Speech Language Pathology program gives students purpose

Application period for next year begins April 2

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Since the first certificates were handed in 2006, the Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) program offered at Delta College has helped students find their purpose of helping others.

Speech language pathology is directed to patients or clients with communication disorders, assistance with speech, language, and hearing.

“Many people know about nursing or teaching but speech pathology is a combination,” said Sue Kidwell, director and educator of the SLPA program.

Students not able to attend school full time have an equal chance to partake in the SLPA program as part-time, compared to other programs like nursing where students must be in full-time.

“In two years, I will be a speech language assistant and am able to do it for less than what it is at UOP,” said student Kamryn Coleman, who is enrolled in the program.

The program is in partnership with schools like the University of the Pacific and many more, with a graduation rate of over 90 percent.

“Once students find their way into this, many students take that introduction to communication disorders class and that’s the puzzle piece that falls into place for students… They’ve been studying child development or have a degree in linguistics… students see this is what they want to do,” Kidwell said.

SLPA program also sets up its students for success by providing hands on experiences in the last parts of the program with schools, private practices and hospitals before students earn certificates.

“I want to be a speech pathologist at the end of everything. I am doing the program here because it would be the same thing, like l have a friend going and doing the program at UOP and we are doing the same thing and finishing at the same exact time,” said Coleman.

The application period begins April 2, but make sure you’re on time because spots fill up fast with 25 being on the waitlist this past fall semester.

For more information about the program and degree maps, visit the Speech Language Pathology assistant programs website at slpa.deltacollege.edu.