South Dakota Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: South Dakota Speech Therapist Certification

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Speech-language pathology is a profession that goes beyond helping people overcome speech impediments. While most people associate speech therapy with fluency and speech impediments, the profession encompasses a wide range of issues related to communication, including the ability to express thoughts and ideas, understand others, and swallow properly. In addition, significant issues can affect an individual’s ability to learn, form relationships, and participate in social situations.

Speech therapists play a vital role in preventing communication disorders by identifying at-risk students and developing individualized education programs for those who need them. In addition, they assess and evaluate communication skills in students, which can help them succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Speech Pathologists work in various settings, such as independent practices, hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices. Many speech and language pathologists choose to work in school systems because of their role in education. They help people of all ages improve their communication techniques.

However, to practice speech therapy, one must be licensed. Speech-language pathologists must be licensed to practice in South Dakota, and it’s essential to follow the guidance and links provided to ensure a smooth process.

The South Dakota Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology is the state licensing department that evaluates an individual’s education and experience to ensure they meet the state’s requirements and issues the SLP license. Obtaining a South Dakota speech therapy license can be quick if you follow the proper guidance.

If you need help obtaining a Speech-Language Pathology Licensure in South Dakota, this guide offers many resources to help you through the process. We’ve compiled all the necessary information in one convenient location.

South Dakota Initial Speech Pathologist Licensure Process

The aim of the South Dakota Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology is to grant licenses to capable professionals and maintain adherence to the laws, regulations, and standards governing the practice of speech-language pathology in South Dakota. Here is the initial speech pathology licensure process:

Education Requirements

To become a speech-language pathologist in South Dakota, you must obtain a master’s degree or higher from a program accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA). In South Dakota, the University of South Dakota offers the only CAA-accredited program, which is a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology.

However, with only one campus-based program in South Dakota, many students opt for CAA-accredited online programs in speech-language pathology. Online programs allow you to complete your graduate education in speech-language pathology from anywhere, regardless of location.

Undergraduate Program Requirements

You can gain direct entry into a master’s degree program in speech-language pathology by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders or a related field. However, many programs also consider applicants with undergraduate degrees in different fields. In such cases, candidates may need to complete certain prerequisite courses or a pre-professional program before beginning their graduate coursework.

Several prerequisite courses are required for admission to a master’s degree program in speech-language therapy, which include:

  • Language Acquisition
  • Phonetics
  • Speech Science
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech Mechanism

Graduate Program Requirements

In a master’s program for speech-language pathology, you can anticipate finishing certain coursework, which may include:

  • Aural Rehabilitation
  • Disorders of Phonology and Articulation
  • Language Disorders of Children
  • Professional Issues in Communication Disorders
  • Advanced Language Disorders
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Craniofacial Anomalies
  • Acquired Disorders of Language and Cognition
  • Diagnostics in Speech and Language Disorders

As part of your speech-language pathology studies, you must finish a supervised clinical practicum lasting at least 400 hours. During this practicum, you will work under the guidance of a licensed speech-language pathologist, and this experience will prepare you for a clinical fellowship after graduation.

Experience Requirements

In South Dakota, people seeking SLP licensure must fulfill a requirement of at least nine months of supervised post-graduate professional experience, commonly known as a clinical fellowship. This experience must be conducted under the guidance and supervision of a licensed SLP.

To begin your post-graduate professional experience as a speech-language pathologist, you must first obtain a provisional license. To do so, you must provide proof of completing your graduate program with clinical practicum. This provisional license will be valid for 24 months and can only be renewed once. Your professional experience must meet ASHA’s requirements, which include completing a full-time schedule of at least nine months or 36 weeks. In addition, if you choose to work part-time, you must work at least 5 hours per week.

During your clinical fellowship, you’ll gain hands-on experience in various aspects of speech-language pathology. In addition, ASHA’s Scope of Practice for SLPs provides general topics and discussions about the profession, including conducting research, developing treatment plans, and assisting patients with legislative issues.

Once your supervised professional experience is complete, your supervising SLP must complete the Verification of Supervised Post-Graduate Professional Experience form. You must include this form in your South Dakota SLP license application.

Testing Requirements

To obtain a Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) license in South Dakota, it is necessary to pass the national SLP exam administered by Praxis. Follow the Praxis exam registration page instructions to sign up for the exam. You will have the option to select a test center from a variety of locations.

