Communication Sciences and Disorders

Do you want to make a significant difference in people’s lives and help give them a voice? In a world where communication is key to being successful, personally and professionally, it’s more important than ever to be able to effectively communicate and advocate for yourself. Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) help people of all ages, by preventing, assessing, diagnosing, and treating speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech Language Pathology Assistants (SLPA) perform tasks prescribed, directed, and supervised by an ASHA-certified SLP. Enroll in our Communication Sciences and Disorders program today to begin making a difference in the lives of others.

Our program prepares students for a career as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant. It includes a comprehensive curriculum, observation and clinical experience working with a variety of individuals with communication disorders across the lifespan. In addition to practical coursework, this program provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience by working with clients under the direction and supervision of an ASHA-certified Speech Language Pathologist. 

Start making a difference in people’s lives. Enroll in a Communication Sciences and Disorders program today!  

Students at any Maricopa Community College may need to complete courses at more than one of our colleges.

To be employed in this field, you must be licensed by the state and meet all state requirements for licensure. Licensure requires a minimum of sixty semester credit hours of course work with the following curriculum content: 20-40 semester credit hours of general education, 20-40 semester credit hours of speech-language pathology technical coursework, and a minimum of 100 hours of clinical interaction that does not include observation, under the supervision of a licensed master’s level SLP.

It is important to note that the Certificate of Completion (CCL) as a stand-alone credential is not sufficient to meet state licensure requirements. If you have already completed an associate or bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, pursuing the CCL may be the appropriate option for you. However, if you do not already have a degree, you should complete the Associate in Applied Science degree. In addition, only the AAS degree meets the requirements for federal financial aid.

All SLPA courses are taught by instructors who currently work in the industry and are using the latest technology and trends. Our faculty share their personal knowledge and experience to prepare you to work in this very diverse industry that blends behavior management, data collection, and teaching.

EMCC curriculum provides training in therapy techniques for the areas of articulation, phonology, receptive, expressive and pragmatic language as well as behavior management, ethics, and clinical documentation. During the program, SLPA’s participate in clinical observations and a practicum designed to provide hands-on experience in carrying out the tasks learned within the coursework.

The EMCC SLPA program is the only program in the state of Arizona to offer an AAS degree that contains the three educational components needed to meet Arizona licensure requirements.

When you enroll in the Speech Language Pathology Assistant program, you become part of the Teacher Education Institute at EMCC, which helps students succeed by offering educational networks, scholarships, internships, and other professional opportunities within their selected field of study. Take a look Inside the Program for a glimpse at what you can expect as a Teacher Education student.

Special requirements: Practicum


The SLPA program is a workforce training program. It is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to work as an SLPA under the supervision of an SLP. It is not designed to be a pathway into the undergraduate and graduate programs for communication disorders. Those are separate training specialty areas. Some classes may transfer to universities as electives, but they do not typically substitute for courses to receive a degree in speech-language pathology. For those interested in pursuing upper-level undergraduate and graduate degrees in communication disorders, it can be helpful to work as an SLPA due to the related nature of the field. Potential students interested in the upper-level degrees should discuss their academic pathway with the EMCC advisor and program director.


Mandatory Orientation

Attendance at an orientation is the mandatory first step for admission to the SLPA Program. During the orientation, you will receive information about becoming an SLPA, the AAS and CCL programs, transfer possibilities, and the Program Application and Admission process.

There will be time at the end to cover any additional questions you have about the program. Please arrive on time and the orientation will last between 1.5 and 2.0 hours depending on questions.

To sign up for orientation, complete this Google form to sign up.

You can email the SLPA Program Director or Advisor with any questions.

SLPA Program Admissions

Apply for Program Admission: After reviewing the admission process and enrolling at EMCC, complete your admission application.

COMPLETE APPLICATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Fall Applications open the first Monday of February (prior to the fall semester you want to start).   

Spring Applications open the first Monday of September (prior to the spring semester you want to start).

The application window will close once the cohort and waitlist are filled.

Additional Information


To participate in observations and a practicum, clinical and educational sites require you to have an Identify Verified Fingerprint (IVP) clearance card prior to completing observations and practicum in their setting. To begin the process, contact the Arizona Department of Public Safety to schedule an appointment to apply for a card. If you have questions, call (302-223-2279) or visit the AZDPS website.

Speech Language Pathology Assistants

ASHA Assistant’s Certification

SLPA Scope of Practice


Additional Resources on Qualified Providers