The Department of Speech and Hearing Science at Arizona State University offers the Part-time Employment Program (PEP) with funding support from the Arizona Department of Education to assist school districts in meeting the critical need for qualified personnel in speech-language pathology. The PEP is a way to complete the master's in Speech Language Pathology over a three year period while working in the schools as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) or Speech Language Technician (SLT). Individuals admitted to ASU's Masters in Communication Disorders program attend afternoon classes twice a week during their first year and complete clinical training to be licensed as SLPAs in Arizona. The PEP students then complete the remaining master's coursework and clinical training over the following two years while working in the schools.
Individuals currently working in the schools as SLPAs or SLTs can apply to the master's program and complete the PEP. Once admitted to the master's program, individuals will need to arrange with their school district a part-time work schedule during the first year to accommodate courses and some clinical training, and district supervision by an ASHA-certified SLP.
The curriculum is designed to:
- Provide course work and practicum that meets the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification requirements and Arizona licensure requirements for an unrestricted license.
- Offer classes in the afternoons and evenings to allow individuals to work part-time during the first year of the master's program, and up to full-time during the remaining two years.
- Provide the same high standards for course work and practicum as traditional ASU master's students.
To apply to the Professional Enhancement Program, you must:
- Apply to the master's program.
- Indicate in your personal statement why you would like to be considered for the PEP master's program.
PEP Clinical Training
Clinical practicum hours are acquired in the public school work setting, ASU's speech and language clinics and hospital settings in the Phoenix metropolitan area. They are supervised by an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, coordinated by an ASU faculty member, and will include hours working with children and adults as required by ASHA. The majority of the clinical training is obtained in the work setting, therefore, PEP students need to be employed as speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) or speech-language technicians (SLTs), and there must be an ASHA certified SLP in the work setting to supervise some of the clinical hours.
The School District
The school district's participation includes:
- Identification of Speech Language Pathologists with the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence within the district to supervise practicum experiences in the work setting.
- Accommodate scheduling to allow classes twice a week during the first year and late afternoon/evening classes the second and third year.
- Provide part-time SLPA (or SLT) positions to qualified students who interview and meet your district needs/requirements.
- Exploring opportunities for grants, scholarships and work exchange agreements to assist with tuition, fees and books.
What is PEP?The Part-time Employment Program is a way to complete ASU's master's degree program in speech/language pathology while working part-time in the public schools. It offered by the Department of Speech and Hearing Science with funding support from the Arizona Department of Education to address the critical need for qualified speech language personnel in the schools. Once admitted to the master's program in communication disorders, students work part-time as Speech Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) or Speech Language Technicians (SLTs) while they complete their master's degree over a three year period.
How long is the program?The program is designed to be completed in three years and accommodate someone who is working part-time in the public schools during the first year and up to full-time as a SLPA or SLT during the second and third years of the master's program.
When will classes be held?During the first year, classes are held twice a week in the afternoons with additional class activities and assignments completed online. Clinical training is also completed during the first year and because of the intensity of coursework and clinical training students should plan on only working part-time during the first year. Master's courses in the following two years typically meet in the later afternoons and evenings which allow students to work up to full-time if needed. You will need to obtain your districts support for your participation in PEP to facilitate scheduling and attendance. Coursework and practicum with adults in hospital and clinic settings are completed during the summer sessions after your first and second years.
What do I do to indicate that I wish to participate in PEP?There are three things to do now:
- Complete the application to the ASU Graduate College & Department of Speech & Hearing Science (including taking the GRE).
- Indicate in your 300 word personal statement that is part of your application, your reasons for pursuing the PEP graduate study in speech language pathology.
- Discuss your interest with the special education director in your district if you are currently employed as a SLPA or SLT in the schools.
When do I apply?Applications must be received by January 15th and are considered with all other applicants to Arizona State University's masters program in speech/language pathology. It is important that you indicate in your personal statement that you are interested in pursuing the PEP.
How will I get my clinical training?PEP clinical practicum hours are acquired in the public school work setting, ASU's Speech and Language clinics, and hospital settings in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Your clinical training will be supervised by an ASHA-certified SLP and coordinated by an ASU faculty member. It will include hours with children and adults as required by ASHA. Because most of your training is completed on your job, you will need to be employed as a speech language pathology assistant or speech/language technician. Some students have jobs as SLPAs or SLTs when they apply; other students start the master's program and then interview for positions as SLPAs or SLTs with school districts affiliated with ASU.
What does my school district need to do?Once accepted into ASU's master's program in communication disorders, you will need to obtain your school district's support to accommodate part-time employment your first year in the program and scheduling to allow for late afternoon/evening classes your second and third year. You also need to identify a master's level, ASHA certified, Speech Language Pathology (SLP-CCC) within the district to supervise practicum experiences in the work setting. You may also want to explore opportunities for financial assistance from your district such as grant/scholarship opportunities and work-exchange agreements.
What if I have a bachelors degree in a different field?If you would like to apply to the PEP master's program, but you have earned your undergraduate degree in a field other than speech and hearing science, you will need to complete a year of leveling course work. This course work is fundamental to understanding the concepts of disorders and therapy that you will cover in the graduate program. Therefore it will take you a total of four years to earn the Master of Science in communication disorders as a PEP student. We offer a handout that details the options you have to satisfy the leveling requirements.
In addition to these leveling courses, you will also need to make sure you have taken at least one course in the fields of behavioral sciences, biological sciences, and physical sciences (chemistry or physics), as well as a statistics course. These additional competency requirements are required by the Council for Clinical Certification in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. If you have not already had these courses while working toward your bachelors' degree, you will need to take them before you finish your master's in speech pathology.
Who can I contact for more information?You can contact Vicky Bellendir.