There are four items to consider when choosing a speech pathology school: accreditation, faculty, specialized programs, and reputation or ranking. This type of school is usually organized within the Faculty of Medicine in a university environment. In a college setting, this school is normally part of the health services programs. There are two types of programs in speech pathology: professional pathologist and speech pathology technician.
A speech pathologist is a member of the health services team. He is responsible for meeting with clients, conducting standard tests of speech and brain function. Based on the outcome of these tests, the pathologist designs a training program to help the client overcome her speech-related issues. This may include elocution lessons, exercise, or listening programs.
The work of a speech pathologist technician is completed under the supervision of the speech pathologist. The technician works directly with the clients to help them follow the training plan designed by the pathologist. They work together as a team, sharing information and managing the program to help the client meet their goals.
When looking for a speech pathology school, check the accreditation status of the school. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions, which is very important at the graduate studies level. Only accredited schools are able to offer students access to government student aid programs.
Review the qualifications of the faculty or course instructors with care. The best speech pathology school will post biographies of their course instructors on their websites. Review this information and look for both academic credentials and working experience. In a university setting, look for the list of publications and research papers that have been completed recently. In a college setting, look at the working experience and the number of different sectors where this experience was gained.
Look for specialized programs in subareas of speech pathology. This may include congenital defects, impact of hearing on speech, and the impact of brain injury on speech. Take advantage and learn as much as possible from these programs. Many of these programs are collaborative efforts, which can advance the understanding of the communication center of the brain.
The reputation of the school is very important when choosing the best speech pathology school. Ask the admissions counselor about speaking with former graduates or employers. Ask them about the quality of education they received at the school, the relevance, and any other information they are willing to share.