Vermont Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Vermont Speech Therapist Certification

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 19th, 2024

Vermont is known for being a beautiful state. People move to that state because of its natural beauty and high quality of life. At the same time, Vermont has very strong consumer protection laws which heavily regulate the professions. Like every other state, Vermont requires a license for people to practice as speech-language pathologists (SLP).

There are many good reasons to require a license for SLPs. For example, health insurance companies and government programs will not pay for services from unlicensed professionals. However, the most important reason why Vermont requires a license is that it protects the public. Few things are worse in the medical profession than people treating patients who do not know the proper technique. And, of course, licensing also protects people from bad actors who are clinically competent but unethical.

With that said, a competent and ethical SLP can be a blessing to their patients. Speech-language pathologists treat various communication disorders, along with speech and swallowing problems. For instance, somebody might have trouble speaking clearly or understanding language. Some people also struggle with swallowing food or drink. All of these individuals can receive help from a properly licensed SLP.

Vermont Initial Speech-Language Pathology Licensure Process

As with all other states, Vermont has specific requirements to obtain your SLP license. These requirements include having the proper training, obtaining some clinical experience, and passing an exam. There’s also a routine application process, which you complete through the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation.

The requirement for a license is set out in Vermont’s Title 26, Chapter 87. Essentially, you need a license to practice as an SLP in Vermont unless you are in a training program. In addition, you get a provisional license once you have your degree and are working the required pre-licensure experience.

Educational requirements

In Vermont, the educational requirements are fairly straightforward. You will need a master’s degree in communication disorders. This degree must be from an approved program. Approved programs are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and its academic accreditation arm. To graduate, you will have to take and pass many different courses in speech and language disorders, as well as the treatments for those problems.

It often takes two years to earn the degree, and you will take classes on a wide variety of communication and language disorders. These include developmental problems like stuttering and acquired difficulties like the effects of a stroke. You also will learn how to treat each of these issues.

If you don’t mind attending an SLP program outside of Vermont, there are many other options available. For instance, the University of New Hampshire has a program, and there are over 300 more nationwide. The key is to select a program that will get you licensed without much difficulty. You can also find programs which are primarily online, but in this case, you’ll have to arrange for a practicum separately.

During your masters program, you will also need to complete a certain number of hours of clinical practicum. These are a combination of observation and clinical practice under supervision. This way, you learn how to treat speech and language disorders in a clinical setting. This way, you can turn theory into practice.

Experience requirements

Once you have finished your master’s degree, you will need to finish a post-graduate professional training program. During this time, you will practice under Vermont’s provisional license rather than a full license. We’ll talk about the provisional license later.

While Vermont does not spell out the details of the professional training program in detail like most states, the best course of action is usually to get your Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA. This involves a training fellowship of 1260 hours over at least 36 weeks. Essentially, this is a step up from your practicum because you do have a provisional license to practice, and you are mostly autonomous, with your mentor mostly coaching you through cases.

Speaking of the CCC certification, it’s a good idea to get one, especially because there isn’t much extra work involved that goes beyond the Vermont licensing standards. In addition, as we’ll discuss later, it’s easier to renew your license if your CCC is current.

Testing requirements

In Vermont, the text of the testing requirements regulations is a little different than usual. Typically, states will require you to take the Praxis II exam and leave you with no other options. However, if you don’t want to take the exam, then you’ll need to find an alternative, approved exam or get your CCC.

With that said ASHA requires a passing score of 162 on the Praxis II exam to get your CCC. Practically speaking, that means you’ll need to take the exam either way. And because having your CCC is so beneficial, you should meet the ASHA standard.

According to ASHA, you should take the Praxis once you have completed all graduation requirements. Because there’s often a lag between completion of all requirements and graduation, ETS does not require that the degree be awarded. Any time after this point, you should be able to take the test, though ASHA recommends that you not make your first attempt later than the first year of practice. In other words, your clinical fellowship is a perfect time to take the test.

You can find more information about the exam on ASHA’s website, including test prep materials.

Background checks

Strictly speaking, the state of Vermont does not specify a background check requirement for SLP licensees. In fact, while some licensed professions require a background check, that does not appear to be true for this profession. Also, we were unable to check the license form itself because the forms can’t be viewed publicly.

However, if you have a criminal record, there is a way to get an opinion on your license eligibility before you go to school or apply for the license. Generally speaking, Vermont is fairly progressive, so minor offenses from many years ago are frequently overlooked.

License application process

Applying for your SLP license in Vermont is relatively easy. To start, you will go to the office of professional responsibilities online application portal and create an account. From here, the procedures vary based on which type of license you want, or how you qualify for an initial, unrestricted license.

Provisional license

If you meet all of Vermont’s licensure requirements except for the completion of your clinical fellowship, then you should apply for a provisional license. This can be valid for up to two years, and should be traded for a full license as soon as you finish your fellowship. Also, this license is nonrenewable.

The process is simple.  You will fill out the application form, and then you will provide the name and license information for your clinical supervisor. Finally, your school will have to send transcripts to the Board. The exact address for those submissions is non-public, but should be listed on the application.

The fee is $100.

Licensure by examination

This is your “standard” Vermont SLP licensure application. Once you have finished your clinical fellowship and earned your CCC-SLP, it’s time to get a full license. These are renewed every even-numbered year on August 31.

To apply, you’ll log on to the portal as before. Then, you’ll fill out the form and upload your CCC verification. Pay the application fee of $100 and then a license fee of $240.

For both licenses, OPR estimates a 3-5 business day response time. They also say that if there is more information needed, they’ll reach out.

Endorsement for SLPs to work in school settings

Like many states, Vermont has a special process for SLPs who want to work in the school setting. The Agency of Education sets the rules for professionals within the school environment.

School SLPs need a special type of educator’s license, called an endorsement. It’s the same process used for school psychologists, social workers, or librarians. To get it, you’ll first need your Vermont SLP license, and you’ll have to keep that license current.

The process to get an endorsement to work in the schools is called a “transcript review,” and there’s a detailed set of instructions to help you navigate the process here.

Also, you need to document that you have basic skills in reading, writing, and math. You can do this several ways, including a Praxis CORE exam from ETS. Certain other standardized tests also satisfy this requirement, which you can find on the AOE website.

The transcript review guide lists an application fee of $50, but doesn’t say if there’s a licensure fee on top of that.