In Vermont, the community of licensed communicative sciences and disorders professionals made up of dedicated speech-language pathologists and audiologists is committed to making comprehensive, technology-driven speech, language, hearing, and swallowing therapies and services available to anybody that needs it.
Just a few of the many examples of how this is being accomplished includes:
- The Central Vermont Medical Center (part of the University of Vermont’s Health Network) in Berlin provide services ranging from stroke rehabilitation and voice therapy to motor speech therapy and cognitive rehabilitation
- The Rutland Regional Medical Center’s team of SLPs provide such specialized therapies as VitalStim (electrical stimulation for patients with swallowing disorders)
- The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Program (designed to improve voice loudness and intelligibility in patients with neurological disorders)
To become an SLP in Vermont, you must become licensed through the Office of Professional Regulation on Speech-Language Pathology, which requires earning a master’s degree in the field, completing a clinical fellowship, and passing the national exam for speech-language pathologists.
Follow these steps to become a licensed speech-language pathologist in Vermont:
Step 1. Complete an Accredited Master’s Degree Program in Speech-Language Pathology
To become a licensed SLP in Vermont, you must earn a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited institution. The largest accrediting body of speech-language graduate degrees is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA).
The CAA accredits both online and traditional, campus-based master’s degrees in speech-language therapy. Thanks to the large number of online SLP programs available throughout the nation, students have more options than ever for completing their graduate studies in the field of communication sciences and disorders.
This is particularly ideal for students in a state like Vermont, where there is just one campus-based option: The Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders at the University of Vermont.
If you hold a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology, you can easily transition to an SLP master’s program and immediately begin taking graduate-level courses. If you possess a bachelor’s degree in another area, you may be required to complete several prerequisite courses or a pre-professional program through your university before transitioning to graduate-level coursework. Prerequisite courses often include:
- Speech Science
- Language Acquisition
- Introduction to Communication Disorders
Graduate Course Requirements
SLP master’s degrees require 2-3 years of full-time study and the completion of 48-60 credits.
Just some of the core coursework you can expect to complete includes:
- Introduction to Audiology
- Hearing Rehabilitation
- Speech Sound Disorders
- Language Disorders
- Swallowing Disorders
- Voice Disorders
Step 2. Complete a 36-Week Clinical Fellowship Program
Clinical fellowships in Vermont must include at least 36 weeks of full-time work, supervised by a licensed speech-language pathologist. As a license candidate, it is your responsibility to find an employer that will offer guidance and mentorship during your paid clinical fellowship. The fellowship provides you the opportunity to enter the field in a specialty area or practice setting of your choice, so you should give careful consideration to the employer you chooses to work with.
Just a few of the employers of SLPs in Vermont that may be interested in taking on a fellow include:
- Vermont Speech Language Pathology: South Burlington
- Central Vermont Medical Center: Berlin
- Southwestern Vermont Health Care: Bennington
- Green Mountain Speech & Hearing Services: Montpelier
Fellowships often lead to full time employment after completing the licensing process
Step 3. Pass the National SLP Examination
Before you apply for licensure in Vermont, you must take and pass the national SLP exam, administered by Praxis. This can be done at any time during or after your clinical fellowship.
To take the exam, you need to register using the instructions on the Praxis registration page. There is a test center located in Williston.
You will have 150 minutes to answer 132 multiple-choice questions. The test is divided up into three different categories. You can study for the exam using study materials from Praxis. The exam contents include:
- Foundations and Professional Practice – 1/3 of the exam
- Characteristics of common communication and swallowing disorders
- Culturally and linguistically appropriate service delivery
- Professional Ethics
- Screening, Assessment, Evaluation, and Diagnosis – 1/3 of the exam
- Communication Disorders
- Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
- Developing Case Histories
- Assessing factors that influence communication and swallowing disorders
- Assessment of anatomy and physiology
- Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of Treatment – 1/3 of the exam
- Evaluating factors that can affect treatment
- Initiating and prioritizing treatment and development goals
- Determining appropriate treatment details
- Communicating recommendations
- Following up on referrals and treatment recommendations
The passing score on the exam is 162 on a scale of 100-200.
Optional CCC-SLP Certification
Passing the SLP exam will also qualify you to earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) designation through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a nationally recognized credential denoting practice experience and a commitment to excellence among SLPs.
You must complete the Application for the CCC-SLP and submit it to ASHA, along an SLP Clinical Fellowship Report and Rating Form, an official transcript from your graduate program, and your SLP exam score from Praxis.
You can also choose to earn the CCC-SLP before applying for your Vermont SLP license. Doing so will allow you to submit your CCC-SLP in lieu of other required documentation when applying for your state license.
Step 4. Become Licensed and Begin Your Career as a Speech-Language Pathologist
After passing the SLP exam, you can apply for your Vermont SLP license. You must submit the Application for Licensure as a Speech-Language Pathologist, along with your graduate transcripts. Praxis will submit exam scores directly to the Board.
After receiving your Vermont SLP license, you can begin your career in earnest.
There are many opportunities in Vermont for licensed SLPs:
- Many newly licensed SLPs secure fulltime employment with the employer through which they completed their clinical fellowship. This is a great option for maintaining continuity with patients.
- If you want to look through new job listings, you can start with the list of state and national resources for SLPs available through the Vermont Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This list includes professional resources across the state, including jobs in the public and private sectors.
- Many SLPs choose to provide speech-language pathology services as independent practitioners through telepractice, which allows them to live stream therapy sessions from the comfort of their home.
Many SLPs also earn Clinical Specialty Certification designed to complement the CCC-SLP:
- Intraoperative monitoring
- Swallowing disorders
- Fluency disorders
- Child language and language disorders
Step 5. Maintain SLP Licensure and Complete Continuing Education Requirements
After you earn your Vermont SLP license, you’ll need to complete at least 30 hours of continuing education during every three-year renewal period. For more information on renewal and continuing education requirements, contact the Office of Professional Regulation.
You can complete continuing education courses and programs through ASHA or the Vermont Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Members of the Vermont Association enjoy education opportunities, legislative support, and state-wide professional connections.