South Carolina Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: South Carolina SLPA Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

The role of a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) is significant in the rehabilitation industry. They work with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to help individuals with speech, language, voice, or fluency difficulties caused by conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or developmental delays. SLPAs cater to people of diverse backgrounds and ages, from infants to seniors.

It is essential to note that speech-language pathology assistants must operate under the direct supervision of a speech-language pathologist and cannot work independently. That said, obtaining the required degree and gaining practical experience in the field is critical to pursuing a career as a speech-language pathology assistant.

However, it’s important to note that practicing speech-language pathology in South Carolina without a license is illegal, and the SC Board of Examiners must issue licenses. If you plan to become a speech-language pathology assistant in South Carolina or a professional seeking a transition into the field, below is the South Carolina speech-language pathology assistant licensure guide.

Initial South Carolina Speech Pathology Assistant Licensure Process

Speech-language pathology assistants, like speech-language pathologists, fall under the SC Board of Examiners regulation in South Carolina. However, the prerequisites for becoming an SLPA are less rigorous and uncomplicated, requiring less training and experience. The following outlines the initial procedure for obtaining a speech pathology assistant license in the state:

Education Requirements

To qualify for the South Carolina speech-language pathology assistant licensure guide, you need to have completed a Speech-Language Pathology undergraduate program from an institution accredited regionally. The degree program should consist of at least 36 semester hours of core curriculum and at least 100 clock hours of direct client contact/clinical practicum, excluding any observation hours.

Speech Pathology and/or Correction Courses

  • Aphasia
  • Articulation
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cleft Palate
  • Pathological Speech Disorders
  • Psychogenic Speech Disorders
  • Stuttering
  • Voice Disorders

Experience Requirements

Applicants who have completed an ASHA Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Certification may submit it as evidence of the 100 clinical clock hours required. Before commencing work, every SLPA must obtain an on-the-job training plan and written approval of a supervisory agreement from the Board.

A licensed speech-language pathologist can supervise a maximum of three part-time or two full-time SLPAs. After completing the on-the-job training, each SLPA must be directly supervised during at least one of every 7 therapy sessions per patient. This supervision must be conducted in-person, on-site, and visually documented to show direct client contact, including sampling each assigned task or service.

The supervising speech-language pathologist must maintain written documentation of the direct supervision for 4 years and make it available to the director upon request. In addition, it is necessary to provide written notification to clients when an assistant is providing a direct service.

Testing Requirements

Upon completing the education and experience requirements, speech-language pathology assistants can pursue becoming a Certified Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (C-SLPA) by taking ASHA’s Assistants Certification Exam. This involves enrolling in an SLPA certificate program that includes SLPA coursework and a supervised school-based internship overseen by an ASHA-certified SLP. The program is tailored towards graduate students seeking certification in the field and can typically be completed within a semester.

To attain C-SLPA certification, one must pass ASHA’s Assistants Certification Exam, which assesses their comprehension of speech-language pathology, the responsibilities of an SLPA, and professional boundaries through a 100-question multiple-choice exam. A score of 162 or higher must be achieved to be awarded certification, and an initial fee of $249 must be submitted alongside an application. Before taking the exam, it is recommended that candidates review SLPA practice exam questions and other relevant resources.

Application Process

To pursue a career as a speech-language pathology assistant in South Carolina, you must apply for an SLPA licensure through the State of South Carolina Board of Examiners of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

To apply, a comprehensive and properly notarized application must be submitted along with the required documents listed below:

  • A 2×2 Passport Photo
  • An application fee of $50 is required and is non-refundable. In case of returned funds, a fee of up to $30 or an amount specified by the law may be charged.
  • Legible copy of the social security card, valid Driver’s License, State Issued ID, or Military ID
  • Official Transcripts of all college work done
  • Verification of supervised clinical experience

You are required to submit all the necessary documents and payments to the following address:

South Carolina Board of Examiners in
Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
P.O. Box 11329
Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1329

Endorsement for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants to Work In School Settings

There is a high demand for SLPs and SLPAs in schools nationwide. Bringing your specialized skills as an SLPA into schools can have a profound and lasting impact on students. SLPAs collaborate with SLPs in educational settings to assess, diagnose, manage, and prevent speech, language, cognitive communication, fluency, social communication articulation, and swallowing disorders among children, teenagers, and young adults.

Furthermore, they provide assistance to students to ensure optimal results in academic tasks, interpersonal communication, knowledge acquisition, and literacy development. It’s important to note that speech-language pathology support personnel are not regulated in South Carolina schools.