Oregon Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Oregon SLPA Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

As a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) your role is to provide support for the speech-language pathologist (SLP). Communication disorders affect people of all ages and backgrounds, and that is exactly who you’ll be working with within this profession. You’ll also have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and with different kinds and levels of ailments.

A communication disorder has a negative effect on an individual’s confidence, job and learning opportunities, as well as social and personal relationships. As you work under the supervision of an SLP you’ll learn to help clients overcome their difficulties with creative and effective treatments. You’ll assist with screenings, keep track of the patient’s performance, train patients to use alternative and augmentative communication technology, and much more.

Depending on where you choose to practice and what specialty may interest you, the days of an SLPA can take many different forms. Some choose to work in pediatric units, while others want to work with older adults. Regardless of the population and disorder you work with, you will have a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Improving a client’s quality of life through communication is no small feat. Simply ask anyone who has received treatment for their speech or language handicap. Without the help of a trained professional, they would likely continue to experience difficulties in life.

As an SLPA you’ll be able to earn a living as you continue to pursue your master’s degree. Or, you may decide to remain in a supportive role, which is very much needed in today’s healthcare system.

If you’re considering a career as a speech-language pathologist assistant, and live in Oregon keep reading for more information on how to obtain your license.

Oregon Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Process

Oregon’s Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is the state’s licensing body for SLPAs. They set the rules and regulations for licensure, including the biennial renewal and other maintenance requirements.

Education Requirements

Speech-language pathology assistants in Oregon need one of the following degrees to practice:

The degree or certificate must be granted by an accredited college program. The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) is the certifying agency for SLPA programs. The Council’s authority comes from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the nation’s scientific and credentialing organization for speech-language pathology.

Expect to take introductory classes like the following:

  • Introduction to Communication Sciences And Disorders
  • Human Behavior in The Social Environment
  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Observation Methods and Techniques

At least 45 quarter hours in speech-language pathology technical coursework And 45 quarter hours of general education credits are required for licensure.

Experience Required

SLPAs working in schools and other settings need 100 clock hours of direct clinical interaction add 8 hours of assessment and consultation over an 8 to 12-week period. This supervised clinical experience must be documented before you can obtain a provisional SLPA license. The provisional license is required to complete the supervised clinical experience.

Direct clinical interaction consists of participating in or leading small groups, individuals, co-treatment, or classroom therapy sessions. Speech and hearing screening also fall under this umbrella.

While participating in this field work you need to meet with your supervisor, who is a licensed speech-language pathologist, for a minimum of two hours for every 25 hours of clinical interaction. This is done to assess your clinical skills and competencies.

Clinical interaction documents must show the date of the clinical activity, the type of clinical activity, and the amount of time spent on the activity. Be sure to enter this information on the appropriate form and upload it to the online licensing portal.

Background Checks

Background checks are completed through Fieldprint which is part of the Livescan network. Livescan collects fingerprints digitally and submits them to the state and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). A check is run against both criminal databases to determine if you’re qualified for licensure.

To get started visit the Fieldprint website and create an account to schedule a visit to one of the collection sites. Follow the on-screen prompts to make an appointment at a location near you. On the day of the appointment take your appointment number and two valid forms of identification. The technician will collect your fingerprints and transmit them to the needed parties. Please note that the background check fee is $50.

Application Process

Applying for a provisional license is the first step so you can complete the clinical experience — begin the initial application process here. The license is only valid for the time it takes you to complete the clinical fieldwork. Once you finish the fieldwork experience you can upgrade your provisional SLPA license to a regular SLPA license.

The following documentation must be submitted with the application:

  • Official academic transcripts
  • Documentation of supervised clinical experience
  • A completed background check

If you hold any professional licenses in another state you will also need to submit verification that that license is in good standing. Also, you may need to complete professional development (PD) hours depending on when you completed your clinical experience. If the experience ended within the previous twelve months then there are no professional development hours due. If it has been more than 12 months since completing the clinical experience you’ll need to submit proof of earning 5 hours of PD within the last year.

If your license expires on January 30th of an even-numbered year the fee is $100. After May 1st the fee is prorated to $65. Payments can be made online through the application portal.