Speech-language pathologists all seem to agree that choosing a career in the field provides no shortage of opportunities to make a meaningful contribution to improving the lives of the clients in their care. As the top-paying state in the nation for speech-language pathologists, according to a 2015 report published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Connecticut’s SLPs also enjoy a high standard of living, earning an average annual salary of $88,460.
While online programs that have earned accreditation through the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) continue to be the option of choice for SLP graduate students, the University of Connecticut’s campus-based SLP program is also highly esteemed.
As the field continues to grow around a thriving academic and professional community, the Connecticut Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) has become highly active. Each year CSHA hosts a conference where practicing SLPs and students can connect with each other and explore new educational technologies and methods of therapy. In the past, these conferences have included symposiums on topics like stuttering, childhood apraxia of speech, and the PROMPT technique.
Learn more about earning your SLP license through the Connecticut Department of Public Health by following the steps in the guide below:
Step 1. Enroll in a Master’s Program in Speech-Language Pathology
To qualify for SLP licensure through the Connecticut Department of Public Health you must hold a master’s or doctorate from a program that has received accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) or another agency recognized by the US Department of Education.
Foundational Courses and Admissions Requirements
Though it is helpful to have a bachelor’s degree in communicative sciences and disorders, most graduate programs gladly welcome applicants with a bachelor’s degree in another major and even give students an opportunity to complete foundation courses through the school before transitioning to graduate-level coursework.
Standard prerequisite courses include:
- Introduction to Developmental Communication Disorders
- Introduction to Communication Disorders in Medical Setting
- Phonetics and Phonological Systems
- Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
- Language Development
- Introduction to Hearing Science
- Introduction to Audiology
- Neurological Bases of Communication
- Language Acquisition: School Age-Adolescence
- Speech Science
- Clinical Practice of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
Most graduate programs will require you to submit GRE scores and at least two academic letters of reference. SLP graduate program admission can be quite competitive, so it’s best to be prepared with the following:
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher
- GRE verbal score of at least 153 and quantitative score of at least 144
- Resume explaining your experience in the field, such as clinical hours, volunteer experience, and prerequisite courses you have completed
Accredited online master’s programs in communicative sciences and disorders allow students to complete conventional coursework, problem modules and quizzes, and gain hands-on experience through practicums in clinics in their area.
Through your coursework, you’ll study courses within the following sciences:
- Physical Science
The curriculum will also involve a practicum. The practicum must be completed during your graduate program and will allow you to gain experience in assessing and treating patients in a supervised environment.
Core courses usually cover:
- Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders
- Research Methods in Communication Disorders
- Disorders of Phonology
- Cognitively Based Communication Disorders in Adults
- Disorders of Fluency
- Language Acquisition Disorders: Birth to Five
- Language Acquisition Disorders: School Age
- Voice and Velopharyngeal Disorders
Electives may include:
- Augmentative & Alternative Communication
- Topics in Medical Speech-Language Pathology
- Developmental Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Literacy for the SLP
- Counseling and Guidance Procedures in Speech and Hearing
- Educational Audiology
- Central Auditory Processing Disorders in Children
Step 2. Gain Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Through a Clinical Fellowship Program
In order to become licensed in Connecticut, you must gain supervised professional experience through a clinical fellowship.
The Connecticut DPH requires that all SLPs complete a 36-week, 1,080 hour, full-time clinical fellowship. You may also complete a part-time clinical fellowship of 48 weeks and at least 1,440 hours.
During your clinical fellowship, you’ll need to complete at least 6 sessions of supervised activity per month for a total of 4 hours. Of these 4 hours, at least 2 hours over 2 sessions must include direct, on-site observation by the supervisor.
All clinical fellowship hours must be completed under the supervision of a licensed SLP. These activities will include assessing and diagnosing patients, performing administrative work related to clients, and meeting with clients’ family to discuss progress.
At the end of each segment, you will have a performance feedback session with your supervisor.
You can find sponsors and open clinical fellowship opportunities here.
Following the completion of the SPE, your supervisor must complete a report form detailing their evaluation of your performance and submit it directly to the Connecticut DPH. You can mail the form to:
Connecticut Department of Public Health
Speech and Language Pathologist Licensure
410 Capitol Ave., MS# 12 APP
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
Step 3. Pass the National Speech-Language Pathology Praxis Examination
You’ll need to take and pass the National Speech-Language Pathology Exam through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in order to become licensed in Connecticut. You can register online at any time during your clinical fellowship directly through the third-party exam administrator Praxis.
Once you’ve passed the national exam, you may choose to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) through ASHA, although the credential is not a requirement for licensure in Connecticut. It takes up to six weeks to receive the credential.
The national exam is scored on a 100-200 score scale, and the required minimum score is 162.
To prepare for the exam, you may review practice questions in the Speech-Language Pathology Praxis Study Companion.
The test has 132 questions covering foundation and professional practice, screening, assessment, evaluation, and diagnosis, and planning, implementation, and evaluation of treatment.
The questions will cover the following areas:
- Speech and production
- Receptive and expressive language
- Social aspects of communication, including pragmatics
- Cognitive aspects of communication
- Augmentative and alternative communication
- Motor speech
- Feeding and swallowing
Connecticut has five Praxis test centers, located in:
Step 4. Become Licensed and Begin Your Career as a Speech-Language Pathologist
The next step is to apply for your SLP license in Connecticut. You’ll need to fill out the license application, get it notarized, and submit it with a $200 fee to the board.
You’ll also need to send to the board:
- An official graduate transcript
- Verification of completion of a supervised professional experience, signed by your supervisor
- Results of the national examination
Now you’re licensed and may begin your career:
In Connecticut, licensed SLPs are able to start their own independent practices. If you wish to serve a wider patient base, you might also consider starting a partnership with another SLP. Starting an independent practice or partnership is an excellent way to focus on a specific patient population and set a flexible schedule for yourself.
You might choose to join the clinic where you completed your clinical fellowship if you have a good relationship with the clinic’s patients and staff. Working for the clinic that provided RPE is a good way to build credibility and experience for the future.
Connecticut is home to hundreds of SLPS working in hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, and the educational system. You may choose to pursue job opportunities throughout the state. Some of these employers include:
- VNA Community Healthcare
- Rehab Visions
- Constellation Health Services
- Yale New Haven Hospital
- Cooperative Educational Services
- Heritage Healthcare
- Genesis Rehab Services
- Preferred Therapy Solutions
- Benchmark Human Services
- New Haven Public Schools
You might also seek specialty certifications through ASHA. SLPs who wish to serve a specific patient population often pursue specialty certification as a way to specialize.
Step 5. Maintain SLP Licensure and Complete Continuing Education Requirements
In order to maintain SLP licensure, you’ll need to complete 20 continuing education hours each year and renew your license every two years through the Connecticut DPH.
Qualifying continuing education activities include workshops or courses, including online courses and journal studies with content deemed acceptable by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or courses offered by national and state speech-language-hearing associations, other regional speech-language groups, or other related professional societies and organizations.
You’ll be able to renew your license online for a fee of $205.00