Course work in Speech Language Pathology Assistant to begin at BCCC | Beaufort County Now | Beaufort County Community College has been approved to offer course work in the field of Speech Language Pathology Assistant, a high demand field that will provide many job opportunities for area residents, college officials announced this week.

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    Beaufort County Community College has been approved to offer course work in the field of Speech Language Pathology Assistant, a high demand field that will provide many job opportunities for area residents, college officials announced this week.

    Courses in the Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program are scheduled to begin in the Fall 2013 Semester in cooperation with Fayetteville Technical Community College.

    "This agreement between Beaufort County Community College and FTCCC will provide a new career path for area residents who are interested in a health services career," said Dr. Barbara Tansey, BCCC president. "As in other health services careers, jobs are in high demand for speech language pathology assistants in several settings."

    "BCCC is proud to offer this course of study for residents of northeastern North Carolina,* she said.

    The Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program will be part of the Allied Health curriculum at BCCC that includes Associate Degree and Practical Nursing and Medical Laboratory Technology. BCCC also offers Emergency Medical Technician basic through paramedic, Health Unit Coordinator, Therapeutic Massage, Pharmacy Technician and Nurse Aide courses through its Division of Continuing Education.

    As with other Allied Health curriculum programs offered at BCCC and FTCC, students must apply for admission.

    The deadline for applications to health programs is Wednesday, Jan. 30. However, FTCC will accept applications to the Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program from BCCC-based students after that date, according to Charisse Gainey, department chair at FTCC.

    Once under way, the BCCC-based program will be the only Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program in northeastern North Carolina, according to Wesley Beddard, dean of instruction at BCCC.

    A Speech Language Pathology Assistant helps a licensed Speech Language Pathologist provide services to clients who need speech therapy.

    Assistants usually conduct therapy sessions as prescribed by the speech language pathologist, prepare materials for therapy, schedule patients and maintain patient files and equipment.

    Speech language pathologist assistants are in high demand and those who complete their studies have several areas in which to work including school systems, private practices, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and, occasionally, nursing homes.

    "There is a real need for these professionals in many settings," Beddard said. "This program is an excellent choice for someone interested in a career in a high-demand health services field."

    FTCC established its program in 1997. It is one of the few offered by a community college in North Carolina.

    Upon acceptance in the program, students take two years to complete the course work, after which they receive an associate*s degree in applied science in speech language pathology assisting.

    Graduates may then take the N.C. Registration Examination for Speech Language Pathology Assistants. After passing the exam, they are eligible to register and practice under a licensed speech language pathologist. Currently, the average salary for a speech language pathology assistant ranges between $23,000 and $35,000 a year.

    An associate's degree in the program requires 66 credit hours and includes coursework in anatomy and physiology, phonetics and speech patterns, mathematical models, behavior modification, developmental disorders and acquired disorders as well as clinical field work.

    About one-third of the coursework required for the degree is available for BCCC students to take either before or after they apply for admission to the program. These courses will be taught by BCCC faculty. FTCC speech language pathology assistant courses will be taught by FTCC faculty based on the BCCC campus.

    As a result, students from eastern North Carolina will be able to obtain this degree without having to travel to Fayetteville, Beddard said.

    More information about the program, including the process for applying for admission to the program, is available by contacting Charisse Gainey by telephone at (910) 678-8492 or by email at

   Beaufort County Community College is a public comprehensive community college committed to providing accessible and affordable quality education, effective teaching, relevant training, and lifelong learning opportunities for the people served by the College.. Information about the Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program and curriculum is available at the FTCC website at www.faytechcc.edu. FTCC health programs application information is available at www.faytechcc.edu/admissions/HEALTHPROGRAMS.asp.

   Beaufort County Community College is a public comprehensive community college committed to providing accessible and affordable quality education, effective teaching, relevant training, and lifelong learning opportunities for the people served by the College.
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