How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist in Maryland

Whether online or housed in one of the three schools in Maryland that offer Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)-accredited graduate programs, students studying communicative sciences and disorders not only gain a fundamental understanding of the biological and social factors that affect how we communicate, but also gain face to face experience working with patients suffering from communicative disorders of all kinds.

NYU Steinhardt's online MS in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Speech@NYU, offers a comprehensive curriculum that combines research and evidence-based clinical practice in a flexible online format. Speech@NYU prepares students across the country to become creative, collaborative, and effective speech-language pathologists. Students of this program will gain the experience needed to provide care to diverse populations across the life span. Request information.

At the center of Maryland’s growing community of SLP professionals is the Maryland Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA), an organization that exists to connect SLPs in the state, provide advocacy for legislative issues related to the field, offer continuing educational opportunities, and highlight advances in methods and techniques employed in the profession. MSHA also awards scholarships to graduate students in Maryland, making SLP graduate studies more accessible.

Recently, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) awarded MSHA a grant designed to help promote legislative measures aimed at health insurance reimbursement for private speech-pathology services. With the grant money from ASHA and a renewed push to solve this issue, MSHA is seeking measures that would ensure private speech-therapy services are covered by large insurance providers in the state.

The Maryland Board of Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers & Speech-Language Pathologists issues SLP licenses to qualified candidates that meet education, experience and examination requirements. Follow the steps below to learn more:

Complete an Approved Graduate Program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Complete a Period of Post-Graduate Supervised Clinical Experience
Pass the National SLP Praxis Exam
Apply for Licensing and Begin Practicing as a Speech-Language Pathologist
Keep your License Current and Complete Continuing Education Requirements

 


 

Step 1. Complete an Approved Graduate Program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders

There are two paths to gaining your graduate degree in communicative sciences and disorders depending on your undergraduate background:

  • If you have a bachelor’s degree in communicative sciences and disorders, you’ll begin your graduate program directly, and start taking core courses
  • If you have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you’ll begin foundational SLP coursework through the university, and start core coursework once you’ve finished the fundamentals

Undergraduate Requirements and Admissions

If you need to complete prerequisites, your coursework will include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology: Speech and Voice
  • Articulation and Phonology
  • Clinical Audiology
  • Hearing Science
  • Phonetics
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Speech and Voice Science
  • Survey of Communication Disorders

SLP graduate programs are selective: admissions departments generally look for GPA scores of 3.0 and higher. You’ll also need to submit GRE scores. Admissions departments usually prefer GRE verbal scores of 153 or higher and quantitative scores of 144 or higher.

Master’s Program Core Coursework and Practicum

Through your core coursework, you’ll study:

  • Speech and Voice Science
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech
  • Survey of Communication Disorders
  • Articulation and Phonology
  • Phonetics
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Hearing Science
  • Clinical Audiology
  • Language Disorders
  • Voice Disorders

Electives can vary, but may cover:

  • Advanced Behavioral Topics
  • Articulation and Phonological Disorders
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies
  • Language and Literacy Disorders
  • Counseling in Communication Disorders
  • Multicultural Issues
  • Tests and Measurements

You’ll also need to complete a practicum before graduating. A practicum involves supervised clinical experiences, which can include assessing and treating patients and developing treatment plans with your supervisor.

 


 

Step 2. Complete a Period of Post-Graduate Supervised Clinical Experience

To become licensed as an SLP in Maryland, you’ll need to completed a 36-week supervised clinical experience through a clinical fellowship.

You might find a clinical fellowship provider through your university, through a clinic in which you worked during your graduate practicum, or by browsing opportunities here.

The clinical fellowship is a transition period between graduate coursework and full-time employment. You’ll learn how to complete clinical and diagnostic procedures and work with a variety of patients to gain experience with different ages, populations, and disabilities.

You may complete a full-time or a part-time option, but either option must be a minimum of 36 weeks and 1,260 hours of supervised experience.

Clinical fellowships are generally split up into three sections, dictated by your clinical supervisor. You’ll receive feedback after each segment and your supervisor may tailor your clinical fellowship plan to the specialty populations your wish to serve.


