American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Tennessee Support Personnel Requirements

The following information includes speech-language pathology and audiology support personnel requirements in educational and other practice settings. The information is reviewed on an annual basis. Please be advised that regulations and policy may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.

Speech-Language Pathology

School Setting Requirements

Candidates seeking licensure to serve as a school speech language teacher working under the direction of a school speech language pathologist must hold a minimum of a bachelors degree and:

  1. Hold a current teacher license earned through a teacher preparation program approved according to standards and guidelines established by the State Board of Education and also complete an endorsement program of studies in speech-language including 100 hours of supervised clinical practice. Candidates must be recommended by an institution of higher education with a preparation program approved according to standards and guidelines established by the State Board of Education;
  2. Complete a teacher preparation program of studies for teachers of speech-language including 100 hours of supervised clinical practice. Candidates must be recommended by an institution of higher education with a preparation program approved according to standards and guidelines established by the State Board of Education. These candidates are eligible for a School Speech-Language Teacher (PreK–12) (A) license;
    or
    Complete a bachelor's level program of studies in speech-language, speech-language disorders, or communications disorders including 100 hours of supervised clinical practice. Candidates must be recommended by an institution of higher education with a bachelor level program and verify the candidate meets the standards and guidelines of the Tennessee Teacher Licensure Standards: Special Education, School Speech-Language Teacher (PreK–12). These candidates are eligible for a Special Education, School Speech-Language Teacher (PreK–12) (B) license. The (B) license does not entitle the holder to teach courses other than those designated as part of a speech-language program in a school based setting. No other teaching endorsement may be added to a (B) license. Other teaching credentials may only be earned through a preparation program approved according to standards and guidelines established by the State Board of Education.

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements

  1. Speech-language pathology assistants must register with the Tennessee Board of Communications Disorders and Sciences through their supervising licensee; registration is valid for two years.
  2. Speech-language pathology assistants (SLPA) must have completed a program of study designed to prepare the student to be a speech language pathology assistant.
  3. The applicant must have earned 60 college-level semester credit hours in a program of study that includes general education and the specific knowledge and skills for a SLPA. The training program shall include a minimum of 100 clock hours of field experiences supervised by a licensed speech-language pathologist.
  4. The 100 hours of supervised field work experiences must provide appropriate experiences for learning the job responsibilities and workplace behaviors of an SLPA. These experiences are not intended to develop independent practice.
  5. An SLPA shall be clearly identified as such by a badge worn during all contact with the client.
  6. The supervising licensee shall provide 15 hours of training for tasks assigned the SLPA during the first 30 days.
  7. Any licensed speech-language pathologist may delegate specific clinical tasks to a registered SLPA who has completed sufficient training.
  8. The supervising licensee must provide direct observation during the first 10 hours of client contact and direct supervision of not less than 10% of an SLPA's time each week; the supervising licensee shall provide indirect supervision of not less than 20% of the SLPA's time each week.
  9. At all times, the supervising licensee shall be available at a minimum by telephone whenever the SLPA is performing clinical activities.
  10. SLPAs must complete a minimum of five hours of continuing education each calendar year.
  11. Supervising licensees shall supervise no more than two SLPAs concurrently and no more than three individuals concurrently although they may provide alternate supervision to one or more SLPA or clinical fellows depending on number already supervised.

Audiology

School Setting Requirements

Audiology support personnel are not regulated in school settings.

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements

Audiology support personnel are not regulated.

Resources

For further information on laws and regulations for speech-language pathology and audiology support personnel in educational and other practice settings, please visit these websites:

To see where your state stands on support personnel licensure trends, please view the trends charts which are updated annually:

Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.

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