[Overton]Qualifications of Speech-Language Pathologists

Who are speech-language pathologists? Speech-language pathologists are professionals who are qualified to diagnose and treat communication disorders in children and adults. Some examples of these disorders include stuttering, language-learning disabilities, sound production problems, and loss of speech and language abilities due to an accident or illness.

In Texas, speech-language pathologists must hold a license to practice issued by the state. The requirements for this license are based largely on the guidelines for national certification.

How is national certification earned? Both educational and practicum requirements must be fulfilled in order to obtain certification from the national certifying board (the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or ASHA). The first requirement is a Masters Degree in Communication Pathology, which includes supervised clinical experience in addition to coursework. Upon completion of the Masters Degree, the graduate can be employed as an intern speech-language pathologist. The intern is closely supervised during the first year of employment (Clinical Fellowship Year or CFY) by a speech-language pathologist who has already been certified by ASHA. The third requirement for certification is to pass the national board examination. Once all three of these requirements have been met, the CCC-SLP is awarded and the intern becomes a fully certified speech-language pathologist. In order to maintain the state license and the national certification, continuing education hours must be earned on a yearly basis.

Valerie Johnston earned her certification (CCC-SLP) in January 1979.

If you have questions or need more information you can contact me at:

Overton Speech & Language Center, Inc.
Fort Worth, TX
(817) 294-8408


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Copyright 2008 Overton Speech & Language Center, Inc.
Last revised: January 14, 2009