Speech Language Pathologist
Speech language pathologists (SLP) play a critical role in the early learning of school aged children. A SLP’s role in a school is to prevent, assess, diagnose, treat and help children overcome challenges in communication. Speech language pathologists may work with children who may have communication difficulties brought upon by stuttering, swallowing disorders, hyperlexia and hearing loss.
A SLP’s relationship with a child can be very rewarding from meeting with the child to form a diagnosis and create a communications plan, to implementing the program and seeing the results of your hard work. In general, speech pathologists are employed at the district-level, which then assigns you to work with children in various schools in the communities that encompass the district.
Across the province, school districts are experiencing difficulties in recruiting and retaining speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Not only is there competition amongst districts to recruit SLPs, but other provinces (such as Alberta) and other sectors (such as health care) are also recruiting these professionals. Although many universities across Canada train SLPs, the supply is not meeting the demand.
Speech language pathologists in BC’s public schools are employed by individual school districts, and therefore fall under different collective agreements. Some are unionized and belong to the BCTF, whereas others fall under the “exempt” category.
Qualifications and Certification Details
Speech language pathologists practicing in BC schools are highly trained individuals holding Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Speech pathologists working in BC’s public schools must be certified by the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals in British Columbia.
Training and Educational Programs
The only program offered in BC is at the University of British Columbia, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences.