Kentucky Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Kentucky Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Are you looking for a rewarding career where you can see the work you do instantly impact those you are there to assist? Have you or a family member improved your communication skills because of a dedicated Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), and you now want to make that same difference in someone else’s life?

If you answered yes, then you’ve come to the right place. Speech-Language Pathologists are highly respected in the healthcare field. They work with patients experiencing a number of communication disorders, and we know that when people cannot or are insecure about how they communicate, it can lead to a decrease in their quality of life.

SLPs are more than just speech therapists. They assess, analyze, diagnose, and treat individuals of all ages and cultural backgrounds. SLPs educate families on the best ways to support their loved ones as they embark on a journey of improvement. That’s why it’s crucial that Speech-Language Pathologists receive a proper education. They need the skills and techniques used throughout the field to help patients lead fulfilling lives.

Now is a great time to become a licensed SPL in Kentucky. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those in the bottom 10% and top 10% of the salary bell curve earned, respectively between and yearly. This depends on the SLP’s experience and work environment. So, if you’re considering speech-language pathology as a career, continue reading for more information on what is required for licensure in Kentucky.

Initial Speech Pathology Licensure Process

In Kentucky, Speech-Language Pathologist licenses are issued by the Kentucky Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Licenses are renewed every two years on or before January 31st. Find more information regarding the statutes on the Board’s website.

Education Requirements

To receive an SLP license in Kentucky, you’ll need a master’s degree in speech pathology from an accredited program. An equivalent degree, like one in Communications Disorder, would also be accepted as long asif it meets the standards set forth by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The coursework should include classes such as:

  • Motor Speech Disorders
  • Research Methodology in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Voice Disorders
  • Cognitive-Communication Disorders

Here you can find all Kentucky speech-language pathology degree programs.

Experience Requirements

Transitioning from the classroom to professional practice requires you to work directly with patients as you complete your coursework. That ensures you are equipped with the skills to successfully assist clients with their speech-language disorders. The therapeutic process consists of phases that include observation, diagnostics, case management, and treatment.

You’ll learn how to structure therapy sessions, collect data, and work with families. Conducting assessments, implementing therapy, analyzing, and interpreting results are among the other techniques you’ll be taught during the clinical practicum.

The practicum is supervised by a licensed SLP and includes working with patients on and offsite. ASHA requires you to complete a minimum of 400 hours of clinical experience in order to become licensed. Twenty-five of the 400 hours are expected to be gained through observation, and the other 375 will be spent in direct supervised contact with patients.

After graduating with a degree in Speech-Pathology, the next step is postgraduate supervised professional work experience. This work can be performed full or part-time, depending on your schedule. This is typically referred to as a clinical fellowship and takes nine months to finish.

To be considered a full-time attendee, you need to work at least 35 hours each week. Part-time work is broken down as follows:

  • 25-34 hours per week = 12 months
  • 20-24 hours per week = 15 months
  • 15-19 hours per week = 18 months

Full-timers are required to have direct contact with clients 80% of the week, and part-timers are expected to spend 100% of their dealing directly with patients. A total of 1,260 hours must be acquired within 48 months of starting the fellowship. The clinical experiences should also include interprofessional collaborations.

Just like the clinical practicum, your work experience is supervised by a qualified SLP. The SLP will document your performance, and upon the experience’s conclusion, they will submit that record to the Board as verification of completion.

Testing Requirements

The test all SLPs must pass is the Praxis Speech-Language Pathology exam. There are over 90 Praxis exams available, so be sure to register for number 5331.

The exam is commissioned by ASHA, and once you pass, you will be granted certification by the organization. That certification is known as the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), and it indicates you’ve taken your education to the next level by going beyond what is required by the state for licensure. The group that facilitates the Praxis exam is the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The test is taken on a computer, but if you need special accommodations, they can be arranged. You are given 150 minutes to finish the 132-question exam. The test is graded on a scale of 100-200, and you’ll need a 162 to pass.

