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The main goal of a speech language pathology major program is to prepare graduates to work with both children and adults with speech and hearing disorders. They must be able to diagnose disorders, understand how they work, identify how they may affect individuals and devise treatment plans. Most online undergraduate degree programs in speech pathology lead to a Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology.
Speech pathology deals with disorders relative to hearing and speaking language, including articulation and pronunciation issues that are a result of poor hearing, physical defects, disease or regional dialect. Students take online courses that include the following:
- Language, hearing and speech development
- Basic audiology
- Articulation and phonetics
- Speech and language science
- Speech and language disorders
- Communication disorders in literature
- Treating children with communication disorders
- Language disorders in children
- Hearing loss prevention
- Professional issues in speech and language pathology
Students usually need to complete an internship in addition to regular courses. This internship can be completed at a school or hospital local to the student, although it must first be approved through the college hosting the online program. Under the supervision of a speech language pathologist, students are expected to apply classroom theories and speech pathology techniques to help patients manage or overcome language or speech disorders.
Online bachelor's degree programs in speech pathology allow students to complete programs at the time that's best for them, without worrying about attendance, from anywhere with access to the Internet. Typically, students access coursework via an interface such as Blackboard. This forum allows peer interaction, materials acquisition and assignment submission through one unified site.
Opportunities could be found with K-12 schools, nursing homes, home health care services and private practices. Some job positions for those with a bachelor's degree include:
- Speech language pathology assistant
- Entry-level speech therapist or counselor
- Hearing assistive technology specialist
Online bachelor's degree programs for speech pathology can be used as a platform to pursue graduate-level degrees in this field, which are required for licensure and most professional options. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), a master's degree is usually required to become a speech language pathologist.
Online speech pathology bachelor's degree programs prepare students for work in the field of speech pathology, or to continue on to graduate degree programs. An internship is usually required for completion of the program.