How does the ASHA Clinical Fellowship Work for Speech-Language Pathologists?
If you’re a new Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) graduate or you’re planning to graduate soon, you may already be aware of the clinical fellowship program experience that you must complete in order to apply for the ASHA certification. How does the SLP-CF program work?
With this program, the new SLP graduate will get the opportunity to work in a clinical setting under a professional who mentors them. This can begin after the student completes his/her academic courses and the clinical programs in school. The goal of the fellowship is to provide a transition from being a student to being a speech-language pathologist in a clinical setting. A student can apply what they’ve learned in school, evaluate strengths and limitations, refine their skills (consistent with the Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology) and advance to working independently.
There are some minimal requirements involved for the program. According to ASHA, the CF program is “a minimum of 1,260 hours and a minimum of 36 weeks of full-time experience or its part-time equivalent.” Most clinical fellows will complete this program in one location in a full-time setting, but that is not always the case. For individuals wishing to work part-time, they’ll need to work additional weeks to complete the program.
The speech fellowship program is divided into three equal segments. There are additional restrictions regarding the working hours. 80% of the clinical fellow’s work must be in direct care, as laid out in the ASHA Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, referenced earlier. Some examples of acceptable contact include screening and assessments, response to intervention, diagnostic evaluations, treatment, reporting, family consultation meetings, rounds, etc. 20% of the work can be spent doing other activities like attending or presenting trainings. A fellow must complete the program within four years of the start date.
What is required to be a mentor?
The CF mentor must hold a current CCC-SLP certification with a minimum of nine months of full-time clinical experience (or part-time equivalent) and they must have at least two hours of professional development completed in supervision after earning their CCC-SLP. Cornerstone Rehab offers mentors in the speech program for new CF applicants.