The purpose of this study was to determine how the roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in schools are being implemented, whether speech-language pathologists in schools feel comfortable with their roles, and whether they are willing to engage in professional learning activities to hone knowledge and skills in role areas in order to inform pre-service and in-service learning This study utilized an online survey to collect responses. The survey included questions related to the rate of implementation, comfort level, and desire for further professional learning with regards to the roles and responsibilities prescribed by American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) for the SLP in the school. Additionally, this survey examined whether SLPs in schools felt that their scope of practice has shifted focus from traditional speech-sound disorders to one of language/literacy disorders, whether they received adequate support from the schools and/or districts, and whether their university programs prepared them for clinical practice. A total of 609 SLPs participated in this study, with 98% being female. Most participants were between the ages of 45-64 years (45%). The results of this study indicated that with regards to rate of implementation and comfort level, participant responses varied depending on the role and responsibility. Sixty-one percent of participants were confident with critical roles, or roles/responsibilities that are typically considered cornerstones of the practice of speech-language pathology. Participants tended to be less confident with roles related to collaboration and leadership. With regards to the additional questions addressed by this study, over 50% of participants agreed that their career has shifted in focus from traditional speech-sound disorders to one of language/literacy disorders, and that they received adequate support from their school and/or district. Participants also tended to agree that their university program prepared them well for clinical practice and that they desired more professional learning for the delineated roles/responsibilities that they did not feel confident implementing. The implications of this study are that despite overall ratings of frequent implementation and comfort with certain roles/responsibilities, there are still areas that SLPs require further education in order to hone their skills within the context of the expanding landscape of speech-language pathology. An in-depth summary of the data, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are discussed.


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Graduation Date





Ehren, Barbara


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Health Professions and Sciences


School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Program

Communication Sciences and Disorders; Foundations Track









Release Date

May 2019

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)