Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SPA) Program

Photo of a SLA clinician helping a child

This full time Speech Language Pathology Assistant educational program prepares individuals to work in a health or educational setting under a registered speech pathologist with at least two years of professional experience. Assistants generally work with equipment maintenance, patient assessment, paperwork and execution of speech pathologist treatment plans. Courses in this program are structured to provide students with background information, theories, principles and techniques for implementation of treatment plans and goals of speech, language, and hearing disordered individuals. The program supplements classroom instruction with required supervised clinical observation and practicum experiences in speech language pathology and audiology. Students will be assigned to off campus practicum sites for observation of clinical experiences and involvement in interdisciplinary team approaches to case management.

Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Upon successful completion of all academic and fieldwork requirements, students receive an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree.

Prior to enrolling in the Speech Language Pathology program, students are advised to review the applicable licensure / certification procedures and requirements and state laws of the professions to ensure that they are eligible to receive a license / certification following completion of the Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program at South Suburban College. Eligibility for licensure may be limited by the results of a criminal background investigation. Individuals who have been charged with or convicted of a felony and/or have had any other professional license revoked or suspended or has been found by any court to have committed malpractice, negligence or recklessness is advised to seek an EARLY DETERMINATION REVIEW from Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations to determine their eligibility for licensure/certification.

NOTE: Criminal background checks are required for all admitted students for fieldwork. Additionally, students may be subjected to fingerprinting and/or drug screening for specific fieldwork sites.

Admission Process

By admission process, all students must complete all SPA program and general education course requirements with a grade of “C” or better before entering the program.

  1. Prospective students should submit an SSC Application form and forward all high school (or High School Equivalency (HSE) transcripts, as well as official college transcripts to the Office of Admissions and Records for credit evaluation. General education course transcripts must be submitted prior to the start of the summer semester.
  2. Students that have completed the necessary prerequisite courses can submit the Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program Application form by mail or in person to the Health Professions Office in Room
    4457. Deadline for Program Applications is May 31st of the current year. Late applications will not be accepted.
  3. A photocopy of the student’s current health care insurance must be submitted to each respective program coordinator in order to participate at any clinical education site. Failure to maintain
    comprehensive health care insurance will result in the student being immediately withdrawn from the clinical site and thereby receiving a failing grade in the clinical education class. Furthermore, the student will be financially responsible to pay all medical bills and co-payments as a result of injuries or health issues that arise from participation of clinical education programs.

Admission to the Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program will be determined on a ranking of the grade point average (GPA) determined on the program prerequisites.

Priority for admission will be given to applicants who meet the application deadline. Program prerequisites must also be completed before the deadline to be considered for admissions. Be advised that Biology must be completed within the last 5 years to satisfy the program requirements. All students must be certified in CPR and hold a current card throughout the entire program.

The SPA program does not accept any outside courses for transfer credit related to this field.

Program Placement

The SPA program has a selective admissions process. Specific eligibility criteria are used to evaluate each applicant to admit those students with highest likelihood of success. Admissions to the Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program will be determined by the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or better for program prerequisites.
  2. Consideration will be given for individuals with college degrees in other areas as well as military and /or related work experience.
  3. Completion of general education courses with a “C” or better.

Admission to the College does not guarantee admission to the program.

Students will be notified of status by mail after June 30th.

All students must demonstrate a minimum math competency equivalent to Elementary Algebra (MTH 095) to fulfill the AAS degree requirement as well as complete all general education and SPA Program coursework with a “C” or better or they will be dismissed from the program.

Once admitted, students must present proof of CPR certification and maintain certification through the entire educational program, as well as complete a physical and submit to a criminal background check.