Gaining higher education in speech-language pathology is simple in the state of North Carolina with six different institutions to choose from.
All locations have a Master of Arts or Science in Speech-Language Pathology, with two popular universities - East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - having an alternative option with a Doctorate in Audiology.
All of these programs are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), an organization that oversees speech pathology programs and determines if the curriculum is thorough enough to prepare graduates to work with children and adults that have speech and swallowing disorders.
North Carolina Cities with SLP Degrees
There are six different locations in the state of North Carolina where students can pursue a Master's degree: Boone, Chapel Hill, Cullowhee, Durham, Greensboro, and Greenville.
Most of these programs are offered by popular public universities, such as Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, and the University of North Carolina at their locations in Chapel Hill and Greensboro. ECU also has an online version of the program for those looking at a career in speech pathology or audiology.
Appalachian State University - Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
This program offered by the Beaver College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State is accredited to gain licensure or certification in the state of North Carolina. In order to gain entry into the program, students must hold at least an undergraduate degree that has at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, or 2.5 cumulative GPA with GRE scores that are in the 25th percentile. The college puts a strong emphasis on their clinical education and has over 20 laboratories for hands-on training, including a newer facility with the latest innovations in classroom and lab design.
60 credit hours are needed to fulfill the degree requirements, and students will typically finish the program between two to three years. Clinical practicum begin in the first semester and the program culminates with an internship in the final semester. Examples of courses that students will take in the program include Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Voice and Resonance Disorders, School-Age Language Disorders, and Motor Speech Disorders.
East Carolina University - Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Through the College of Allied Health Sciences, students can pursue this Master's program in different variations. There is a non-clinical track that will conclude with a thesis, but those going for a licensure will need to take the official track that includes clinical studies and full-time internships. For on-campus students, there will be opportunities to work with organizations in the Greenville area or in close proximity. In some cases, working outside of the state will still satisfy North Carolina licensure requirements.
One unique aspect with this university is being able to pursue the program online, which is identical to the on-campus format and still approved by ASHA. This means it will still satisfy North Carolina SLP license requirements, but this will differ for residents in other states that can face alternative needs. Students must determine if the curriculum will work in their state. Admission requires the submission of GRE scores and a 3.5 cumulative GPA from an undergraduate degree, and start times are available in the fall and spring. All courses are available online in an asynchronous coursework format.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
The Department of Allied Health Science at the UNC School of Medicine provides a clinical track worth 60 credit hours for their Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences. This option will provide a pathway for students to become licensed in the state. 98.5 percent of graduates over the last three years have completed the program, with 100 percent of them passing the national Praxis exam and 98 percent finding employment shortly after completion. The minimum cumulative GPA needed on an undergraduate degree is 3.0, but the school does take into consideration other submissions, such as letters of recommendation and GRE scores.
A minimum of 400 clock hours in a clinical setting will need to be registered during the program, with at least 375 of those hours handing clients directly. A comprehensive exam is taken shortly before the conclusion of the program and students will need to achieve at least 80 percent to pass. Shortly after, students can take the Praxis exam to fulfill the licensure process. Students should expect to complete the program in two years.
SLP Licensure in North Carolina
Licensing in the state is done through the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
1. Earn a Master’s in Speech Pathology
There are multiple steps needed to accomplish this, the first being the accomplishment of at least a Master’s degree on the educational level. All six institutions that are accredited by the ASHA fulfill the curriculum needed to gain a license. Topics will generally cover various speech and motor disorders, such as learning disability, stuttering, dysphagia, and cognitive disorders. Over 400 hours of clinical work will be done in each of these programs.
2. One Year of Supervision
After the degree, an additional year is needed for supervision in the workplace. Graduates will pursue the clinical fellowship with a licensed speech-language pathologist for at least nine months for 30 hours per week.
3. Praxis Examination
Getting a score of 162 or higher is needed on the national Praxis exam, which will have 132 total questions and is a comprehensive look at the field. Cities hosting these exams include the university hosts, as well as Asheville, Raleigh, and Wilmington.
4. Applying for Licensure
In additional to the application form and fee when applying for licensure, students will need to submit a graduate transcript, Praxis score verification, the fellowship report signed by a supervisor, and open-book quick that has 12 multiple choice questions focused on practice within North Carolina.
North Carolina Career and Organizational Options for SLPs
Hundreds of opportunities exist for speech-language pathologists in the state of North Carolina, and those looking for positions will have a variety of cities to choose from.
Greensboro, Charlotte, and Wilmington are some of the most popular cities.
Broad River Rehabilitation
Broad River Rehabilitation is a therapy provider that is headquartered in Fletcher, North Carolina, and has a number of locations in the state. Benefits for this opportunity include a reimbursement in some of the licensure process, paid time off, health insurance, and retirement.
The Cheshire Center at Greensboro
The Cheshire Center at Greensboro is operated by a number of licensed SLPs that have experience in communication skills with children and will work with them to evaluate and treat their speech and swallowing disorders. Methods will be divided up based on age-range with more play activities for younger children and working skills given to the older age group.
They will also be giving educational material to the parents or caregivers and how they can help in the treatment process. There are opportunities to serve children in other locations as well, such as Durham, Guilford, and Randolph, and Rockingham.