Alaska Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Alaska SLPA Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 19th, 2024

If you’re considering pursuing a career in speech-language pathology, you may be wondering if you should first get a speech-language pathology assistant license or go right to grad school. There are a few reasons you should look to get your Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) license before enrolling in a graduate program.

As an SLPA you’ll gain first-hand on-the-job experience working with different populations in a variety of settings. This will be a good time to get an overview of the profession so that you can decide if you’d like to go into a specialty area or remain working with a broad population on a wide range of communication disorders.

It’s also a good idea to become a licensed SLPA as the experience will look great on your graduate school application and increase your chances of acceptance into a competitive program.

So, if you live in Alaska and need a step-by-step guide for the pathway to SLPA licensure, you’ve come to the right place. This article will give you the complete layout for the process so that you can begin helping those who need it most.

Initial Speech Pathology Licensure Process

Alaska’s Department of Commerce, community, and economic development (DCCED) Is the licensing agency for the state’s speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs). These licenses are renewed every two years and the regulations overseeing the profession can be found on the DCCED website.

Education Requirements

To register for a license as a speech-language pathology assistant you need an associate of applied science degree. The degree should be obtained from an accredited institution and focus on disabilities with an emphasis on speech-language support. A bachelor’s degree in speech pathology will also enable you to apply for SLPA licensure.

The degree sets the foundation for your future career, so choose your program wisely. Ask former alum questions and research online reviews before enrolling. One thing you must be sure of is the program’s accreditation. The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) accrediting agency. ASHA sets the standards for speech-language pathology education in the United States (U.S.).

The program will prepare you for the competitive master’s program that follows should you decide to continue on this career path. You’ll expand your knowledge of language fluency, speech, voice, swallowing, and hearing disorders. Along with your general education and elective courses, you’ll take communication sciences and disorders classes.

You’ll be introduced to the field of speech pathology through courses like the ones listed below:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of speech and language
  • Cultural identity issues
  • Language therapy
  • Speech and language disorders in
  • Intervention strategies
  • Ethics

Experience Requirements

Gaining experience through fieldwork is a huge part of your curriculum. You’re expected to complete 100 hours of work supervised by a state-licensed SLP. SLPs certified by the state Department of Education that has an endorsement in speech-language pathology, communication disorders, or speech and hearing sciences can also supervise the experience.

You are required to complete at least one hour in each of the following prerequisite courses:

If you weren’t academically trained in the specific roles and responsibilities of an assistant, you need to complete ASHA’s online education modules or equivalent coursework.

Your supervisor is responsible for developing and implementing a supervision plan. Within the first 90 days that you are employed, you must be supervised directly for at least 50% of the services you provide. Once the 90 days. Is over the requirement for supervision drops to 20%. Supervisors are only allowed to oversee two assistants at a time.

The supervising SLP will monitor and evaluate the SLPA’s services while providing guidance and continuous feedback. Once your hours have been completed there is a section in the application packet for your supervisor to verify that you have obtained the requirement.

Testing Requirement

The state of Alaska does not require you to pass a national exam to become a licensed SLPA. however, the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) has approved an exam for assistants that was created by ASHA. The test is designed to assess your skills and knowledge to be sure you fully understand the rules of supervision, your scope of practice, and the daily tasks you’ll perform in your new role.

Passing this exam will allow you to use the C-SLPA credential, which shows others that you are ASHA-certified. An application must be submitted and reviewed by ASHA to take the exam. After being approved to sit for the test, submitting official transcripts, and paying the certification fee of $249, you’ll be able to take the test at one of the many Prometric testing centers located throughout the U.S.

The test comprises 100 multiple-choice questions that are graded on a scale of 100-200. You’ll need to score 162 to pass. After registering for the test you’ll have one year from the approval date to schedule and take the exam. Scores are automatically set to ASHA for review and if you didn’t pass you can take the test two more times within the year.

The retest fee is $99 and if you don’t pass the second or third time your application will be closed. You’ll have to submit a new application if you want another chance to take the exam.

ASHA’s website has resource materials for you to study and prepare for the exam. Review the sample questions, and SLPA Exam Blueprint, or visit the Practice Portal to sharpen your knowledge. Also, speak to faculty and find out what resources your school’s program has available for students studying for the SLPA exam.

Once you pass the exam your affiliate card and award letter will be sent to you. But, you will have to work during every three-year interval to maintain the credential. That means paying the annual fees, following the Assistants Code of Conduct, and successfully passing the certification maintenance assessment module.

Background Checks

All SLPA applicants must consent to a fingerprint-based background check. First, you’ll need a Provider Identification Number (PIN) which will be used on your application. Fax the form to (907) 269-3488, or mail it to the following address with the $35 processing fee:

State of Alaska/Dept of H&SS
Division of Public Health
Background Check Unit
619 E. Ship Creek Ave. Ste. 232
Anchorage, AK 99501

Be sure to use the FBI fingerprinting form when visiting an approved location, or your fingerprints will not be accepted.

Application Process

Send in the following items to have your application processed:

  • A completed application (download the application here)
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $250
  • Speech-language pathologist assistant registration fee of $225
  • Authorization for Release of Records form
  • Proof that you completed 100 hours of fieldwork supervised by a licensed SLP

It will take the Department several weeks to process the paper application. Online applications for initial SLPA licensure are not currently available. If any information is missing you will be notified she sent in the documents needed to complete processing. Send all information to this address:

Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologist Program
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811

Forward any questions you may have to AudiologistAndSpeechLanguagePathologist@Alaska.Gov, or call (907) 465-2550.