15. The Future of School Speech-Language Pathology

The ASHA policy statement, “Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists in Schools,” should become an ongoing advisory to all academic training programs to ensure these programs prepare school SLPs for effective service.  It should be incorporated into accreditation policies and procedures with feedback to the Membership so that members can comment on the progress made.  Such efforts should implement the following statement:

“Professional Preparation — SLPs must be fully prepared to meet the needs of the diverse student body they will be called upon to serve in the myriad roles and responsibilities outlined in this document. The range and complexity of student problems require at a minimum well-prepared, master’s level professionals with a strong knowledge base in speech-language/literacy development and speech-language/literacy disorder, as well as a strong skill set in diagnosis, intervention, and workload management at the pre-service level.  (emphasis mine) New or expanded roles may require high quality professional development for SLPs already in the schools.”


The ASHA Board of Directors needs to make sure academic programs implement this advice.  Sample course outlines should be developed and shared with academic program directors.  Where will reading be inserted into the curriculum?Prescribed clinical clock hours  should be devoted  to reading along with a long list of new critical skills.

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