Speech Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) are important support personnel who play a key role in the field of communication sciences and disorders. As the client base for communication disorders grows and diversifies, there is a continuous need for service providers, including SLPAs. Given the notable shortage of skilled communication sciences and disorders professionals and the advantages that assistants can provide, exploring SLPA career decision making is especially timely and important. The current study surveyed 75 students enrolled in SLPA programs across the United States via an online 12 question survey tool, regarding their demographics, reasons for choosing to become an SLPA, and anticipated work setting(s). Results of the study indicated that SLPA students were often identified as non-traditional students who, in addition to having diverse educational backgrounds, were working either full-time or part-time jobs while completing their education. Results of the current study revealed that the primary motivating factor that contributed to the students’ decision to pursue a career as an SLPA was the desire to work in a helping profession. The school setting was the most anticipated work setting of SLPA students upon graduating from their program; however, the majority (60%) of current SLPA students planned to pursue a master’s degree to become a speech-language pathologist in the future. Understanding the demographics of SLPA students and identifying the motivating factors specific to their career choices may be advantageous in the warranted recruitment process within the field of communication sciences and disorders.
Wells, Nicole; Osmelak, Danielle; Riccelli, Angela M.; and NIGAM, RAVI
"Motivating Factors Contributing to Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Students’ Choice of Career Path,"
Journal of Applied Disciplines: Vol. 1:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://opus.govst.edu/jad/vol1/iss1/4