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Part-time Employment Program

The Part-time Employment Program (PEP) is supported by funding from the Arizona Department of Education to assist school districts in meeting the critical need for qualified personnel in speech-language pathology. The PEP is a way to complete the master's program in communication disorders over a three year period while working in the schools as a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) or speech-language technician (SLT). Individuals admitted to ASU's communication disorders master's program attend afternoon classes twice a week during their first year and complete clinical training to be licensed as SLPAs in Arizona. The PEP students then complete the remaining master's coursework and clinical training over the following two years while working in the schools.

Individuals currently working in the schools as SLPAs or SLTs can apply to the master's program and complete the PEP. Once admitted to the master's program, individuals will need to arrange with their school district a part-time work schedule during the first year to accommodate courses and some clinical training, and district supervision by an ASHA-certified SLP.


The curriculum is designed to:

  • Provide coursework and practicum that meets the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification requirements and Arizona licensure requirements for an unrestricted license.
  • Offer classes in the afternoons and evenings to allow individuals to work part-time during the first year of the master's program, and up to full-time during the remaining two years.
  • Provide the same high standards for coursework and practicum as traditional ASU master's students.


To apply to the Professional Enhancement Program, you must:

  1. Apply to the master's program.
  2. Indicate in your personal statement why you would like to be considered for the PEP master's program.

PEP Clinical Training

Clinical practicum hours are acquired in the public school work setting, ASU Speech and Hearing Clinic and hospital settings in the Phoenix metropolitan area. They are supervised by an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, coordinated by an ASU faculty member, and will include hours working with children and adults as required by ASHA. The majority of the clinical training is obtained in the work setting, therefore, PEP students need to be employed as speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) or speech-language technicians (SLTs), and there must be an ASHA certified SLP in the work setting to supervise some of the clinical hours.

The School District

The school district's participation includes:

  • Identification of speech-language pathologists with the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence within the district to supervise practicum experiences in the work setting.
  • Accommodate scheduling to allow classes twice a week during the first year and late afternoon/evening classes the second and third year.
  • Provide part-time SLPA (or SLT) positions to qualified students who interview and meet your district needs/requirements.
  • Exploring opportunities for grants, scholarships and work exchange agreements to assist with tuition, fees and books.