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Speech Language Pathology Assistant Fieldwork Course

Speech Language Pathology Assistant Fieldwork Course

CMSD 367 Speech Language Pathology Assistant Fieldwork Course

Speech Language Pathologist Assistants (SLPAs) are support personnel positions which operate under the supervision of a licensed or credentialed Speech Language Pathologist (SLP).  The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) reports that SLPAs have been used and regulated by many states since the 1970s. (ASHA, n.d.a.)   “The top two services that ASHA members would like to see provided by support personnel in the future were (a) assisting with clerical duties (79%) and b) documenting client performance (67%).” (ASHA, 2009)  With the large number of individuals requiring the services of an SLP, SLPAs are valuable professionals that are utilized to allow SLPs to meet the needs of the profession’s growing scope of practice.  In the 2009 Membership survey, ASHA reported that “forty-two percent of school-based SLPs and 32% of health-care based SLPs reported that one or more SLP support personnel were employed at their facility.”

The Speech Language Pathologist Assistant (SLPA) Fieldwork Experience Course is designed for the student who has not yet obtained, or does not currently desire to pursue, a master’s degree.  Upon completion of the course, students will receive the required documentation to complete the application process to apply for their license as a SLPA.   This course has been approved by the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board (SLPAHADB) which mandates laws, regulations, and issues of professional licensure within the state of California. It is a four unit course that requires 100 fieldwork training hours and online coursework for completion.  This professional training course prepares the student to work as a SLPA under the supervision of an SLP in a variety of settings.

The SLPA Fieldwork course is completed in one academic quarter.  Effective Fall 2016, this course is only offered two times per year.  It is offered during the Fall quarter (which typically meets September through December) and the Spring quarter (which typically meets March through June). The specific dates will correspond with the University’s academic calendar

Course Requirement:

This course is available to students that are not currently enrolled in any Communication Sciences and Disorders programs here at Loma Linda University.  Students will register as a Non-Degree Student (upon approval from the SLPA Coordinator).

  • Fieldwork Experience
    • Under the supervision of a licensed Speech Language Pathologist, which has been approved by the SLPA Coordinator, a minimum of 100 hours of fieldwork experience (divided into the following categories) are required over a total of 9 weeks.
      • Observation ………………………………………………... 10 hours minimum
      • Direct Client Contact / Treatment/ Screening ……………... 70 hours minimum
      • Administrative Tasks/ Clinical Support …………………… 20 hours minimum
        • Unfortunately, any hours completed before the start of the quarter that you are registered for will not be accepted.
  • Online Course
    • An online course to focus on the Scope of Practice and Ethical standards of the Speech Language Pathologist Assistant. 
      • 10 hours of Online Lecture/Presentation/Discussion
      • 10 hours of Independent Learning Activities 


Students must meet ONE of the following academic criteria to be eligible to enroll in CMSD 367: SLPA – Fieldwork Course. 

  1. Completion of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) OR Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CMSD) or other degree title for Speech Language Pathology. 382.
  2. Completion of Post-Baccalaureate coursework in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CMSD) or other degree title for Speech Language Pathology. 
  3. Post-Baccalaureate students are students with a Bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than Speech-Language Pathology (eg. Psychology).  These students complete a Speech-Language Pathology undergraduate core of courses at the university level.  Because the undergraduate coursework is completed after they have completed their initial Bachelor’s degree, it is called a Post-Bacc degree. 
  4. Post-Bacc students will need to submit transcripts to the SLPA Coordinator via email prior to registration to ensure that the coursework meets the criteria of this program.   

**  Effective Fall 2016, students must be within 3 years of completion of a Bachelor’s degree to be eligible to enroll in CMSD 367: SLPA - Fieldwork Course.  Therefore, using the example of Fall 2016, student must have completed his/her academic coursework in the year of 2013 or later.  Students completing their coursework prior to Fall 2013 would be ineligible to apply for this course.  

Enrollment Preparation:

If you meet the above criteria, the following is required to prepare for registration:

  • You are responsible for securing, and submitting for approval, a placement with an SLP who has a current California license, or Credential, and has agreed to serve as your supervisor.  You may choose to complete your fieldwork experience at a private office, school district, or medical facility. 
  • When you have found your placement, notify the SLPA Coordinator, utilizing the Approval Request Form link to submit information to allow the necessary research required to determine approval. 
  • You will need to submit your information during the following dates: 

Fall quarter:June 1 July 15
Spring quarter:December 1 January 15

Approval Request Forms will be reviewed at the end of July and January.Incomplete forms will be discarded and will not be reviewed.

  • You will receive an email from the SLPA Coordinator with a status of approval request and further steps.  Responses will be provided no later than the 10thof the months of August for Fall Quarter and February for Spring Quarter.  A submission does not guarantee placement. 
  • Please be aware, the contract between LLU and your site must be in place by the 1st official registration date of the quarter, as determined by the University’s academic calendar in order to register for that specific quarter. 

Registration Overview:

  • A Contract between the desired company and LLU must be in place by the 1st official registration date of the quarter, as determined by the University’s academic calendar, in order to be eligible to register.
  • Once it has been determined that you are approved, you will receive an email of approval with information regarding orientation/registration.
  • An orientation is required prior to registering.  Orientation involves coming to the campus of LLU; at which time, requirements for the course will be reviewed with you.  You will then go to student services to submit the required registration documents and pay registration fees.  This will take approximately 3-3.5 hours to complete.  You will receive the specific dates for orientation/registration when you receive approval for registration. 
  • This course is available to any student within the state of California that meets criteria.  However, distance registration is not available.  You must attend the orientation/registration meeting on Loma Linda University’s campus when offered.  This is mandatory and no exceptions are made.

For More Detailed Information:

  • Thoroughly review the FAQs document.  You may click on the link located at the top of this page to access it.  (New Information updated effective Fall 2016)


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.a.). Frequently asked questions:  Speech-

      Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs). Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/associates/SLPA-FAQs.htm#a3

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2009). 2009 membership survey summary report:

     Number and type of responses.  Rockville, MD: Author.

Contact Us


Aieshea Banks, M.A. CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor/SLPA Coordinator

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
School of Allied Health Professions

Loma Linda University
Nichol Hall Room A506
Loma Linda Ca 92350
Department phone: (909) 558-4998