17. ASHA Curriculum Schism Part II

While ASHA officials publicized the importance of collaboration in The ASHA Leader, members of the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) worked on new certificate standards. CFCC members…”Define the standards for clinical certification and apply those standards in the certification of individuals…” “The CFCC is a credentialing body of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.”



In 2009, under the auspices of the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), a study was initiated to evaluate current practice and curriculum. Input from the ASHA membership was invited.The new standards go into effect September 2014. Update reports have been published online.


Passe and Waguespack provided an update on the new standards in Chicago in 2013. No mention of collaboration was made. Review of several related documents indicated collaboration is a non-issue. Most changes in the “standards” entail changes in procedure and definition. The level of discourse amounts to lists of things to do. Reflections on the state of the art do not appear.


ASHA Directors

Thus for 2014 CFCC takes the position that collaboration is not a demonstrable “knowledge” component of CCC preparation (even though ASHA’s policy statement of 1991 approved by BOD describes the scientific basis for collaboration). Instead, it is a “skill” that only requires exposure to collaboration clinically for the acquisition of collaborative interaction and behavior.. Two standards offer only a vague expectation as difficult to confirm:

1. planning intervention with parents and clients

2. case management with other professionals


Our understanding suggests an irony of organizational perspectives.

On the one hand, the Board of Directors approves the special edition of the ASHA Leader. Experts highlight the great importance of collaboration but wonder how to get universities to change their training. There is a sense of helplessness as to what can be done.

On the other hand, the Board of Directors approves the CFCC study of standards but does not urge CFCC to act on collaboration. The BOD remains silent letting the status quo roll forward. CFCC says nothing about it.

ASHA maintains a double standard. It advocates for collaboration via its powerful public relations mechanisms but fails to use its authority to address the issue. It has the authority not only to address the issue but to restructure CFCC if it fails to act.

July 1, 2014

This post is critical to understanding the necessity of reforming the ASHA presidency. The ASHA president because of its legal position must exercise authority to advance curriculum.

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