 

Step 3. Pass the National SLP Praxis Exam

After you’ve completed the 36 weeks of your clinical fellowship, you’ll be eligible to apply for the National Exam in Speech and Language Pathology. The exam is offered through Praxis, and you can easily register online.

To register, you’ll need:

The exam will cover basic scientific topics that you learned during your core coursework, and clinical and diagnostic procedures that you’ll have completed in your clinical fellowship. Some of these topics include feeding and swallowing processes and therapeutic measures, voice resonance and fluency, speech and production mechanisms, motor speech, receptive and expressive language, social and behavioral aspects of communication and speech, and hearing processes.

If you’d like to study for the test with test-prep materials, you may review free practice questions or purchase a Praxis practice exam.

In Maryland, there are several Praxis test centers where you may take the exam. They’re located in:

  • Baltimore
  • Bethesda
  • Bowie
  • College Park
  • Columbia
  • Frederick
  • Frostburg
  • Hagerstown
  • Hanover
  • Hyattsville
  • Woodlawn
  • Nottingham
  • Salisbury
  • Towson

It usually takes a few weeks to hear back from Praxis about your exam scores. Once you’ve confirmed that you’ve passed the exam, you can move on to applying for licensure through the state board.

Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP)

The CCC-SLP certification through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is an optional credential that many SLPs choose to earn, though it is not required for licensure through the Maryland SLP Board. By meeting ASHA’s minimum education and experience requirements and passing the Praxis exam, you would be eligible to pursue the credential.

To apply, you’ll need the following:

  • Official graduate transcript
  • Proof of completion of a clinical practicum
  • Passing score on the National Exam
  • Proof of completion of a clinical fellowship
  • CCC-SLP application

If you choose to pursue the CCC-SLP, at the end of your clinical fellowship you’ll need to submit a CF Report and Rating Form to ASHA at:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard #313
Rockville, Maryland 20850

 


 

Step 4. Apply for Licensing and Begin Practicing as a Speech-Language Pathologist

Now that you’ve passed the SLP Praxis Exam, you may apply for full licensure through the Maryland SLP Board.

You’ll need to submit a signed, notarized application along with:

The Law & Regulation Exam’s purpose is to ensure that you are familiar with Maryland laws as they relate to speech-language pathologists. It consists of 42 true or false questions and four short answer questions. If you need assistance looking up Maryland laws, you may review Maryland’s SLP Rules and Regulations.

Mail the application and supporting documents directly to the board at:

State of Maryland—Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Board of Examiners for Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers and Speech-Language Pathologists
4201 Patterson Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21215-2299

It may take several weeks to hear back from the board and be issued your license. In the meantime, you can explore your job prospects:

Consider Joining the Clinic That Provided Require Professional Experience

An easy way to get started in your career is to apply for a full-time position at the clinic where you completed your clinical fellowship. If you have a good relationship with your clinical fellowship supervisor, they may act as a reference for you.

Start Your Own Practice

With your CCC-SLP credential and license from the state of Maryland, you may start your own, independent practice and begin taking on clients.

You might also consider going into practice with another SLP partner if you’d like to take on a larger number of clients.

Pursue Job Openings in Maryland

Speech-language pathologists have the opportunity to work in hospitals, clinics and private practices throughout the state of Maryland, fulfilling vital roles for patients with communicative disorders A few Maryland employers that hire SLPs are:

  • Flagship Rehabilitation
  • Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children
  • HCR Manor Care
  • University of Maryland
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • Howard County General Hospital
  • Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center
  • Baltimore Orthopedics & Rehabilitation
  • Mary’s Hospital
  • Human Touch Home Healthcare

 


 

Step 5. Keep your License Current and Complete Continuing Education Requirements

You’ll need to renew your Maryland SLP license every two years through Maryland’s online renewal system.

Upon renewal, you’ll be asked to submit proof of completion of 30 continuing education hours.

If you’re newly licensed, you may have to complete a smaller number of continuing education hours, depending on the board’s discretion.

The Maryland SLP Board approves continuing education that is hosted through ASHA and the Maryland Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

You can browse ASHA continuing education offerings such as webinars, conferences and events, or take a look at MSHA’s continuing education credits.

If you wish to pursue continuing education credits through other providers, which may include universities in the state or online courses, you can send a request to the board.

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