If you are a bachelor's degree holder considering the online Master's of Speech Pathology for your future, you should take a look at what the online program can offer you as a busy professional. Online degree programs are currently the most innovative and convenient options for higher education, without the time dedication and years of commitment required in the traditional environment.
At the master's level, online degree programs must also consist of the same type of accreditation as traditional programs, so that students completing these programs are eligible for licensure after completing their experience requirements. Online Master's of Speech Pathology programs often consist of the same courses and instructors as traditional programs at different schools.
Advantages of Online Masters Programs
Students that have exhibited self-discipline, motivation, and determination may find that online degree programs can provide them with the best opportunities for success. In the online learning environment, students can learn at their own pace, complete assignments at any time of the day or night, and reach out to instructors and other students when needed.
In some schools, students that can commit more time to their learning may have the option of completing their degree program at a quicker rate than students in the standard enrollment program. As you search for programs that are best fitting for you, consider how much time you can dedicate to learning and assignment completion, so that you can complete your degree program in the lowest amount of time possible.
Estimated Completion Time
One of the most attractive features of the online Master's of Speech Pathology program is that students can extend this program to fit their individual needs. Some schools offer expedited degree programs that can be completed in 1.5 to 2 years, while other institutions allow students to extend their program up to 5 years to partner well with a busy work schedule.
The amount of time you spend in a higher degree program should depend on what you require as a student. Traditional degree programs may add up in costs for students that need to take courses at a part-time rate, since this can mean more travel and housing costs during the duration of the program.
If you are planning to pursue licensure in the field of speech pathology, you should research the accreditation requirements of your field prior to enrolling in any specific program. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is responsible for the review and accreditation of degree programs at this degree level.
The degree program that you are reviewing should note that it has received accreditation from the Council for Academic Accreditation (CAA) from ASHA. This information can most often be viewed on the degree's program page on the university's website, or under program information and accreditation.
Accreditation can contribute to the overall reliability of your program, as well as its relevance to practice in the field. The goal of accreditation is to provide students with a tool for verifying the reliability of their program during the licensure process.
- Speech Sound Disorders: The purpose of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the development and assessment of speech sound disorders in children and adults. Some concepts that may be covered in this course include those that are related to natural and unnatural development, assessment, and treatment of different types of phonetic disorders.
- Early Language Disorders: While enrolled in this course, students can delve into language disorders in children from infancy to preschool. Standard language development may be a part of this course's inclusions, as well as a look at abnormal speech development and potential interventions. Students may also have the opportunity to explore case studies and scenarios for independent evaluation.
- Fluency Disorders: An investigation of fluency disorders can provide students with the knowledge needed to identify and assess language disorders in clients being served. This course can provide you with more insight into common fluency disorders such as stuttering, as well as allow you to explore some of the most common treatment interventions available for it. Diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment may also be a large component in this class.
If you hold an online Master's in Speech Pathology, you can move forward into structured in-person training that can assist you in receiving your license in this field. Licensure can lead to an abundance of different career options, including those in private practice or with other organizations that provide needed services to children and adults.
Licensed speech pathologists can work with clients in schools, hospitals, language clinics, and even in social service agencies. The services provided by professionals in these areas are often modified to fit the population being served, such as evaluation services in specialty clinics and individual language programs in the school system.
Alternatively, specialists in speech language pathology can work in fields that provide innovation and modifications in the field. Some professionals at this level can work for organizations that develop alternative communication devices or in agencies that specialize in curriculum research and development.
If you are enrolled in the online Master’s of Speech Pathology as a means for obtaining your licensure to practice, you may be required to take part in a clinical experience requirement prior to graduation. This experience may draw upon the curriculum as a foundation for implementing speech services to clients in the real-world environment.
At the onset of your clinical experience, you may be required to locate a placement at a speech therapy clinic or other organization that provides speech services to the public. This experience requires that you work under the supervision of a licensed speech pathologist and may allow you to exercise your skills in direct therapy practice.
The hour requirement for this experience may vary depending on the school you are enrolled in, but generally can be expected during each semester in the final year of your program. All of the experience that you gain during these in-person experiences can be used towards your licensure requirement, which can contribute to quicker licensure and overall movement into the professional field.