Best Online Associate in Speech Pathology Programs

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Published on January 7, 2022

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An associate in speech pathology program prepares students to diagnose and treat children's difficulties in learning, reading, writing, and communicating with other people. Graduates can serve as speech-language pathology assistants, working toward careers as speech-language pathologists as they complete additional education.

According to Payscale data from December 2021, speech-language pathology assistants earn an average annual wage of $41,360.

For additional flexibility, students can enroll in online programs. Regardless of delivery method, most associate in speech pathology programs require 60-64 credits and take four semesters of full-time study to complete.

Read on to learn more about what it takes to earn an online associate in speech pathology and what you can do after you graduate.

What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Speech Pathology Program?

If you have a passion for the art and science of communication and want to help children overcome their struggles in reading, writing, speaking, and learning, then a career as a speech-language pathology assistant could provide a good fit. An associate in speech pathology can lead to these careers.

Degree-seekers in these programs usually complete 60-64 credits of coursework over two years of full-time study.

In addition to core and elective courses, most programs include a clinical practicum as a capstone experience. Students usually complete around 100 clock hours of clinical fieldwork, which typically involves direct and indirect engagement with patients under the supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Speech Pathology Program?

Speech and Language Development

In this course, students learn how people of different ages acquire the ability to speak and communicate. Additional topics include the development of cognitive, perceptual, motor, and social skills.

Phonetics and Phonology

During this course, degree-seekers learn how to classify the various patterns of sounds in different languages and identify how humans naturally produce, transmit, and perceive different speech sounds.

Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology

This course teaches students about the physical arrangements of the internal and external structures of the body, along with the function of each body part and how they interact with each other.

Language Disorder and Treatment

In this course, students learn to identify different varieties and symptoms of language disorders and how to address these disorders through medical exams, language therapy, and psychological therapy.

Introduction to Behavior Management

In this course, learners study different behaviors of young children, identify various major behavior management techniques, and learn how to instill positive discipline.

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What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Speech Pathology Program?

Prospective students of an online associate in speech pathology program are required to submit proof of a high school or GED diploma, usually in the form of official transcripts. Most programs also require an application form, which prospective students can usually complete online.

Furthermore, most programs require 2-3 letters of recommendation from former high school teachers. Make sure to ask for these letters several months in advance so that teachers have adequate time to write them. You should primarily ask teachers who taught classes in which you did well.

Most undergraduate programs also require an application essay or personal statement. These are usually fairly short, often 500-700 words.

What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Speech Pathology Degree?

Career Outlook

Earning an online associate in speech pathology degree qualifies graduates for related roles in the fields of educational support, nursing care, home healthcare, general medicine, and in the corporate workplace.

However, the most common career option is speech-language pathology assistant. These professionals can pursue jobs in schools, hospitals, communities, private offices, and homes. According to Payscale data from December 2021, speech-language pathology assistants earn an average annual salary of $41,360.

Below, we list several possible careers for graduates with this degree. Keep in mind that many of these positions require additional education.

Career Paths

Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

A speech-language pathology assistant works under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist. These professionals assist in treating different communication disorders in both children and adults. They also perform other tasks, including screening patients, collecting patient records, and collaborating with certified speech-language pathologists in the implementation of a treatment plan.

Average Annual Salary: $41,360 (Payscale, as of Dec. 2021)


Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy assistants typically work in licensed occupational therapists' offices and hospitals and healthcare facilities that provide related services. Job duties include supporting patients in completing therapeutic activities and preparing treatment areas and equipment. These positions require a relevant associate degree.

Median Annual Salary: $60,950 (BLS, as of May 2020)


Communication Aides

Communication aides perform basic sign-to-voice reverse interpreting and help hearing-impaired employees or students through routine transliteration. Educational institutions also bring in communications aides to help teachers identify special needs of students in terms of communication and comprehension.

Average Annual Salary: $40,430 (Payscale, as of Dec. 2021)


English as a Second Language Instructors

ESL instructors help develop students' basic skills in reading, writing, and speaking the English language. ESL instructors and teachers also assess students' learning progress and learning disabilities, and help prepare some students for citizenship exams. They can work with children or adults.

Median Annual Salary: $55,350 (BLS, as of May 2020)


Speech Pathology Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

It is relatively common for graduates of online associate in speech pathology programs to continue their education and pursue advanced roles in the field. However, becoming a certified speech-language pathologist requires at least a master's degree, which means that prospective students must first complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited program.

Graduates with an online associate in speech pathology program can transfer their credits to a four-year university and enroll in a bachelor's in speech pathology program. But if a speech pathology bachelor's degree is not available, students can enroll in programs related to communication sciences and disorders, education, language development, linguistics, and psychology.

How Do I Choose an Online Associate in Speech Pathology Program?

Cost

The average cost of tuition and fees for online associate in speech pathology programs can vary by school, often ranging from $3,000-$15,000 over the course of two years. Online students can often save on costs like room and board and travel and can sometimes pay in-state tuition.

Program Format

Most online associate in speech pathology programs offer asynchronous classes, which is a more flexible learning setup, especially for working students. In asynchronous programs, distance learners do not have to attend scheduled online courses, instead completing assignments around their own schedules.

Students can also often choose between full-time or part-time study, helping them finish their online degree at their own pace and convenience.

