Texas Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Texas SLPA Certification

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 19th, 2024

Speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) are personnel who provide support to speech-language pathologists (SLPs) by performing assigned tasks under their supervision, following academic coursework, fieldwork, and on-the-job training. SLPAs cannot manage their caseloads, but they help manage existing caseloads. All job placements for SLPAs require the availability of a licensed SLP for supervision.

One of the roles of an SLPA is to coordinate meetings with different individuals as directed by the SLP, such as parents, physicians, teachers, administration, and other professionals, to communicate information and resolve issues according to established guidelines. SLPAs also follow established treatment plans to facilitate progress on communication/educational goals and instruct students on using appropriate communication technologies to improve their success in the classroom.

In addition, they perform other duties as assigned to ensure the efficient functioning of the work unit. SLPAs may find employment opportunities in various settings, such as hospitals, schools, rehab centers, and private practices.

In Texas, obtaining a license is a requirement to practice as an SLPA. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) issues SLPA licenses to assure the public that the licensee has met predetermined standards. This guide provides essential details on how to get Texas speech-language pathology assistants licensure.

Texas Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Process

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is responsible for evaluating the information in applications submitted by SLPAs and issuing the appropriate licensure. To become a licensed speech-language pathologist in Texas, the following criteria must be met:

Educational Requirements

To apply for an assistant license in speech-language pathology in Texas, you must possess at least a bachelor’s degree focusing on speech-language pathology. However, even if your major is not in communicative sciences or disorders, you can still be eligible for the SLP assistant license. The department will assess your transcripts case-by-case to determine if you have received equivalent academic preparation. To be eligible, every candidate must possess a minimum of 24 semester credit hours in speech-language pathology, of which 3 hours must be dedicated to studying language disorders, and 3 hours must be focused on speech disorders.

Remember that if your bachelor’s degree was obtained more than ten years ago, you must provide evidence of current knowledge in speech-language pathology. This evidence can be a recently completed continuing education or a current ASHA certification.

Experience Requirements

Experience is part of the state’s requirement for obtaining an SLPA license. Before graduation, you must complete 25 hours each of clinical observation and clinical assisting experience through your university. If the university provides some of these hours, you need the program director or a designated individual to fill out and submit the Clinical Observation and Experience Form for SLPA.

If you still need to complete the full 25 hours of clinical observation and clinical assisting experience through your university, you must include an SLPA Clinical Deficiency Plan Form with your application. This form will document and obtain the remaining clinical hours required, and the proposed supervisor will complete it, with the applicant submitting it along with their application.

Furthermore, to work as a speech-language pathology assistant, you must have supervision from a licensed speech-language pathologist willing to take responsibility for all your services. As part of your application process, you must submit a completed SLP Supervisory Responsibility Statement Form (PDF), which your licensed supervisor must complete. Your license can only be issued, and you can only start working as an assistant after you have been added to your proposed supervisor’s license.

Testing Requirements

You must also take the Texas Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologist Jurisprudence Examination. The content of this exam is centered around the federal and federal rules, regulations, and laws that govern the practice of speech-language pathology. As part of the Texas speech-language pathologist assistant license application, all first-time applicants must demonstrate that they have completed the jurisprudence examination.

It is important to note that the jurisprudence certificate must be issued at most twelve months before the date of license application submission, and the relevant fees must be paid directly to the examination vendor. Additionally, candidates must complete the exam within 30 days of paying the registration fee. If the exam is completed within this time frame, the registration and fee will remain active, and the exam will be invalidated. If candidates want to retake the jurisprudence exam, they must register again and pay a new fee.

Background Check

All new candidates must provide their fingerprints for a national criminal history review to apply for a license. Upon receipt of your application by TDLR, you will be sent instructions via email on how to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. It is worth noting that having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from obtaining a license in Texas. Before submitting your application, you can have your criminal history assessed.

Application Process

To request a SLPA license, you must complete the online application and include the necessary documents and the $150 application fee, which covers the initial two-year license. The required documents consist of the following:

Upon submission of your application, you will be given a one-year time frame to fulfill all the necessary licensing prerequisites. If you fail to meet the requirements within this allotted period, you must reapply, submitting all the required documents and remitting a new application fee.

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

The role of a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant (SLPA) is to provide speech-language pathology services to students under the direction of a licensed SLP from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) or a certified speech therapist from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

To work in schools, a speech-language pathologist must obtain an SLPA Licensure from TDLR, which requires meeting the following criteria:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree focusing on communicative sciences and disorders, complete at least 24 semester hours in SLP, and have at least 25 hours of clinical observation and 25 hours of clinical assisting experience in SLP. If the applicant has a bachelor’s degree in a different field, the TDLR will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
  • SLPA licensee applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree more than 10 years ago must demonstrate their knowledge of speech-language pathology through continuing education or other courses, holding a license in another state, or holding a current ASHA certification.
  • A licensed speech-language pathologist must supervise the assistant for at least 2 hours per week, with a minimum of 1 hour of direct and 1 hour of indirect supervision.