Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant?

A. Speech Language Pathology Assistants can increase the frequency, efficiency, and availability of services.  The SLP Assistant can assist the SLP by providing services in multiple settings and can assist with rehabilitation and restorative programs.  The use of assistants can increase access to care for diverse populations, and increase diversity in the work force by having different levels of entry into the profession.  The use of well-trained Speech Language Pathology Assistants will increase the frequency of services for people who experience communication disorders.

Speech Language Pathology Assistants have a clearly delineated scope of responsibilities which is much narrower than that of a certified professional.  They may provide therapy under a written protocol and direct supervision of a licensed SLP.  Assistants may perform hearing and speech-language screenings.  They may NOT make independent clinical decisions, conduct evaluations, make admission or discharge recommendations, counsel patients or prepare formal documentation.

Q. Is there a certification/licensure required to practice following completion of the program?

A. At the end of the final semester of the program, students take the North Carolina Registration exam for Speech Language Pathology Assistants. This exam is offered through Castle Worldwide with the results shared and reported to the North Carolina Speech-Hearing-Language Association (NCSHLA). Students who do not pass the registration exam may not work in the state of North Carolina as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant.

Please note:

  • Only Speech Language Pathologists (Masters Level) licensed by the Board of Examiners may register a Speech Language Pathology Assistant.

  • Speech Language Pathology Assistants must have the minimum of an Associate’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology Assisting or equivalent training as approved by the BOE.

  • There is no reciprocity between states for Speech Language Pathology Assistants at this time.


Q. What is the job outlook for Speech Language Pathology Associates?

A. According to the most recent data from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a nationwide membership survey in 2009 found that 42% of Speech Language Pathologists employed in schools reported having SLP support personnel and 32% of members in health care settings reported having at least one SLP support personnel employed.

Q. Will I need to enroll at both colleges?

A. Yes, students participating in the SLPA program will need to enroll at both CPCC and Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute. Both schools do have online applications accessible through the links provided.

Q. Will I need to travel to Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute to take courses in the program?

A. For most of the coursework, you can complete the SLPA program at CPCC without having to travel for classes to CCCTI. However, there will be some required hands-on activities/labs for which students will need to travel to CCCTI (typically 1-3 per semester). The dates will be listed on the class syllabus/schedule provided at the beginning of each semester to allow students time to plan accordingly. If students cannot attend on the scheduled date, they are asked to contact the instructor as soon as possible to discuss other options.

Required general education courses will be completed as usual at CPCC, and SLPA program-specific courses will be offered on CPCC's Central Campus via live participatory classes broadcast on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday mornings dependent upon the CCCTI semester schedule.

Q. What will be the format of the SLPA program-specific courses?

A. The SLPA courses will be broadcast live to a classroom on CPCC's Central Campus on Mondays from 8 AM-1 PM beginning in mid-August for the first fall semester and the second spring semester courses. For the first spring semester and second fall semester courses, the courses will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 AM-1 PM. Students at CPCC will be able to participate with the instructor and class from CCC&TI. Should there be technical difficulties, there will be a technician on hand to address any issues.

Q. Is there a clinical/fieldwork (hands-on) experience associated with this training?

A. Yes, there is a clinical/fieldwork experience associated with the SLPA program training. Students in the program will work with CCC&TI faculty and staff to arrange a clinical experience in the Charlotte metro area. Students accepted into the program will be expected to submit to a criminal background check and drug screenings as required for fieldwork placement. The costs associated with criminal background checks and drug screenings are the responsibility of the student.

Q. How do students purchase textbooks for this program?

A. Textbooks must be purchased either through CCC&TI's bookstore or through online vendors. The textbooks will not be available at the CPCC bookstore.

Q. Will incoming students be required to take placement tests?

A. The need for placement tests are determined by CCC&TI upon evaluation of official college transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, or official CPT scores from another college. Should placement tests be required, they can be taken through the CPCC Testing Center. However, students will need to request that an official copy be sent to CCC&TI. The requirement will not be meet until official documentation is received by CCC&TI.

Q. Are there any other requirements for students accepted to the program prior to starting the program?

A. Students in the program are expected to submit a completed student medical form including documentation of immunizations to CCC&TI on or before September 1st of the first semester of enrollment. Following acceptance, more information regarding this requirement will be provided.

Also, students in the SLPA program are required to be certified in Infant, Child and Adult CPR certification by successfully completing an American Heart Association Healthcare Provider course or an American Red Cross Professional Rescuer or Healthcare Provider course or a National Safety Council Healthcare Provider course. A copy of the current CPR certification should be submitted to CCC&TI on or before September 1st of the first semester of enrollment.

Students will also undergo a Minimum Admissions Requirements (MAR) Review through CCC&TI once all admissions requirements are met. This can be done virtually. To schedule the MAR review, please contact Amy Huffman, Coordinator, Health Sciences Admissions, at 828-726-2710 or

Q. Is financial aid available for the program?

A. Yes, financial aid is a possibility for the program. Students participating in this program should contact the Financial Aid department at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute to fill out forms to determine financial aid eligibility. Student financial aid will be awarded from CCC&TI and if awarded, this financial aid may also be applied to coursework at CPCC. Students seeking financial aid will only apply for financial aid through CCC&TI.

Q. What degree is awarded by the program?

A. Students who successfully complete all of the program requirements will earn an Associate's Degree from Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute.

Q. Is the program accredited?

A. At the state and national level, there is currently no accrediting body for Speech-Language Pathology Assistant programs at the Associate's degree level. Speech-Language Pathology Assistants in the state are regulated by the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

Q. What are the criminal background check and drug screen requirements?

A. Criminal Background Check and Drug screen: All accepted students are required to undergo a criminal background check and drug screen. Procedural information concerning these requirements will be provided upon acceptance.

  • Note: Criminal background checks (CBCs) and drug screens are required by clinical agencies/healthcare systems. If a student is refused access to clinical experiences because of a positive CBC or drug screen, the student will be unable to complete the clinical component of the course. Inability to complete the clinical requirements will result in a failure to progress in the program.

Under North Carolina law some people with criminal backgrounds may be eligible for an expunction to remove charges or convictions from their record. If you would like to know whether or not you are eligible, contact Single Stop at 704.330.2722 ext.: 6435 or email to schedule a legal consultation. To learn more about expunctions, explore the NC Justice Center’s guide.