Continuing Education for Speech Language Pathologists

Continuing education — or CE — is an important part of your ongoing professional development as a speech-language pathologist (SLP). States require that professionals earn CE credits — or CEs — in order to ensure a professional workforce that remains up to date on current knowledge and practices. Requirements as to the frequency and amount of CE vary from state to state.

Rules surrounding the amount and types of CE are generally regulated by some sort of state board — most likely whichever organization you send your license renewal fee to. Check your board’s website to see what types of CE are acceptable and how many credits you will need. Many states accept courses from:

  • American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • American Academy of Audiology (AAA)
  • State or local groups affiliated with national organizations like AAA or  ASHA

If you hold a license in both audiology and SLP, your board will likely require you to earn CEs in both areas.

CE Courses Offer a Broad-Based Education

Licensing boards often allow you to develop your skills in both “professional” and “related” areas. Professional areas can be thought of as what you do clinically every day, such as:

  • Further study of normal processes in SLP
  • Assessment of speech, voice, language, hearing, and swallowing disorders
  • Treatment of speech, voice, language, hearing, and swallowing disorders
  • Communication skills — both SLP-patient and SLP-other provider

Related subject areas may refer to things such as:

  • Legal issues
  • Billing issues and practices
  • Research
  • Supervising other SLPs
  • Opening an independent practice
  • Health care, law, ethics, and professional responsibility

Most Boards Allow You to Choose CE Courses Based on Your Learning Style

We all learn differently. Some of us like to read, while others are more auditory learners. CEs can often be obtained in many different ways, including:

  • Course credits as part of a degree program
  • Formal continuing education courses or workshops
  • Independent study
  • Mentoring
  • Presentations at AAA or ASHA meetings
  • Providing CEs or in-services for other professionals
  • Publishing/editing academic articles or a textbook
  • Self-study that could include developing your own learning objectives and plan, watching prerecorded courses, or listening to audiotapes

CE is going to be part of your professional practice throughout your career and offers you the chance to further your knowledge and skills after your formal degree training.

Speech Language Pathology Jobs from

By Pat F. Bass III, M.D., M.S., M.P.H.


Pat Bass

Pat is a board certified General Internist and Pediatrician He has served as a reviewer for leading national publications including Pediatrics, the Journal of General Internal Medicine and the Annals of Internal Medicine. Pat is also the asthma guide to, a New York Times Company. Learn more about Pat on Google+