The state of Virginia has seven speech pathology programs that are offered in higher education and have been accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Many notable institutions in the state offer these programs, with James Madison University being the exclusive location to have a Master's degree in speech-language pathology and a Doctorate in Audiology.
Completing one of these programs will provide the first step needed to become an officially licensed practitioner in the state.
Popular Virginia Locations with SLP Degrees
There are six different locations in the state of Virginia to receive ASHA-accredited education: Charlottesville, Farmville, Hampton, Harrisonburg, Norfolk, and Radford.
Old Dominion University and the University of Virginia are the most popular institutions to go for. Among these areas, Norfolk is one of the many areas that have plenty of speech-language pathologist career opportunities available.
Other cities to consider are Richmond, Suffolk, and Williamsburg. Those looking for a little more flexibility can consider an online program at James Madison University.
James Madison University - Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
The online program offered by JMU gives prospective students a unique ability to gain the preparation necessary to diagnose and evaluate patients with various voice and swallowing disorders without being tied to an on-campus program. Practicum courses can be completed at the campus laboratory, but there are numerous hospitals and rehabilitation services that are tied with the school. Typically, the program can be completed within three years on a part-time basis. During the summer, there are requirements to meet on campus, including a two-day orientation. There has been a 100 percent employment rate for all graduates from the program.
Students looking to take the online program will need to have a PC or Mac operating system and access to the Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Windows Media Player, and Java Script plugins. Computer hardware should be adequately up-to-date with the latest OS driver updates, a webcam, and speakers or headphones. All lectures and coursework will take place through the Canvas learning management system. Admission requirements include a personal written statement, GRE scores, official transcripts, reference contact information, and an optional video submission. Admission is only available every two years.
Old Dominion University - Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
Offered by Darden College at ODU, the 57-credit hour Master's program will provide a pathway for students to obtain state licensure in Virginia and the clinical certification through the ASHA. 15 credit hours will be reserved for practicum and externships through the school, and the remaining will go toward research education in many speech and swallowing disorders. Example courses include Theories and Therapies in Stuttering, Procedures in Audiology, and Clinical Perspectives on Autism Spectrum Disorders. All students will need to complete a comprehensive exam at the conclusion of the program.
Admission into the Master's degree requires an undergraduate degree (or at least within one semester of obtaining it) with at least a 2.8 cumulative GPA. GRE scores will also need to be submitted. Prospective students that do not have prerequisites met for the program will need to complete up to 24 additional credit hours and the program will take an additional one or two semesters versus the six semesters the main program needs. Over the past three years, nearly 94 percent of students have completed the program on time. 100 percent of students have passed the national Praxis exam, and all graduates have found employment within one year.
SLP Licensure in Virginia
In order to gain state licensure for SLP positions in the state of Virginia, completing a Master’s degree is required. All programs that have been accredited by the ASHA will fit the criteria needed, such as the amount of credit hours and 400 total clock hours needed for clinical practicum. Any online programs taken will work with the faculty in order to find an approved clinical facility, and many schools have affiliations with hospitals and rehabilitation centers in addition to their services on campus. After the program is completed, graduates will have to take the national Praxis exam and must pass with at least a score of 162. The exam focuses on foundational information, how to evaluate and diagnose disorders, and the implementation of a treatment program.
Next, a supervised fellowship program is needed for nine months in order to get structured real-world experience. Typically, this is done by working 35 hours per week for 36 weeks, but this can be spread out longer if needed. Fellowships do require a provisional license, which can be obtained with the proof that graduate coursework and the Praxis exam has been completed. Finally, acquiring the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) is needed in order to get the licensure, and that can be applied for when the fellowship is completed.
Virginia SLP Career Options
Interactions Speech Language Pathology in McLean is an organization that provides educational and therapeutic services for children. Workers can evaluate students through testing speech fluency, language processing, written expression, and pragmatic language.
They have treatment programs that can diagnose and fix problems while also creating preventative methods in the future. There are also more advanced services such as analyzing information and writing reports.
Speech Beginnings in Alexandria is a certified member of the ASHA and is another treatment service that focuses on children. They hold both individual and group therapy sessions, featuring in-home evaluations that are more convenient for parents and guardians, cutting back on time and travel needs.
Group sessions are held at selected preschools, daycare centers, and private schools. Areas they focus on include receptive and expressive language, speech fluency and stuttering, pragmatic language, autism spectrum disorders, and articulation.