Speech Therapy Certification in Connecticut
In the state of Connecticut, those who wish to work as speech therapists, also commonly known as speech language pathologists, must be licensed by the state in order to practice legally. Before they can become licensed, however, potential speech therapists must meet certain requirements. These include having a master's degree or a doctoral degree in speech and language pathology or a very closely related field from a fully accredited college or university. The college or university must be approved by the American Speech Language Hearing Association in order to be considered valid. Additionally, candidates are required to complete a supervised professional experience period. Finally, licensure candidates must pass the NTE Specialty Area Test in speech and language pathology with a score of no less than 600.
These requirements might seem a bit overwhelming, especially if you are new to the field of speech therapy, but they are put in place with a firm purpose in mind, and that purpose is to provide superior service to those in need of speech therapy. As such, it is your job to remain truly committed and to fulfill all of the requirements necessary for licensure if you truly want to work in this field.
As mentioned above, the first and most important step is to obtain an education. Your first educational venture, of course, must be a bachelor's degree. Your bachelor's degree actually does not have to be related to speech pathology/therapy, though this often does help when trying to gain admission to many master's level programs. You may obtain your bachelor's degree from a traditional four year college or university, from an accredited online program, or by choosing to obtain an associate's degree and then transfer the credits earned to a bachelor's degree program. Whatever you do, always check to make sure your learning institution has been approved by the American Speech Language Hearing Association before enrolling.
After you have earned your bachelor's degree, your next step is to pursue a master's degree, the minimum degree required for licensure in the field in Connecticut. It can take quite a while to be accepted to a master's degree program, even for those who were good students as undergraduates, so don't be discouraged if you aren't accepted to the first few programs for which you apply. Once you've finally completed your master's degree, you then have to decide if a doctoral degree is in your future. While a PhD is definitely not required to work and enjoy success as a speech therapist, it can increase your salary greatly and help you to have a "one up" over the competition, so it's definitely something to consider. Also, there are many people who receive their doctoral degrees later on down the road, long after they have received their licensure and begun working in the field. You have to do what is right for you. As soon as you have your degree and have met all of the other requirements put in place, it's time to apply for licensure.