There are several important steps when choosing the optimal postgraduate speech therapy program. The most important consideration is the credibility of the program. Other critical questions are where, and with whom, you would like to work following your education.
Speech therapy is a highly specialized field for which extensive training and study is required. There may not be an appropriate school in your area. Consider as many schools as possible despite their location in order to find the best possible postgraduate speech therapy program for you.
Postgraduate speech therapy programs generally provide an in-depth and well-rounded study of speech therapy practices and methodology. They normally also include a period of hands on training. This clinical period will train students in clinical practices, curriculum and therapy coordination and planning, reporting and recording techniques, and best practices.
Interested students should first consider the setting in which they would like to work. It is possible to work as a speech therapist in a hospital or clinic, school or educational institution, or as an independent consultant. Most postgraduate speech therapy programs will provide a background for all areas, but some educational institutions provide better training for specific fields. The best way to investigate field specialization is by reviewing program coursework and requirements, contacting program coordinators, or researching the background and specializations of educators within the program.
If you specialized in speech therapy or a related study in an earlier study program, previous instructors, advisors, or counselors may be able to provide valuable insight as to which programs are most well-known, have the highest quality programs, or can provide the best training opportunities and experiences. A governmental education agency may also be able to provide a list of accredited postgraduate speech therapy programs in your area. Speech therapists must usually be credentialed before being allowed to work, and may be required to sit certain written or practical exams before gaining employment. Associations or professional organizations can also serve as a valuable tool throughout your search because they can verify proper certification and can guide you in your search for the best type of speech therapy program for you.
Some publications also offer a comprehensive rating of undergraduate and postgraduate college and university programs. Consult the publications available in the region in which you would like to study. Keep in mind that the rating systems of such publications can be quite subjective. Examine the many qualities that go into each rating and ranking, and utilize them individually and as a whole.