What Are the Different Types of Speech Therapist Schools?

Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

All speech therapist schools must be accredited by an overseeing speech-language pathology program, and tend to focus coursework on research practices or clinical treatment. Students who attend accredited universities are eligible to become employed in any field related to speech pathology. Those schools which focus on the clinical treatment of the disabled may partner with a hospital or therapy program in which students are able to work hands-on with patients.

A speech therapist works specifically with individuals who have language and speech disorders. This category can include patients with learning or developmental disorders that impair their ability to understanding and use language. Speech therapists may also help patients who are partially or completely deaf learn to speak without the benefit of hearing their own voice.

In the US, a master's degree or doctorate is typically required for employment in this field. Students must receive their degrees from speech therapist schools that receive accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Pathology. They can first receive a Master of Arts in speech pathology before choosing whether to begin their careers by working in clinical practice, research, or continue their education through doctoral work. Upon completing an accredited program, students are eligible to receive a certificate of competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which is often required by future employers.

Many universities in the US offer this type of educational program and possess the necessary accreditation. When researching speech therapist schools, students may benefit from keeping in mind their future career paths. Each school will provide a unique area of focus during coursework that relates to the field of speech pathology. For example, therapists may choose to specialize in children's language disorders, neurological disorders, or hearing loss related disorders, each of which can have a significant, though widely different, impact on the way the brain processes language. Once they are confident of the field of study they wish to pursue, students can more effectively select a school that excels in that area of pathology.

Some speech therapist schools may sponsor or partner with treatment services. These services may take the form of a clinic or hospital in which individuals with select disabilities work with trained speech therapists to improve their language skills. Students who attend schools with these types of programs may have the opportunity to work in real clinical situations with disabled individuals, and learn beyond a classroom setting through the medium of hands-on experience.

Students in the UK should apply to speech therapist schools that have been accredited by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Completing a program through an appropriately credentialed university enables students to become certified to work for National Health Services. NHS is typically responsible for placing employees in research and clinical settings in which therapists work with disabled patients.

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