  • Aberdeen
  • Huron
  • Rapid City
  • Sioux Falls
  • Vermillion

After registering for the exam, using the Praxis preparation materials for adequate readiness is important. The exam comprises 132 multiple-choice questions and has a time constraint of 150 minutes.

The content is partitioned into three equal categories, as shown below:

Foundations and Professional Practice

  • Typical development and performance across the lifespan
  • Characteristics of common communication and swallowing disorders
  • Wellness and prevention
  • Research methodology and evidence-based practice

Screening, Assessment, Evaluation, and Diagnosis

  • Screening for communication disorders
  • Developing case histories
  • Assessment procedures for fluency disorders
  • Genetic and developmental disorders

Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of Treatment

  • Evaluating factors that can affect treatment
  • Establishing methods for monitoring treatment progress
  • Treatment of speech sound production disorders
  • Follow up on referrals and recommendations

To pass the exam, you need to score 162 on a scale of 100-200. Once you have passed the SLP exam, you can pursue the CCC-SLP certification through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) before applying for licensure. Obtaining this voluntary certification allows you to provide evidence of your CCC-SLP certification instead of showing proof of completing a qualified graduate program and fellowship when applying for licensure.

To apply for the CCC-SLP certification, you need to complete the Application for the CCC-SLP and submit it to ASHA along with the SLP Clinical Fellowship Report and Rating Form, your passing score from the Praxis exam, and an official transcript from your graduate program.

To take the SLP Praxis exam, candidates must pay a fee of $146 for the initial test date and any retakes. In addition to this fee, some test takers may incur additional Praxis test fees, such as $40 for changing the test date or location or an extra $50 for an additional Praxis score report. If candidates wish to have their scores reviewed, they must pay a fee of $65.

Application Process

To apply for a Speech-Language Pathology license in South Dakota, all licensees must abide by the laws of the state and the regulations set forth by the South Dakota Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology. In addition, you must comply with South Dakota Codified Law Chapter 36-37.

All required forms can be easily downloaded from the South Dakota Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology website.

Here is a checklist for Speech-Language Pathology License Application:

  • Sign and notarize the application form
  • Attach a copy of your Department of Education Speech-Language Pathologist Certificate
  • If you are not ASHA certified and have not held a current DOE certificate for one year, complete the Verification of Completed Supervised Post-Graduate Professional Experience form and send it to your previous supervisor for completion. Follow up with them to ensure they mailed the completed form to the board office.
  • Send for ASHA Certification, if applicable. The certification letter from ASHA should contain your name, ASHA account number, the date certification was issued, and the expiration date.
  • If you are not ASHA certified, you must request official examination scores verifying passing results on the Praxis examination and send it directly to the board office.
  • Request official college transcripts to be sent directly to the board office.
  • Send the Verification of License form to all previously licensed states, if applicable.

You must mail the completed application and the required fees to the Board Office. The fee is $250 (non-refundable), which includes a $100 application fee and a $150 licensure fee. The payment should be made by check or money order payable to the “State of South Dakota Board of Speech-Language Pathology.” Please note that failure to submit all the required fees will delay your application processing. Additionally, providing incomplete information on the application form will also cause a delay.

You can send in your application even if you are waiting for ASHA certification, transcripts, or verification from another state to arrive. However, note that application processing will only start after all necessary documents have been received and accepted by the Board.

The board usually takes up to 3 weeks on average to process SLP license applications, making it a relatively quick process compared to other speech and language therapy licenses in the United States.

Endorsement For Speech-Language Pathologists To Work In School Settings

Speech-Language Pathologists who work in public schools are considered contract employees and are not subject to the specific teacher requirements set by the State Department of Education. However, South Dakota requires state speech language licensure issued by the relevant board of examiners.

Individuals with a degree in speech-language pathology or communication disorders may be eligible for a limited license to practice as speech-language pathologists in the state. This restricted license may be granted even if they do not meet the state’s requirements for full licensure as a speech-language pathologist. You may also be eligible for a license to practice if you get a speech-language pathologist certificate from the South Dakota Department of Education.

However, those with a limited license are prohibited from conducting non-medical endoscopy or evaluating and treating swallowing disorders. Nevertheless, they are authorized to offer speech-language services as staff members of private or public school districts or state departments that offer educational services.