The Speech-Language Pathology Profession
Speech and language disorders affect the way people talk and understand. These disorders may range from simple sound substitutions to not being able to use speech and language at all. Speech-language pathologists are specialists in human communication, its development, and its disorders. They are professionally educated to evaluate and treat persons with communication problems.
Speech-language pathologists provide many specialized professional services which include:
- helping people with articulation disorders learn proper production of speech sound;
- assisting people who stutter to increase the amount of fluent speech and to cope with this disorder;
- assisting people with aphasia to re-learn language and speech skills and sentence order to compensate for lost language and speech skills;
- counseling people with speech and language disorders and their families to understand their disorder to achieve normal communication in education, social and vocational settings; and
- helping people understand the types and severity of communication disorders.
Employment and Career Opportunities
Speech-language pathologists are employed by public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing care facilities, community clinics, colleges and universities, private offices, state and local health departments, state and federal governmental agencies.
Career growth options are in specialty practice areas in gerontology and pediatrics, university instruction, program administration, and consulting.
The La Roche College-Duquesne University Affiliation
In this program, students majoring in speech-language pathology complete a pre-professional program at La Roche College (designed to take a minimum of four semesters), and then transfer to Duquesne University to complete their professional phase in speech-language pathology (designed to take another three half years). Students who successfully complete this program earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences after successful completion of year four, and a Master of Speech-Language Pathology degree upon completion of the program; both degrees are awarded from Duquesne University.
Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the certification examination leading to a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In many states a license is also required. Specialized teacher certification may be required to work in public schools.
Admission to the Speech-Language Pathology Program
All students admitted to La Roche College who intend to major in Speech-Language Pathology will be initially designated as "Speech-Language Pathology candidates". Speech-Language Pathology candidates will be automatically considered for full admission to the Speech-Language Pathology major upon completion of the second semester of courses at La Roche College.
Prospective students to the program must have earned a minimum SAT score (Verbal and Math) of 1100, or a minimum ACT score of 24. Prospective students must have earned a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 The high school curriculum must have included at least:
- 4 Units of English
- 1 Unit in Social Studies or Foreign Language
- 7 Units in Math and Science
- 4 Electives
In addition, prospective students must demonstrate evidence of extracurricular activities during high school. The pre-professional phase is completed at La Roche College in two years. The completion of the La Roche College phase requires taking a minimum of two courses at Duquesne University. Students are expected to provide their own transportation. Students then apply to Duquesne University for the professional phase. La Roche College is guaranteed an allotment of three students every year. In event that more than three students have entered the program, only the top three will be allowed admission to Duquesne University. These students must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Science/Math courses, with no course grade below a "C". Students must also be recommended by the pre-professional committee consisting of La Roche College Science faculty.
Students with prior college credits who are admitted as transfer students to La Roche College may express their intent to major in speech-language pathology. Each student will be evaluated individually by the Coordinator of Health Science Programs.
Admission to Duquesne University
Through the Chairperson of the La Roche Pre-professional Health Committee, a La Roche speech-language pathology major must submit a Duquesne University Application for Undergraduate Admissions by December 1st for consideration for the following fall semester at Duquesne, along with additional required documentation (which the student will be informed of during a health sciences orientation at La Roche College).
Academic requirements for admission to Duquesne University for the professional phase of the speech-language pathology program include:
- successful completion of all pre-professional course work with a 3.0 cumulative QPA at La Roche College, and a "C" or better in all courses
- recommendation by the La Roche Pre-professional Health Committee
- documentation of current C.P.R. Certification (including adult, infant, and child CPR)
- completion of a physical examination and other health requirements
To complete the Pre-Professional phase the following coursework is required:
- 28 credits of Science and Math courses
- 6 credits of Speech Language Pathology courses to be taken at Duquesne University
- 30 additional credits designed to fulfill most of Duquesne Core Curriculum. This will include a Theology and Global Diversity course to be selected by the student (see program guide for courses that will fill this requirement).