Kansas Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Kansas Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 19th, 2024

Communication is essential to our existence as human beings. We need to make our needs and desires known, as well as comprehend others and what they require from us. When there is a communication barrier, it can lead to a host of problems and misunderstandings. Unfortunately, there are numerous communication issues stemming from physical conditions that make it difficult for those afflicted to use speech and language effectively.

Speech-Language Pathology is the field of study that delves into these conditions, and its students are dedicated to correcting speech-language disorders. As a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), you will greatly impact your patients’ lives. Communication is a key component of our interactions, and giving someone the tools and resources to thrive despite their condition is extremely fulfilling.

Enrolling in an SPL program means learning to conduct research and assess and treat patients. You’ll also begin to learn of the different specialty areas of speech pathology and start your journey in a career you find satisfying. Choose to work with children, older adults, or another population you are passionate about helping.

SPLs can be found in various environments, including schools, elder care facilities, hospitals, and private practices. They are heroes to those parents with children struggling with literacy difficulties and saviors to families with parents or grandparents recovering after a stroke. You can also find SPLs in classrooms teaching potential colleagues the techniques, concepts, and methodologies needed to treat clients successfully.

Now is a great time to become a fully licensed SPL in Kansas, as the salary 10%-90% range is between $50,300 and $50,300 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2022), with the average salary coming in at an estimated $78,710.

So, if you desire to assist others in improving their position in life, have a love for language, and how we communicate, and have the patience and empathy to work with people from all walks of life, Speech-Language Pathology may be the right field for you. If you’re unsure, we’ll help you finalize your decision in this article by explaining the application process, educational requirements, and other information pertinent to the licensing procedure.

Kansas Initial Speech Pathology Licensure Process

Speech-Language Pathologist licenses granted in Kansas are issued by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and renewed biennially. Find more information regarding the statutes and regulations on the Department’s website.

Education Requirements

A master’s degree in speech pathology, or equivalent, is required for licensure in Kansas. The program’s curriculum you obtained the degree from needs to be accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or considered equal to the course content taught in Kansas universities.

If ASHA did not accredit the program, applicants must have the courses taken evaluated by a Kansas college or university’s speech-language pathology department and prove they have completed coursework that includes the following subjects:

  • Fluency
  • Articulation
  • Swallowing
  • Voice and Resonance
  • Respiration and Phonation
  • Cognitive Aspects of Communication
  • Hearing and the Impact on Speech and Language
  • Social Aspects of Communication
  • Receptive and Expressive Language in Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing, and Manual Modalities
  • Communication Modalities

Applicants educated outside of the United States (U.S.) need an equivalency validation performed by an agency approved by the KDADS secretary.

Experience Requirements

Because your work with patients is hands-on, you will have to gain some experience before you can become licensed. Fortunately, Kansas ensures its SLPs get that experience through supervised clinical practicums and postgraduate professional experience.

The clinical practicums are completed while you’re in school and include 400 hours of experience. Of the 400 hours, 375 should be direct client contact, while 25 should consist of observations.

Once you’ve completed the coursework and clinicals, you’ll graduate with a degree in Speech-Pathology. The next experience to complete is the postgraduate work which can be done on a full or part-time schedule.

Full-time work is defined as 35 hours each week, and part-time is 15-19, 20-24, or 25-34 hours weekly. If completing the experience full-time, it will take nine months to finish. Part-time workers have 18, 15, and 12 months to complete their experience. Those working full-time are required to be in direct contact with patients for 80 percent of the week, while part-timers are expected to spend 100 percent of their time in direct client contact.

Most of the work done during the clinical practicum mirrors what you’ll be doing as a licensed SLP. That would include developing and administrating treatment plans, researching methods and opportunities, familiarizing yourself with legislation, and advocating for patients.

The work experience is supervised by a licensed SLP who keeps a detailed record of the experience. Before the applicant can begin working, they and the supervisor will have to submit a Supervised Postgraduate Professional Experience Plan form. Once the experience is complete, the evaluation is sent to the Department via the Postgraduate Professional Experience Plan Documentation form.

Testing Requirements

You can register for the national SLP exam (number 5331) on the Praxis website. There are testing locations throughout the state to sit for the 150-minute exam, and the registration fee is $146. It comprises 132 multiple-choice questions and is split into three categories:

  • Foundations and Professional Practice
  • Screening, Assessment, Evaluation, and Diagnosis
  • Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of Treatment

The exam is graded on a scale of 100-200, and you’ll need a score of 162 in order to pass. Fortunately for you, there are online practice test options and resources you can use to prepare. Review the Study Companion to become familiar with the contents of the exam and develop a custom study plan. There are also videos and webinars to view, along with a host of strategies and tips to help you pass.

Those who fail to pass are allowed to retake the test for up to two years from the date your original application was submitted. After the test, your results are sent directly to ASHA, and you will receive an email notification.

After finishing the clinical practicum and passing the Praxis exam, you can also apply for a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). The CCC credential is nationally recognized and represents a high level of excellence. It shows employers and clients that you’ve gone above and beyond the state educational requirements for licensure.

Attaining a CCC-SLP certification requires you to fill out and submit the application. Once you have this certification, you can begin exploring specialty areas such as child language disorders, fluency disorders, swallowing disorders, and inoperative monitoring.

Background Checks

Each SLP applicant in Kansas must consent to a criminal background check (CBC). KDADS performs a name-based check for criminal histories directly online. The fee for ordering a background check online is $10, and there is a credit card company service fee of 3.04% for each transaction.

Complete the CBC online and follow the instructions on the agency’s website. You’ll be taken to a third-party website where you can submit the CBC at the bottom of the page. Or, print the CBC form and mail it to:

Health Occupations Credentialing
503 South Kansas Ave.
Topeka, KS 66603-3404

Be sure to fill out the form in its entirety, or the request will not be fulfilled. The Department will not issue licenses for those convicted of certain offenses. Other offenses expire after six years. Review the list of Current and New Prohibited Offenses before applying.

Application Process

Kansas offers two different licenses for SLPs: temporary and permanent. Applicants who still need to complete their postgraduate professional experience, or take the exam, or both, can apply for the temporary SLP license. Temporary licenses are required during your clinical experience.

The license is valid for 12 months and can be renewed for one 12-month period following its expiration. Below is the information you’ll need to apply:

  • Department-approved application
  • Academic transcripts proving you have the required education
  • Documents showing completion of your clinical practicum
  • A plan of completion for the postgraduate professional experience signed by a fully licensed SLP supervisor
  • $65 temporary license fee

Permanent licensure requires you to submit the following materials:

  • Department-approved application
  • Official transcripts showing you’ve earned your graduate degree
  • Copy of your ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence; or
    • Verification of practicum
    • Postgraduate Professional Experience Plan Documentation (PPD) form signed by supervising SLP
    • Have Praxis score submitted to KDADS
  • Appropriate fee according to the SLP fee schedule

Applications can be downloaded online and emailed for processing, or you can download the application packet and mail it to:

Health Occupations Credentialing
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services
503 S. Kansas Ave
Suite 300c
Topeka, KS 66603-3404

The application takes 2-3 weeks to process, after which you’ll receive an email notification that you have been granted licensure. If you’d like a pocket card or wall certificate, you can request one from the state by submitting a form and paying the associated $10 fee and a 3.04% credit card company service fee.