Ohio Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Ohio Speech Therapist Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), sometimes referred to as speech therapists, are healthcare specialists who evaluate, diagnose, and treat people with speech and language disorders. These disorders can impact an individual’s ability to understand or produce speech, as well as their ability to communicate effectively with others.

Speech-language pathologists use various methods and techniques to help people overcome their speech and language disorders, such as speech and language therapy, counseling, and the implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. They also assess and treat swallowing disorders in children and adults and work collaboratively with families, educators, and other healthcare professionals to provide holistic care and support.

The goal of a speech-language pathologist is to help people with speech difficulties overcome speech and language disorders and reach their full potential. However, advanced training and licensure are required to work as a speech-language pathologist due to the intricacy of working with patients with varying communication and swallowing disorders. This ensures that speech-language pathologists are competent and ready to provide exceptional care.

In Ohio, those interested in pursuing a career in speech-language pathology must be licensed. The Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology oversees the licensing process. Likewise, Ohio’s state licensure requirements for speech-language pathologists outline the education, experience, and other credentials an SLP must have.

This guide provides Ohio’s requirements for obtaining a speech-language pathology license, including initial licensure, reciprocity rules, exemptions, and continuing education requirements.

Ohio Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

The objective of the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is to oversee and manage the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology in compliance with the regulations outlined in Chapter 4753 of the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code. The process for obtaining an initial speech pathology licensure in Ohio is detailed in this section.

Education Requirements

To become a licensed speech-language pathologist, your first requirement is to obtain a master’s degree in speech pathology from an accredited program. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) accredits speech-language pathologist programs across the United States.

ASHA accredits several online programs nationwide and ten in-state programs in Ohio. Due to the rigorous nature of these programs, you must have outstanding qualifications to be accepted. Generally, the requirements consist of a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, GRE scores at or above the 30th percentile, and academic references. Here you can find listed all Ohio speech pathology degree programs.

Most speech-language pathology programs accept applicants without an undergraduate degree, provided they fulfill certain prerequisites before commencing graduate-level coursework. These prerequisites may include the following:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech
  • Audiology
  • Clinical & Diagnostic Procedures in SLP
  • Early Intervention for Young Patients
  • Science of Language

Topics such as the following might be covered in the core coursework:

  • Aphasia
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Disorders of Articulation and Phonology
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Language Assessment & Intervention in Early Childhood
  • Language Assessment and Intervention with School-Age Populations
  • Maxillofacial Anomalies
  • Normal Language Processes
  • Research Methods in SLP

Elective topics might cover:

  • Acquired Communicative Cognitive Impairments
  • Advanced Speech and Voice Science
  • Aural Rehabilitation
  • Communication Modalities and Assistive Technology
  • Motor Speech Disorders in Children & Adults
  • Voice Disorders

Before you graduate, it will be important for you to finish a practicum. According to the Ohio SLP board, the minimum requirement for graduate practicums is 375 hours, and before you start performing any procedures independently, you will need to shadow for 25 hours. Your practicum aims to give you a practical understanding of SLPs’ clinical and diagnostic procedures and direct experience working with speech-disabled patients.

Experience Requirements

Upon graduation, you must obtain at least nine months of clinical experience to meet licensure eligibility requirements. This ensures you have the proficiency and confidence to perform fundamental clinical and diagnostic procedures essential to the profession. In addition, your university program director can connect you with a clinic that provides clinical fellowship opportunities.

Throughout your clinical fellowship, you can work full-time, with a minimum of 30 hours per week for 36 weeks, or on a part-time basis, with a minimum of 15 hours per week for 72 weeks. You will be expected to work with a diverse patient population, including children, pre-teens, adults, and individuals with varying communication impairments.

Before commencing your clinical fellowship, you must collaborate with your supervisor to complete the Supervised Professional Experience plan outlining your activities. You will then need to send this plan to the Ohio SLP board at the following address:

Ohio Speech and Hearing Professionals Board
77 S. High Street, Suite 1659
Columbus, OH 43215

The objective of the clinical fellowship is to help you gain experience in various areas, and you will be working with as many different patients as possible. This may involve assessing, evaluating, screening, diagnosing, and treating patients, meeting with their families, providing consultation and advice, and learning administrative duties such as recording progress, documenting client case histories, and completing other related tasks. After finishing your clinical fellowship, you must submit a Supervised Professional Experience Report to the Ohio Speech-Language Pathology Board.

