Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) work directly with students with communication challenges in public school settings under the supervision of a fully qualified and nationally certified speech-language pathologist (MA-SLP, CCC). SLPAs have a significant role in enhancing the quality of services for children and adolescents that need support for speech, communication, reading, and writing. This certificate program provides the opportunity to meet the requirements for SLPA authorization in the state of Colorado only, through the Colorado Department of Education, to work in Colorado public schools. The education provided in the Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) Certificate program is not guaranteed to always meet educational requirements for authorization in other states as each state has variable criteria for practice. Students are encouraged to contact the appropriate state licensing board in the state they wish to practice to determine applicability. Successful completion of the SLPA certification program through SLHS can also apply towards ASHA National SLPA Certification requirements, given successful completion of the ASHA SLPA national certification exam. 

Candidates develop the knowledge and skills to work under the supervision of a certified SLP in the public school setting with ages birth–21. This certificate is appropriate for individuals with a BA in speech, language and hearing sciences (SLHS); those completing a BA in SLHS (enrolled in their last semester of senior year at CU); or individuals with a BA in another field, who have completed or are completing equivalent leveling coursework (24 hours) through an approved SLHS department. See coursework required as listed under the "Apply" section of the department website.

The Colorado Department of Education currently provides a legislated statewide credential for SLPAs who meet qualifications to provide intervention services and supports, under the supervision of a qualified MA CCC-SLP provider. For additional information, please search for SLPA authorization on the Colorado Department of Education website. Acquisition of this SLPA license in Colorado does not necessarily transfer to all other states and it is recommended students inquire if applicable credentials exist in other states in which they intend to seek employment as an SLPA.

This certification program at CU Boulder was developed as a BA Plus program to address shortages of qualified personnel and extend the intensity of services to special education students, especially in high-need districts and rural areas in Colorado where there is an ongoing paucity of qualified professional related service providers. This was made possible through ongoing collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education, BOCES Boards throughout Colorado, and our university and district school partners. Many interested students complete the program as part of their residency in Colorado as they complete their BA to gain additional experience in speech-language pathology prior to applying for a MA degree. Others in rural or high needs areas see this online opportunity to continue their education and work as an SLPA as they prepare to move on to graduate school through distance learning programs as they work close to home without moving. Out of state BA students also apply to the program as an opportunity to continue their education as courses are offered remotely with onsite internships experience in their own state.

At this time, this program may not meet the educational requirements for SLPA certification or licensure in states other than Colorado. Students residing outside of Colorado are encouraged to consult the speech-language pathology and audiology board in their state prior to applying or enrolling in the program. Out-of-state students are considered only if they can arrange a local internship in a public school setting with an MA-SLP, CCC.


Admission Requirements

The program is competitive and requires complete applications in electronic format. Preference for in-state students and especially qualified students in rural areas is given. A specific number of seats are reserved for Colorado students who qualify and are sponsored by BOCES to participate in the program. Out-of-state students are considered only if they can arrange a local internship in a public school setting in their own state with a MA CCC-SLP.

Required GPA of 3.0 or above.

Education Requirements

Completion of one option below:

  • Last semester SLHS senior (students may be enrolled in a maximum of 2 required prerequisite courses concurrently with the SLPA program, although enrollment in only one is preferred).
  • BA in SLHS.
  • BA in a field other than SLHS with completion of 24 credits of "leveling" prerequisite coursework in SLHS.

Prerequisites or "Leveling" Coursework

The courses listed below are offered by the SLHS department at CU Boulder. Equivalent courses from other universities will also meet these requirements, if approved by the program director. These requirements are consistent with the Colorado Department of Education SLPA Authorization

LING 3100Language Sound Structures3
or SLHS 3006 Phonetics
SLHS 3106Hearing Science3
SLHS 3116Anatomy, Physiology, and Science of Speech3
SLHS 4502Language Disorders Across the Lifespan3
SLHS 4512Speech Disorders Across the Lifespan3
SLHS 4560Language Development3
SLHS 4704Audiological Evaluation3
SLHS 4714Audiological Rehabilitation3
SLHS 4918Introduction to Clinical Practice (Requires documentation of 25 hours of observation of ASHA-certified SLPs)2

Required Courses and Credits

Students will register for two courses to be taken in the semester for which they have been admitted. These courses are as follows:

SLHS 5032Competencies and Strategies for the SLPA3
SLHS 5930Speech Language Pathology Assistant Internship 14