North Carolina Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: North Carolina SLPA Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

A speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) works with a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) to assess and treat individuals experiencing speech, language, or voice challenges. These difficulties include developmental speech delays, stutters, mutism, and stammers. In addition, the assistant implements speech and language programs for patients under the pathologist’s supervision.

Administrative tasks, such as recording patient performance, scheduling appointments, greeting patients, and maintaining records, also fall under the speech-language pathology assistant’s responsibilities. These professionals work in various settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, outpatient centers, and clinics. Essential skills for a successful speech-language pathology assistant include speech therapy expertise, communication, patience, attention to detail, and organizational skills.

For those interested in pursuing a career as a speech-language pathology assistant in North Carolina, it’s important to determine the necessary level of education and experience. Additionally, acquiring a North Carolina speech-language pathology license entails fulfilling certain requirements. This guide offers information about the North Carolina speech-language pathology assistant licensure.

North Carolina Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Process

Similar to SLPs, SLPAs are regulated by The North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (NCBOESLPA). However, the requirements for becoming an SLPA are less demanding and simpler, with less training and experience needed. Here is the initial speech pathology assistant license process:

Education Requirement

NCBOESLPA provides two options to obtain the required education to become a speech-language pathology assistant and receive full registration in North Carolina, offering some flexibility in the educational requirements for SLPA certification.

All these paths guarantee that you receive the most up-to-date education on topics such as:

  • Anatomy and physiology of speech and swallowing
  • Childhood communication development
  • Clinical communication practices
  • Communication disorders
  • Ethics and professionalism
  • Phonetics
  • Phonetics

These are the foundational elements required to start working as a speech-language pathology assistant. Here you will find all North Carolina speech pathology degree programs.

Experience Requirement

Before you can become an SLPA, you must complete clinical work in speech pathology as part of a degree program. Clinical hours may include shadowing a speech-language pathologist, assisting with monitoring patient progress, and record keeping. To be eligible for an SLPA licensure, a minimum of 100 clinical fieldwork hours is required, with 80 hours involving direct interaction with patients, clients, or students and the remaining 20 hours being indirect.

It is important to note that observation hours do not count toward this total clinical hours. And that working with patients under the guidance of a certified speech-language pathologist is necessary.

Testing Requirements

Once you have completed your degree, gained supervision experience, and demonstrated competency, you must become certified. To do this, they must take the SLP assistants Certification Exam offered by ASHA. The speech-language pathology Praxis Subject Exam comprises inquiries encompassing the causes and progression of communication impairments and screening methods used by professionals to evaluate, diagnose, assess, and plan treatment for various speech, language, and swallowing disorders.

To be eligible to sit for the certification exam, you must submit your application and necessary documentation for approval and pay an initial certification fee of $249. The fee encompasses the assistant certification examination expenses and one year of affiliation fees. Remember that to pass the certification exam and earn the SLPA credential; you must have a minimum score of 162.

Application Process

To apply for the Speech-Language Pathology Assistant license in North Carolina, you must fill out the SLP Assistant Application Form, provide official transcripts showing your associate’s degree, and pay a $40 application fee (non-refundable) to NCBOESLPA.

After your application is reviewed and approved, your licensed SLP supervisor must submit your registration packet for Board approval before you can provide services. You will receive a temporary registration for 120 days during the registration process. You must complete 100 hours of supervised clinical fieldwork during this time and submit a report before the 120-day period ends. You must also provide official verification of your passing score on one of the Board-approved exams before the 120-day period ends.

Once NCBOESLPA receives proof of your completed clinical fieldwork and a passing score on an approved exam, you will be issued a full registration as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant under your current supervisor. You can check your registration status using the lookup function on the Board’s website or wait for the certificate and letter to be mailed to your supervising SLP and yourself.

Endorsement for Speech-Language Pathologists to Work In School Settings

To work in a school setting, an SLPA must be registered with the NCBOESLPA. Additionally, applicants must have taken courses in speech-language pathology assisting created by the North Carolina Department of Community Colleges and obtained a passing score on a competency test that the Board has approved of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists. You must also undertake 30 hours of continuing professional education every three years in your respective fields.