Testing Requirements

Once you have completed at least nine months of practical experience in the field, you can register for the National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology, which the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association administers. The third-party entity, Praxis, administers the exam, and the registration can be done online. To pass the test, you must score at least 162 out of 200 achievable points.

The test will assess your understanding of concepts covered in your postgraduate course and the identification, evaluation, and treatment techniques you learned while completing your practicum and clinical fellowship.

The exam will cover the following areas:

  • Counseling, collaboration, and teaming
  • Human Development and performance across the lifespan
  • Documentation
  • Epidemiology of communication disorders
  • Ethics
  • Factors that influence feeding and swallowing
  • Legislation and client advocacy

The assessment and diagnosis will also be evaluated through the test.

  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • Cognitive aspects of communication
  • Fluency
  • Receptive and expressive language
  • Social aspects of communication, including pragmatics
  • Speech sound production
  • Voice, resonance, and motor speech

The Praxis study companion has been created to assist you in getting ready for the exam. In Ohio, you have the option to take the exam in any of the cities listed below:

  • Athens
  • Beavercreek
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Dayton
  • Fairborn
  • Fairfield
  • Mansfield
  • Maumee
  • Mentor
  • Middleburg Heights
  • Niles
  • Portsmouth
  • Stow
  • Strongsville
  • Toledo
  • Wooster
  • Worthington
  • Youngstown

Once you complete the national examination, you will be eligible to acquire the Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) certificate. This certificate, offered by ASHA, is not mandatory for licensure in Ohio but can enhance your resume’s credibility. To apply for the CCC-SLP, you must provide the following:

  • Evidence of completing a graduate program and clinical fellowship.
  • Achieving passing scores on the national examination.
  • Submitting your application through ASHA.

Background Checks

To apply for speech-language pathology licensure in Ohio, you are required to complete a criminal background check which will be carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI).

To complete a background check for an Ohio SLP board license application, the following steps should be taken:

  • Contact a WebCheck provider or the Ohio county sheriff’s office for specific instructions.
  • Request an FBI and BCI criminal records check.
  • Pay the necessary fees directly to the Webcheck provider. Fees include BCI ($22), FBI ($25.25), and potentially a processing fee ($5-$40), depending on the agency.
  • Specify that the agency should submit the electronic fingerprint records directly to the Ohio SLP board by selecting the “Direct Copy” option.
  • If you want to obtain a license in speech-language pathology, you should select the reason code Ohio SLP board license Applicant.

To submit your completed BCI and FBI fingerprint forms, enclose the required payment and send them directly to the Fiscal Section at the following address:

Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation
P.O. Box 365
London, Ohio 43140

Please note that the entire process may take 6-8 weeks.

Remember that when selecting an electronic fingerprinting location from this webpage, you must choose a vendor with “BCI and FBI” specified after their name, as only these organizations participate in “National WebCheck.”

Application Process

In Ohio, you can apply for licensure as a speech-language pathologist once you pass the national exam. To complete the process, you will be required to provide the following documents along with a non-refundable application fee of $200:

  • Official transcript
  • Background check
  • Passport photo
  • Praxis score report
  • Verification of completion of clinical fellowship

Here are the steps to follow to create a new account:

  • Go to elicense.ohio.gov
  • Click the login / “Create Your Account” button in the center of the screen or the log-in link at the top-right corner of the page.
  • Click the “I Don’t Have A License” button.
  • Complete the form with the appropriate information and follow prompts.

The timeframe for obtaining a speech and language therapy license in Ohio is usually between 1 to 3 months, largely contingent on the board’s upcoming meetings schedule.

Endorsement for Speech-Language Pathologists to Work in School Settings

The Ohio Department of Education gives licenses and registrations to professionals working with school students. If you have a professional license from an Ohio board, you can register with the Department instead of getting a pupil services license. If you are a Speech-Language Pathologist licensed in Ohio but still need to complete a school licensure program, you can work in schools with a Pupil Services Registration.

To get a Professional Pupil Services License as a School Speech-Language Pathologist (valid for five years), you must be a good person and meet certain requirements, including:

  • Approved preparation program completed
  • Recommended by the head of teacher education or dean
  • Achieve a minimum score of 162 on the School Speech Language Pathology test
  • Possess a Master’s degree.
  • Hold a current SLP license issued by the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

In addition, to work in school settings, Speech-Language Pathologists must undergo a background check.