The exam is divided into three sections, each consisting of 44 questions. Each section is designed to test your competency in that specific area. The competency areas are:

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

You can register for the exam online, by mail, or over the phone. Registering online is easy and allows you to schedule a test date and time and pay the registration fee directly through the website.

If registering by mail, a Test Authorization Voucher Request Form must be completed with the proper codes used on the form. If paying by check or money order, send the payment to:

P.O. Box 382065
Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8065

Payments made by credit or debit card should be sent to:

P.O. Box 6051
Princeton, NJ 08541-6051

Approximately three weeks after mailing in your registration form, you will receive the voucher that allows you to register at a test center. Be sure to print your ticket and take it with you on exam day, as you will not be mailed one.

There is a $35 surcharge to register for the exam over the phone. You’ll also need to create a Praxis account and take the test in the U.S. It’s suggested to contact ETS at (800) 772-9476 four days before the test date. Payments can be made by credit, debit, eCheck, or PayPal.

The registration fee is $146 whether you register online, over the phone, or by mail. If you need to retake the test, it must be done 28 days after the date of the last exam date. You have two years from the date of your application to pass the test.

The university you are attending will likely have study guides on hand attend will likely have study guides to help you earn the passing score. In addition to your institution’s resources, there are also guides on the Praxis website. Review the Study Companion and videos, or take the Interactive Practice Test to prepare for exam day.

Background Checks

Background checks for Speech-Language Pathologists are completed using the Kentucky Applicant Registry and Employment Screening (KARES) web portal. Unlike criminal background check (CBC) systems used by other states, once you are in this system, it automatically and continuously checks your information against abuse registries on an ongoing basis.

The screening process is fingerprint-based, and applicant information is checked against the state and FBI databases. A third-party vendor, IDentoGo, receives the application for the CBC and e-mails the applicant with the information needed to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting.

It takes three to five business days for the entire background check to be released to the employer. Find instructions for creating an account online, and learn more about the process.

Application Process

The path to licensure in Kentucky requires you to first apply for your Interim Speech-Language Pathology license in order to complete your supervised professional experience after graduation. After completing the experience, you may then apply for a permanent license.

The interim license can be applied for online through the Kentucky Department of Professional Licensing, or you can download the form and mail it to:

Kentucky Board of Speech-Language Pathology And Audiology
Commonwealth of Kentucky
P.O. Box 1360
Frankfort, KY 40602

These are the qualifications for interim SLP licensure:

  • A master’s degree in speech-language pathology or communication disorders. Or you must be enrolled in a doctoral degree program that focuses on speech-language pathology or communication disorders.
  • Proof that you’ve passed the national speech-language pathology exam.
  • Show that you’ve completed the supervised postgraduate professional experience.
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $100 for one year of licensure and $150 if issued for the biennium

An exemption is made for SLPs working only for public schools which hold a teacher certification and communication disorders. This certification needs to be granted by the Education Professional Standards Board. If the SLP Does not have the correct teacher certification, they will have to apply for licensure.

Applications must be submitted within the 30 days following your postgraduate professional experience.

There’s a section of the application where your plan for the postgraduate experience must be completed and signed by your supervisor.

After the professional experience is finished, you can apply for the permanent license, which requires the following:

  • U.S. citizenship or a declaration of intention to become a citizen.
  • Official transcripts that show you’ve earned your master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
  • Proof that you’ve completed your clinical practicum.
  • Proof that you’ve completed your postgraduate professional experience.
  • Pass the national ASHA-approved exam for speech-language pathology.
  • $150 fee

Complete the forms online or download the application and send it to the address mentioned above for interim licensure. Make your money order or check out to the Kentucky State Treasurer.

Check your application’s status through the Department’s online portal or contact the Board Administrator at (502) 564-3296. Once approved, you will be notified, so make sure your personal information is up to date, or simply log on to the website to view the certification.

Each month the Board convenes to take care of pertinent business, including application approvals. View their schedule so you can submit your documents at least ten business days before the meeting to be sure your application will be reviewed. The Board will process it the following month if it isn’t received on time If it isn’t there on time, the Board will process it the following month.