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Speech Pathology Graduate Programs - Facts You Should Know - Education - College and University

Speech Pathology Graduate Programs - Facts You Should Know   by Markus Layton

in Education / College and University    (submitted 2011-09-21)

Speech pathology graduate programs are available for those who would like to pursue a career as a speech therapist. There are several you can choose from that will depend on your preferred specialization, location and financial capacity.

An undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology is available in colleges and universities but it will only get you a job as an assistant. There is the option to work as a researcher or speech therapy treatment plan coordinator but not an actual Speech therapist. To be a licensed practitioner in this field, you need at least a Master's degree. Otherwise, you will not be eligible to complete the licensing prerequisites that the state will require. It should also be noted that getting into a graduate program does not require a speech pathology undergraduate degree. It will help you go through the graduate program because you have knowledge of the fundamentals but it is not compulsory. It just allows other students to shift to a speech therapy career even after they get their undergraduate degree.

When you are looking for speech pathology graduate programs, search for those that are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The list should be available on their website. Unless the program you enrol into is accredited, it will not make you eligible to get a license.

Those who enter into speech pathology graduate programs will be taught how to identify and heal language disorders. The disorders are usually from a disease that the patient contracted or a genetic disability. Among these include neurological illnesses like a stroke. Some people are also born with a language disorder. Children with delayed developments are also some of the patients of speech pathologists. These speech language and hearing disorders are healed through a treatment plan that is executed by the therapist or assistant within a specified period.

The subjects included in speech pathology graduate programs include anatomy and physiology. Students work on cadavers to identify the parts of the body â€" specifically those that are relevant to their field like the respiratory system and the different areas that create sound. They also study the development of language, hearing capabilities and phonetics. Courses on neurological diseases are given emphasis because most speech disorders stem from neuro-related malfunctions. Facial anomalies are also studied like cleft palate disorders and the treatment the patient has to go through when the palate has been surgically fixed.

Students can also choose specializations on children and the elderly as these patients need special care. The major need for speech therapists is in schools. However, statistics show that the current generation is proving to last longer so age related speech disorders are also in need of speech treatment. Apart from the age, the specialization can also be in specific causes of speech disorders like autism or age related illnesses.

speech pathology graduate programs immerse students in training activities that will give them hands on experience that is also required by the licensing board. A certain number of hours are specified and it varies by state. This will train the students to deal with different patients â€" diagnosing speech, hearing and language disabilities and coming up with a treatment plan to correct the disorders. Unlike doctors, this will enable speech therapist to go straight to work without having to go through an intern program.