees and supplies for its two-year associate degree and certificate program. College of DuPage[2] , a community college in Glen Ellyn, IL, estimates the cost of tuition, fees and supplies at $7,094, not including living expenses and transportation, for its associate degree in applied science. Alexandria Technical & Community College[3] in Minnesota estimates costs of $10,469 for tuition, fees, books and parking. And Mitchell Technical Institute[4] in Mitchell, SD, estimates costs of $14,177 for tuition, fees, books and supplies for its two-year, online SLPA program.
  • For students who already have a bachelor's degree, an SLPA certificate program at a four-year university can cost $7,000-$20,000 or more, depending on the scope of the program (length and the number of units required) and the student's state of residency. For example, the University of Vermont[5] offers an online, 21-unit SLPA certificate program with estimated tuition and fees of $7,730 for Vermont residents and $18,194 for out-of-state students. The University of Houston[6] offers a 32-unit, on-campus SLPA certificate program that requires 25 observation hours and 95 hours of clinical training under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist; tuition and fees are estimated at $9,318 for Texas residents and $19,848 for out-of-state students.
What should be included:
  • SPLA programs typically combine classroom instruction with supervised hands-on practice in a clinical setting. Chemeketa Community College in Oregon provides its SLPA course descriptions[7] .
  • Speech therapy assistants assist with their supervising speech-language pathologist's caseload by implementing treatment plans; documenting clients' progress; helping with screenings or assessments; maintaining equipment; and performing other support services.
  • Exact duties may vary depending on state requirements for SLPAs. Williamson County Schools in Tennessee provides an SLPA job description[8] .
Additional costs:
  • State rules governing SLPAs vary; licensing fees are typically $50-$150, depending on the state. For example, Nebraska[9] charges $60.
Discounts:
  • Scholarships and financial aid are typically available; complete the annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid[10] (FAFSA) to determine whether the student qualifies for federal or state aid.
Shopping for becoming a speech therapy assistant:
  • According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are about 27 SLPA associate degree programs[11] in the United States.
  • Not all states allow the use of SLPAs; the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association lists the SLPA requirements for each state[12] (click on "support personnel").
  • A speech-language pathology assistant is a relatively new designation and, according to College of DuPage[13] in Illinois, the "job outlook is not fully predictable," although graduates of the school's program have found jobs in the Chicago area. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association discusses the need for SLPAs[14] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.pasadena.edu/divisions/performing-comm/slpa/
  2.  www.cod.edu/programs/slpa/
  3.  www.alextech.edu/en/Speech/Tuition.aspx
  4.  www.mitchelltech.edu/programs/ViewProgram.aspx?id=66&ContentID=9
  5.  learn.uvm.edu/education/speech-language-pathology/speech-language-pathology-assist...
  6.  www.uh.edu/class/comd/programs/slpa/general-info/index.php
  7.  www.chemeketa.edu/programs/slpa/courses.html
  8.  www.wcs.edu/jobdescription/Classified%20Positions/SLPA.pdf
  9.  dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_rcs_audio_audiology.aspx
  10.  www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  11.  www.asha.org/associates/SLPA-Technical-Training-Programs/
  12.  www.asha.org/advocacy/state/
  13.  www.cod.edu/programs/slpa/faq.aspx
  14.  www.asha.org/associates/SLPA-FAQs.htm#a5
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