Oregon Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Oregon Speech Therapist Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are qualified health professionals who help individuals with communication difficulties. They interact with clients of all ages and backgrounds. When most people think of an SLP, they Envision a healthcare worker helping someone improve their speech, reading, or spelling. But, SLPs do so much more.

They introduce technology and train patients on how to use it to communicate. They also work with those who have difficulty swallowing. The causes for their patients’ challenges can stem from birth or an accident that occurred later in life. That causes SLPs to find creative ways to approach treatment options.

SLPs can be found working in numerous settings including residential aged-care facilities, universities, hospitals, and community health centers just to name a few. Many open their own independent practice and have the ability to set their hours.

The work SLPs do is crucial because effective communication is needed in all facets of life. Showing someone with a communication handicap different methods and techniques to help them be heard makes a huge impact on their personal and professional lives. If you believe you have the compassion, patience, and creativity two embark on a career as a speech-language pathologist in Oregon, keep reading For more information on how to become licensed.

Oregon Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

The Board of Examiners for Speech-language Pathology and Audiology is the licensing agency in Oregon for speech-language pathologists. They set the rules and regulations for the biennial renewal and other licensing requirements in the state.

Education Requirements

Licensed SLPs in Oregon need a master’s degree in speech pathology or higher from a program accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA is the national organization responsible for setting the standards and fostering advancements in speech-language pathology. ASHA accreditation is something employers will look for as it ensures your education and clinical training meet the requirements set for the profession.

Competition for these graduate programs is steep and may require you to have a grade point average of 3.25 or higher for entry. Volunteer work or an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology, or a related major, will help your application to graduate school stand out. But, before you can begin the core subject matter, here are a few prerequisite courses you need to take:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech
  • Language Development
  • Speech Science
  • Introduction to Clinical Methods and Observations

Once the prerequisites are fulfilled the core courses include:

  • Dysphagia
  • Aphasia
  • Communication and Aging
  • Language Disorders in Children
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Counseling Across the Lifespan

The electives you choose will depend on the specializations you’d like to make your focus. For example, you may want to work specifically with individuals affected by brain injuries or motor speech disorders. Look for electives with a concentration on those subjects.

Oregon requires a minimum of 75 semester hours to be related to speech-language pathology with at least 36 graduate credits in SLP. Also, if a thesis or capstone project was part of the graduate program you must earn credit for its completion.

Experience Required

As a graduate student, you must obtain 400 clock hours of clinical practicum. Practicums are where you’ll combine classroom education with hands-on clinical work. You’ll be supervised by a qualified SLP throughout the experience. Of the 400 hours, 25 must be spent in observation and 375 in direct clinical interaction.

After graduating there is another clinical experience that you are paid to complete as you earn the required hours for licensure. It is referred to as your clinical fellowship year (CFY). At least 1,260 must be earned and can be completed in 36 weeks for full-timers working a minimum of 35 hours each week.

If your schedule does not allow you to work full-time, you can enter the experience as a part-timer. You are given two years from the initial application to complete the clinical fellowship.

You will be supervised by an ASHA-certified mentor during the CFY in a setting that offers a full range of services. You’ll be required to assess, evaluate, and treat clients with speech and language difficulties. At least 80% of the experience is spent performing activities where you engage directly with clients. The remaining 20% of the time is spent observing your mentor as they perform procedures.

At the end of the CFY, you and your mentor will complete a Clinical Fellowship Skills Inventory (CFSI) form to be sent to the Board with your application for licensure. Your performance in different skill sets is assessed and graded on a scale of 1 to 5. A 3 in each of the 18 core skills measured is required to attain a license.

Mail the CFSI to:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard #313
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Testing Requirement

After completing the CFY you need to register for the national Praxis Speech-Language Pathology Examination (5331). Registration can be completed by phone, mail, or online. Online registration requires you to sign up for a Praxis account. Phone registration requires you to pay a $35 surcharge for the service. The fee must be paid at least four days before sitting for the test. Contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at  (800) 772-9476 to make the payment by eCheck, credit/debit card, or PayPal.

Registering by mail is a longer process that begins by completing a Test Authorization Voucher Request. Send the form to:

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

Once ETS processes your request you’ll be sent a voucher number within three weeks. The voucher number comes with a link and instructions for registering.

The test consists of 132 multiple-choice questions and it’s graded on a scale of 100-200. A score of 162 is required to pass. The exam fee is $146. If you need to reschedule or cancel the appointment, you’ll need to do so at least three days before the exam. This will make you eligible for a refund of 50% of the exam fee. You may forfeit the fee if you do not cancel within the outlined time frame.

Should you need to retake the test you’ll have to wait at least 28 days before scheduling a new date. You are given two years from the original test date to pass. Use the online resources to help you study.

Schedule an at-home test or make an appointment at one of the test centers located in the state. If you’re taking the test at home you can choose a date from any one of the seven days in the week. You can also make sure you meet the Equipment and Environment Requirements by using the links on the ETS website to run an Equipment Check.

After completing the test your scores will be made available on your Praxis account and transmitted directly to the Board.

Background Checks

Each applicant for licensure must have a background check conducted to qualify for licensure. Get started by visiting the Fieldprint website and entering code FPBSPALicenseDAS when prompted. The collection site will be sent this information, so you won’t have to reenter it when fingerprinted.

Take your appointment number, two forms of current identification, and the $50 background check fee to the collection site. Fingerprints will be taken electronically via Livescan, by the onsite technician, and transmitted to Fieldprint for processing. It takes 5-7 to receive the results, which are then submitted to the Board.

There is a state check completed by the Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) receives your fingerprints to check against their criminal database. If the fingerprints received are deemed insufficient you will be notified to reschedule a collection at no additional cost. However, if you cancel less than 24 hours before the appointment or just don’t show up you will pay a rescheduling fee.

Out-of-state applicants can have their fingerprints taken at a Livescan location in their state. Simply search using an address or ZIP code on the website.

Application Process

Applications are submitted online through the Applicant Portal. Supporting documents, such as e-transcripts, should be emailed to speechaud.board@bspa.oregon.gov.

The application process begins with the Conditional Speech-Language Pathologist license. You need this certification to complete the CFY. These licenses are initially valid for one year or until your clinical fellowship (CF) is complete. You can renew the license once for one more year to finish your CF.

When you’re ready to upgrade from the conditional license to a full license, upload the proper application to the portal. Other documents required with the application are the following:

  • Official graduate transcripts
  • Praxis Exam Report showing a passing score and the CFSI form; or
    • ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC)
  • Verification that professional licenses issued to you by other states are in good standing (if applicable)
  • A completed background check

Please note that if you graduated from a program that was not taught in English, you’ll need to also submit scores from one of the standardized English language proficiency tests. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Spoken English (TSE) are accepted.

Applicants who graduated from an SLP program or completed the clinical fellowship in the 12 months preceding the application date will not have to complete any professional development (PD) hours. Those applicants who completed the program or CF more than 12 months prior to applying for licensure must submit 10 hours of professional development.

The Board prorates license fees depending on the date it was issued. Because licenses expire on December 31st of odd-numbered years, those licensed before May 1st of the following year will pay the full $250 fee. After May 1st the cost drops to $125.