Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Wisconsin Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 19th, 2024

Speech language pathologists, also known as SLPs, specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of speech and language impairments and disabilities. These communication disabilities can be both physical and cognitive impairments that affect speech and language capabilities. Speech language pathologists can work with all age ranges, from childhood to adults. As per the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, SLPs assist in the treatment of communication impairments.

These types of communication impairments can include issues with speech sounds, language, literacy, social communication, voice, fluency, cognitive communication, and physical impairments like feeding and swallowing. Speech language pathologists can work in a multitude of areas, including private practices, physicians’ offices, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, and rehabilitation centers or long-term, residential health facilities. Speech language pathologists can also be known as speech therapists, and typically work closely with physical therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists and psychologists in order to maximize diagnosis and treatment for patients.

Like most other states, Wisconsin requires Speech Language Pathologists to be fully licensed in order to practice within the state. Certain standards and requirements must be met before the state licensing board can approve an applicant. These standards are in place to ensure that those requesting licensure are able to meet the basic education requirements and experience qualifications in order to work with patients in their field.

Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

Follow below to learn how to become a speech-language pathologist in Wisconsin.

Education Requirements

To obtain licensure as a speech language pathologist in the state of Wisconsin, applicants must have a master’s degree in speech pathology and completed a supervised clinical practicum from an accredited college or university approved by the state’s Hearing and Speech Examining Board or an education or training equivalent approved by the Board. Here you will find listed all Wisconsin speech pathology degree programs.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, provides resources for program searches at all educational levels. Most masters’ degree programs for speech language pathology require an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders, or CSD, though it is not necessarily a requirement. Candidates must also provide evidence of completion of a postgraduate clinical fellowship in speech language pathology, or equivalent education or training, approved by the Board.

Experience Requirements

Prior to application, as stated above, applicant must have a master’s degree from an accredited university or college. In addition to educational requirements, the applicant must also have completed a supervised clinical practicum through their accredited school of higher education. Through this practicum, applicants are able to get real life experience in the field and work closely with patients to understand the process of diagnosis and treatment.

Prior to application to the state of Wisconsin, candidates are able to obtain a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology, also known as a CCC-SLP. This certificate is offered through ASHA. The certificate is not a requirement but since it is offered from a nationally recognized organization denoting competence in the field of Speech Language Pathology, many states, including Wisconsin, will accept this certificate as part of the overall application for licensure.

Testing Requirements

For the initial speech language pathology licensure, all licensees are required to take and pass the PRAXIS exam 5331, an exam to measure both knowledge and skills in preparation for professional SLP practice; the PRAXIS exam for speech language pathology was formerly known as NESPA.

A passing score is 162 or higher on the 100–200-point scale of the PRAXIS exam. A secondary option to the PRAXIS test is either education or training considered equivalent to passing the PRAXIS and may include a form of verification or certificate of clinical competence in speech language pathology.

To prepare for the exam, in addition to knowledge obtained through prior education and clinical coursework, candidates can study and review test preparation materials and practice exams and questions provided by PRAXIS; one can obtain these materials through the testing website or bookstores. The cost of the licensing exam is $146.00. Candidates can register for an exam online or via phone (800-772-9476); local testing centers can provide available dates for upcoming tests.

Background Checks

Candidates for speech language pathology licensure are subject to background checks prior to obtaining state licensure. Background checks can assist in evaluation of candidate’s abilities in the field and reduce certain risks, especially when working with individuals with impairments or disabilities. Background checks can also ensure that there is no discrimination against candidates applying for licensure. In order to complete the proper background check, applicants must complete a Conduct and Competency Questionnaire. Conduct and Competency questionnaire. Upon completion, applicants can mail in the questionnaire with their application or submit the application via the LicensE portal. license.wi.gov. No physical appearance is necessary for the background check, though applicant may be required to submit additional supporting documents if there are existing misconduct records.

Fingerprinting may be required depending on a history of misconduct or former residency situations; some possibilities could be whether applicant formerly lived in another state or country or attended school in another country for a period. Applicants can determine the need for fingerprinting for the licensure by utilizing the license tree on the state website. Fingerprint Decision Tree. If it is determined that fingerprints are necessary, applicants can fill out the electronic fingerprint submission at Electronic Fingerprint Submission and use the code FPWIDPITeach.

Application Process

To apply for a license in Speech Language Pathology in the state of Wisconsin, applicants must go through several steps. Upon confirmation of the necessary background requirements, applicants can go to the LicensE portal via the state website. The portal is a self-guided process that allows the user to go step-by-step through the entire application, check status of application, or renew current licensure. license.wi.gov.

In the application, applicants provide their basic information, background information and complete multiple forms required for the application. These forms include 1987, 1984, 1979, 1976, 2829, 3085, 2252, and 3071.

  • Form 1987 is basic credentialing information for speech language pathology applicants.
  • Form 1984 is a certificate of professional education that must be completed by the applicant’s school, confirming successful completion of the program and required field experience.
  • Form 1979 is a form requesting application for temporary license to practice speech language pathology; this temporary license can be obtained while waiting to schedule testing dates or finalizing the application and can remain active for up to 18 months.
  • Form 1976 is a require for verification of certification form, which much be forwarded to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
  • Form 2829 is a malpractice suits or claims form, which is not required unless there is a possible issue or situation the applicant has on their record.
  • Form 3085 is also not required unless there is a record that may arise regarding a felony, misdemeanor or other violations that may affect approval.
  • Form 2252 is a convictions or pending charges form, to confirm there is no criminal history of the applicant.
  • Form 3071 is a fax payment form.

To apply, all candidates must complete all required forms via the licensing portal. license.wi.gov. Mailing in physical forms is also an option, though the processing time may increase depending on delivery. Individual form reviewal can take up to 10 days during the process. Background checks are required as part of the process; fingerprinting may be required depending on a history of misconduct or residency situation. The overall application fee is $60 and can be mailed, faxed, emailed or submitted via the portal. Once the fully complete application has been submitted, it can take up to 60 days for the board to review and approve the application.

Endorsement for Speech-Language Pathologists to Work in School Settings

As working within a school or educational facility is one of the most common career paths for a Speech-Language Pathologist, some states may require endorsement in order to work within the environment. Educational environments may require certified speech-language pathologists to meet similar educational standards as they will be working closely with students at various age levels. The state of Wisconsin requires applicants to select a level of licensure during application if the applicant desires to work in an educational institution.

Wisconsin offers two levels of licensure for speech language pathology for candidates desiring to teach Pre-K through grade 12. The first, Tier 1 licensure, requires applicant to have a current Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) license, have a masters’ degree in communication disorders and have not yet completed a school speech and language teacher training program. Applicants for this level of license are able to get a one-year license to work as a school speech and language pathology to teach and are eligible to renew for three consecutive years. During that period, the candidate must complete a state approved teaching program and be eligible for endorsement upon successful completion. The second level license, Tier 2, requires applicant to have a masters’ degree in communication disorders and have successfully completed a state approved program as a school speech and language pathologist.

Learn more about educator licensing in Wisconsin on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website.