Monthly Archives: August 2013

6. Role of ASHA BOD in the Curriculum Process?

We continue to explore how ASHA’s “curriculum process” works or is supposed to work to keep school practice up-to-date. The evidence points to failures of follow- through.

We pose two questions:

How are school curriculum trends identified, studied, described as course topics, and approved for implementation at the 300 or so national academic centers?

How does ASHA ensure that the academic centers are following through on their responsibilities to the public to sustain best practices in schools?

ASHA Board of Directors

We have already established that the Board of Directors — BOD — is responsible for curriculum but its procedures are murky. Course topics are identified and years go by with no action. BOD authority is stated in the ASHA Bylaws:
“The Board of Directors is the single governing body of the Association and shall actively promote the objectives of the Association, operating in accordance with and administering and implementing the programs and policies established by these Bylaws and by the Board of Directors. Members of the Board of Directors are elected to serve by and are accountable to the members of the Association.”
In spite of the fact that ASHA sponsors innumerable sub-units they are all responsible to BOD:
“The Board of Directors may establish and dissolve standing committees, boards, councils, ad hoc committees, working groups, and other entities necessary to conduct the Association’s business, and designate and change their charges and determine their size, member qualifications, and terms.”
Recently, ASHA has sought to reorganize to better serve members.

In July of 2012, from what we gather, ASHA’s executive director became Chief Executive Officer (CEO Update, July 17, 2012, online) Elsewhere: “The Chief Executive Officer serves as Ex Officio on the Board of Directors.”*

“**”7.2. Chief Executive Officer

7.2.1. The Chief Executive Officer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and shall serve at the pleasure of the Board. The Chief Executive Officer serves as the chief administrative officer of the Association. The Chief Executive Officer monitors work assigned to the National Office staff and provides periodic reports to the Board of Directors. The Chief Executive Officer shall supervise and have general charge of all operating functions and activities of the Association and shall be charged with carrying out the policies, programs, orders, and resolutions of the Board of Directors. The Chief Executive Officer may employ, discharge and supervise, and determine the compensation of, employees of the Association. The Chief Executive Officer shall perform such other duties and shall have such other authority and powers as the Board of Directors may from time to time prescribe, shall keep the Board of Directors, officers, and committees of the Association fully informed as to the business and affairs of the Association and shall consult freely with them concerning its business and affairs.”


5. Who In ASHA is Responsible for Curriculum Development?

We have documented the  large gap between ASHA’s expectations for school practice and its capacity to prepare graduate students to meet those expectations. ASHA relies on continuing education programs to close the gap, or sheer SLP effort to compensate for what was never learned in school.  Who is responsible for the ASHA curriculum process?

The answer is simple. The Board of Directors. Of the 17 members, the President is the Chair and coordinates “… the functions of the Board of Directors..” Thus the president is on the line for keeping school speech-language curriculum up-to-date.

We use the word “curriculum” because it has universal meaning to all of us. SLPs in their graduate programs have courses containing content and practice requirements for skill development. ASHA is the accreditation and certification body responsible for the SLP curriculum. ASHA sets the standards for accreditation and certification. Curriculum is central to both.

“curriculum [kəˈrɪkjʊləm]
n pl -la [-lə], -lums

1. (Social Science / Education) a course of study in one subject at a school or college
2. (Social Science / Education) a list of all the courses of study offered by a school or college
3. any programme or plan of activities” Free Dictionary

We would expect ASHA to maintain an orderly and transparent process by which the SLP curriculum is kept up-to-date without burdening school SLPs with continuing education requirements.

ASHA Reorganization

In 2007 an ad hoc committee of important ASHA members made seven recommendations for the reorganization to create a single governance structure for improved efficiency. First the proposal...”Gives the responsibility for policy making and budget approval to the BOD.”