Location

Online associate in speech pathology programs typically implement fully online classes, along with assignments, tests, and projects that can be completed through online platforms. However, most programs require students to conduct their clinical practicum experiences in actual healthcare venues, allowing them to directly interact with patients and work under the direct supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist.

Accreditation

Online associate in speech pathology programs should meet the standards and regulations for speech-language pathology assistant certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Prospective students should also only attend schools that hold regional accreditation, as this is the only way to receive federal financial aid.

Student Support

Along with learning from experienced faculty with diverse clinical backgrounds, students of online associate in speech pathology programs can also benefit from support services. Students may also request individualized online tutoring services and ask for help from their college's career experts and mentors. Many colleges can also help with internship placements.

Best Accredited Online Associate in Speech Pathology Programs

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College of Our Lady of the Elms true View School Profile Chicopee, MA

Located near Springfield, Massachusetts, the College of Our Lady of the Elms offers an associate in speech pathology that students can complete entirely online. Alongside general education requirements, degree-seekers complete specialization classes such as normal language development, rehabilitation of language disorders, and phonetics and phonology. Students also gain hands-on experience through clinical practicums.

Prospective students must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit official transcripts.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $595 per credit
  • Program Length: 21 months
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 64 credits
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Private
  • School Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Mitchell Technical Institute true View School Profile Mitchell, SD

Mitchell Technical Institute is a South Dakota-based school that offers an online associate in speech pathology. This online program acts as a pathway towards speech language pathology assistant certification and students can complete requirements in two years. Core classes include topics such as fundamentals of speech, intro to audiology, and adult communication disorders.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit to a criminal background check. Additionally, prospective learners must submit ACT scores.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $228-$243 per credit
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 65 credits
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Alexandria Technical & Community College true View School Profile Alexandria, MN

Alexandria Technical and Community College is home to an online associate in speech pathology that full-time students can complete in just four semesters. In addition to general education requirements, degree-seekers complete major classes like language development, speech sound disorders, and anatomy of speech. Over their final two semesters, students tackle a clinical practicum.

In addition to academic support, enrolled learners have access to online tutoring, counseling, and career services. ATCC requires applicants to hold a GRE certificate or high school diploma.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $205 per credit
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 60 credits
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Lake Region State College true View School Profile Devils Lake, ND

Established in 1941, Lake Region State College is a North Dakota-based school that offers an online associate in speech pathology. Core speech language pathology classes include topics such as introduction to speech language pathology, language theory and treatment, and language disorders and prevention. Before graduation, degree-seekers complete a minimum 100 hours of hands-on practicum experience.

Alongside a completed application, prospective students also submit two letters of recommendation and an admission essay outlining their reason for applying to the program.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-credit: $148 per credit
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 63 credits
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • School Accreditation: HLC
Oklahoma City Community College true View School Profile Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City Community College offers an online associate in speech pathology. In addition to general education requirements, degree-seekers complete speech and language classes such as phonetics, language disorders in the exceptional child, and introduction to speech sound disorders. Students complete 25 observation hours and 100 hours of hands-on clinical work.

While students complete major requirements online, OCCC does require enrolled learners to attend an in-person, two-day orientation. Prospective students must hold a high school diploma or GRE.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost-per-Credit: $101 per credit
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 61 credits
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Speech Pathology Programs

Is an associate degree in speech pathology worth it? true

Yes. An associate degree in speech pathology allows students to apply for assistant-level positions in the speech pathology field. These programs are often fairly affordable and usually take two years. This college-to-workforce pipeline is most helpful to working students and adults who are juggling responsibilities and need an entry-level professional job. Most associate degrees in speech pathology can be earned through fully online programs that deliver coursework asynchronously, providing a more affordable and accessible educational pathway for students.

How fast can I get an associate in speech pathology degree online? true

Students in online associate in speech pathology programs typically graduate after two years of full-time study. Most programs require 60-64 credits. Part-time students usually need longer to earn their degrees.

Is an online associate degree in speech pathology credible? true

Yes. An online associate degree in speech pathology is a credible pathway towards an assistant-level position in the field. It is typically a two-year program, although students can also maximize their workload every semester to earn their degree in less than 24 months. These programs can prepare graduates for a speech-language pathology assistant certification. Moreover, credits earned in completing courses in an online associate degree can be transferred to a four-year university or college.

How much money can I make with an associate in speech pathology?

Speech-language pathology assistants earn an average annual salary of $41,360, according to Dec. 2021 Payscale data. Keep in mind that salary potential can vary widely based on factors like experience, location, employer, and professional certifications.

Is an associate in speech pathology in high demand?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 29% job growth for speech-language pathologists between 2020 and 2030. This rate nearly quadruples the average projected growth rate (8%) for all occupations during that period. Per the official website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 42% of school-based speech-language pathologists and 32% of healthcare-based speech-language pathologists hire one or more speech-language pathology assistants. Speech-language pathology assistants jobs are also expected to increase in rural areas, where there is a shortage of workers in related fields.

Learn how to build your public speaking skills through a variety of proven tips and see how public speaking can enhance your career opportunities. Speech-language pathologists help people with communication and swallowing disorders. Learn how to become a speech pathologist. Research shows that people whose jobs center on assisting people tend to be the happiest. Here are some of the best careers for people who want to help others.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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