Many speech-language pathology opportunities require state licensure, and there are many opportunities in the state of Massachusetts to obtain the higher education needed.
There are seven different institutions in the state that offer at least a Master's degree that is accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
This organization is one of the leading certifiers in the field and hold rigorous standards that these programs must follow in order to continue holding their designation. Two schools also have a Doctor in Audiology option - Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Popular Massachusetts Locations with SLP Degrees
Boston is the leading city in terms of speech pathology and audiology job opportunities and education. There are four different institutions in the city: Boston University, Northeastern University, Emerson College, and the MGH Institute of Health Professions.
Other locations with ASHA-accredited programs are Bridgewater, Amherst, and Worcester, and for even more SLP career choices, job seekers can look at Brockton, Milton, and Weymouth.
Northeastern University - Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
The two-year Master's program through the Bouve College of Health Sciences in Boston will prepare speech-language pathologists for their future career in health care services or educational facilities. NU provides an on-campus Speech-Language and Hearing Center to fulfill clinical needs within the curriculum, and students will also pursue practices off campus. Courses are divided up into information on disorders, the science behind speech and communication, evidence-based research, and four semesters of clinical practicum. There is an additional certification in Early Intervention and Aging that can be obtained.
Requirements to get into the program include the submission of transcripts from all universities, personal statement, resume, three letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores. Students are expected to hold an undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.35 or higher. Prior coursework must consist of speech physiology, audiology, speech and hearing science, phonetics, and language development.
Worcester State University - Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
Students have the ability to complete the program at WSU in a full-time or part-time format with courses available in the afternoon and evening. Those that have enough educational background or professional experience in the field can go through an accelerated format. Three different practicum experiences will be needed throughout the time frame of the curriculum with 75 different sites available. This includes the on-campus WSU Speech-Language-Hearing Center. Graduates will be able to apply for the Certification of Clinical Competence through the ASHA, and the Massachusetts state license and teacher license.
Those interested in learning about the program before applying can do so at monthly seminars between August and May. The curriculum consists of 55 credit hours, and students can take no more than four courses in one semester. The accelerated path with three courses in each semester will take 30 months to complete. All courses must have a B- grade or higher, and a 3.0 GPA needs to be maintained throughout the program. Once enrolled, the degree must be completed in a span of six years.
SLP Licensure in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts governing board observes the licensing process for speech-language pathology and audiology, both traditional and assistant professions. There are two pathways for applicants to take, the first being the initial process that is generally for graduates starting out in the field. The latter is “reciprocal licensure,” which is geared toward professionals that already hold licensure in a different state and they have been certified by the ASHA.
Regardless of license, it will need to be renewed every two years – assistants will need to renew on the worker’s birthday and standard professionals will renew on January 6th each even year. This must include at least 20 hours of continuing education, or 30 hours for those with dual licensure in speech-language pathology and audiology. When applying for the state license, Massachusetts requires 400 clock hours earned in clinical practicum, a Master’s degree, and a score from the national Praxis exam.
Massachusetts SLP Career Options
Boston Medical Center has the Center for Voice and Swallowing, which provides therapy and special care for children and adults. Issues they will treat include voice problems like dysphonia, laryngopharyngeal reflux, hypophonia from Parkinson’s disease, vocal hyperfunction, and more. They will also consult swallowing and breathing issues, like forgetting certain words, comprehending hat was said, and stuttering and slurred speech.
Fusion Rehab Services provides physical and speech therapy to residents in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Speech-language pathologists can work at various partnered facilities to provide speech and swallowing therapy to assisted living or patients at hospitals. They can also become rehabilitation directors, who will evaluate care programs and make changes to a worker’s schedule based on caseload management. It is also important that the working conditions are safe and all processes meet ethical and regulation standards.