One of the most popular questions and concerns I get from readers is ‘If I get my degree overseas, will I qualify to work in the States?’ For those US speechies out there, I can reassure you– YES YOU WILL!
There are a few different options for transferring your degree and/or professional qualifications in the field back to the States, however, I am going to focus specifically on United States citizens who obtained their Master’s in the UK and the process involved in transferring the degree back to the State’s to complete your CFY and obtain your license/CCC-SLP! ***Please note, this is solely based on my personal experience and research and the information I provide is meant to support you in your own research about the process. Please make sure to thoroughly investigate any and all questions you have prior to making any decisions about your educational path!
If you have completed your degree overseas and are already licensed/certified in that country and wishing to work in the States, visit my page which gives an overview of the process through the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) route.
So you got your degree. Now what?!
Before searching for a CF position…
Step 1: Take a look at the general requirements listed on ASHA’s page for internationally educated applicants.
Step 2: Have your degree and credentials evaluated by an outside agency. ASHA provides a list of these agencies. Once approved, your UK Master’s degree will be recognized as equivalent to a US Master’s from an accredited university and you’ll be eligible for a CF position.
Step 3: Apply for your ASHA Certification. Even though you will be notified by ASHA that you are still required to complete X amount of steps before getting your CCC-SLP, they will clear your education requirements from the start so that you don’t have to worry about this being an issue when it comes time for you to get those Cs!
*Tip: Though ASHA requires you to have your degree evaluated by an outside agency, they have to do their own evaluation too. This is why they require submission of course descriptions/syllabi) of every course/module you took. This will allow ASHA to cross-check that the UK courses covered the same material as the US courses. I recommend getting the application process started as soon as possible so that your education is approved from the get-go and you have peace of mind that all hours for your CF will 100% be recognized and there is no further delay with obtaining your CCC-SLP when the time comes.
Step 3: Find a CF position! Make sure you meet all other requirements for the State you are applying for a CF in before proceeding as all States are different! For example, in NYC (where I did my CF) I was only required to have my Master’s. However, some States may require you to have a provisional license or to have completed the PRAXIS already. So double check!
During your CFY…
Step 4: Apply for licensure. As previously noted, different States may require a different timeline for when you are required to apply for your license so research this prior to starting your CF. However, from personal experience, I suggest applying for it once you have decided where you are doing your CFY/have secured a position. The reasons are similar to why you should apply for your ASHA certification from the get-go. Because A) the process takes FOREVER and even longer as an international applicant so you will want to avoid any further delay when it comes time to get your license and B) the state will also have to approve your education as equivalent (and they will but you will want that sense of security as you start your CF). This process will most likely require you to complete a few extra steps which may or may not be noted in the general application procedure (e.g.– getting paperwork signed off by the Program Director of your uni and submitting course descriptions. So similar to ASHA’s extra steps).
Step 5: Study for and take the PRAXIS! I spent approximately 3 months studying for the PRAXIS. I took it around month 9 of my CFY (which took me 10 months total to complete) and the official scores were ready just in time for ASHA and licensure submission!
Step 6: You’ve passed the PRAXIS–You’re applications went through–You completed your CFY–You’re now a certified and licensed SLP!!!
-Keep a personal record of your observation and clinical hours as it will come in handy when justifying your practicum hours as equivalent to US accredited programs.
-Print out all forms required for Program Directors at your university to sign-off on and have them complete and submit these forms following completion of the program and prior to returning home. It’s a lot easier to take care of this in the UK then it is from the other side of the pond!
-I can’t emphasize enough that you should apply ASAP for ASHA certification and your State’s licensure between the time you obtain your Master’s and start your CFY. Yes, it is annoying that you will have to pay for these credentials nearly a year in advance before you can actually obtain them, however, it will greatly reduce the amount of headaches you may have to deal with if you wait till you’re nearly done with your CF. I speak from personal experience. I submitted my ASHA and licensure application in January 2017 thinking it would be enough time. I finished EVERYTHING by March 2017. I received my CCC-SLP from ASHA in April 2017 (so not terrible) but wasn’t licensed in NY until JUNE 2017! So it took an extra 3 months of headaches before I was recognized as a licensed SLP in NY. Veryyyy frustrating but it all worked out in the end : )
Good luck in all your international SLP endeavors!!!