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Speech-language pathologists must hold a master's or doctoral degree to be eligible for certification, licensure, and practice as a speech-language pathologist. National certification is obtained through the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), which establishes the standards for certification. The CFCC awards the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), a nationally recognized professional credential.
In addition to program coursework and practicum requirements, the standards for the CCC-SLP include passing the Praxis® Exam in Speech-Language Pathology and completing the equivalent of 36 weeks (full time) of professional experience (the "Clinical Fellowship") post graduation. The Praxis Exam is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Speech-language pathologists must be licensed to practice in Illinois pursuant to the requirements of the Illinois Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act (225 ILCS 110). Passing the Praxis® Exam is a requirement for licensure in most states, including Illinois.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) offers a professional educator's license for speech-language pathologists. This credential is necessary to work in Illinois public schools. The requirements of the program include a school-based practicum that will prepare students to meet the requirements for this additional credential.