Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

Speech-Language Pathology Assistant
Two-Year Associate Degree and Certificate Program

In August, 1999, Pasadena City College became the first community college in southern California to offer an approved program for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants!

Students performing speech-language pathology exercise with balls across a table. Student interacting with children in field work at elementary school. Students listening attentively in class. QuickTime Player required

View the Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Program video to get an overview of this exciting career and the training and field work provided at PCC.

WHO ARE SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY ASSISTANTS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Speech-Language Pathology Asistants (SLPAs) are trained paraprofessionals who work under the supervision of licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologists, helping both children and adults with communication disorders to improve their speech and language skills. Under the supervision and direction of the Speech-Language Pathologist, SLPAs may conduct speech-language screenings, implement ongoing treatment and therapy plans, document client progress and assist the SLP during assessment and treatment. They may also assist in research projects and in maintenance of materials and equipment used during therapy.

A SLPA student in a "practice" therapy session while visiting Speech-Language Pathologist Joanna Cazden from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center looks on.

WHY ARE SLPAs NEEDED?

One in six Americans has a speech, hearing or language disorder. These disorders affect infants, children, adults and the elderly. A communication disorder may affect a person’s ability to pronounce sound intelligibly, to understand what is being said, to process and remember spoken information, to use appropriate vocabulary and grammar, to speak fluently without stuttering, or to use his voice appropriately. Accidents, illnesses, birth defects and substance abuse can all contribute to communication disorders. These disorders isolate people from their friends, family, and the community, and limit job and educational opportunities. Speech-Language Pathologists and their Assistants help these individuals to recover their ability to speak, understand and interact with others.

SLPA graduate Rachelle Fall (December, 2002) facilitates a therapy session with an individual with an Acquired Brain Injury

WHERE DO SLPAs WORK?

Speech-Language Pathology Assistants will be able to work wherever Speech-Language Pathologists work: in public schools (K-14) and day care centers, hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities and private practices. Opportunities for Speech Pathologists and their Assistants will expand in Los Angeles, as the population continues to grow and to age (Los Angeles Times, January 13, 2002). US News and World Report on February 18, 2002 reported that "…many schools already face a pressing shortage of bilingual SL Ps.."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (ASHA Leader, April 30, 2002) rated speech pathology among the "hottest" professions in the next decade "…with a 50% or more increase in jobs…" especially in California.  Our PCC SLPA graduates are currently employed in hospitals, public schools and private practices.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A DEGREE AND CERTIFICATE?

The SLPA program at Pasadena City College is a 60 unit, 2-year Associate Degree program approved by the Speech Pathology Licensing Board. Upon completion of the required curriculum, which includes supervised clinical fieldwork experience in both a public school and hospital/clinical setting, students will receive both a Certificate of Achievement as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant and an Associates degree. Students who already have a degree or have received General Education college credits may have some program requirements waived.  Contact the coordinator, Rosemary, or a PCC counselor for more information.