Clinical Education and Supervision

The scope of this Practice Portal page is the clinical education and supervision of graduate students in audiology and speech-language pathology in university and off-site settings.

Many of the principles included in this page also apply to the mentoring and supervision of speech-language pathology clinical fellows and professionals transitioning to a new area of practice, as well as to the supervision of support personnel.

For information related to mentoring clinical fellows, see Issues in Ethics: Responsibilities of Individuals Who Mentor Clinical Fellows in Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA, 2013a). For information specific to support personnel, see audiology assistants, speech-language pathology assistants, and speech-language pathology assistant scope of practice (ASHA, 2013b).

Definition of Terms

The terms clinical supervisor and clinical supervision are often used in reference to the training and education of student clinicians, recognizing that supervision is part of the training and education process. Supervision can be broadly defined as overseeing and directing the work of others. However, clinical supervisors do more than oversee the work of the student clinician. They teach specific skills, clarify concepts, assist with critical thinking, conduct performance evaluations, mentor, advise, and model professional behavior (Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders [CAPCSD], 2013).

Many professionals involved in the supervisory process suggest that the terms clinical educator and clinical instructor more accurately reflect what the clinical supervisor does (CAPCSD, 2013). The term clinical educator is used here to refer to individuals involved in the clinical training, education, and supervision of audiology and speech-language pathology graduate students at all levels of training.

Content Disclaimer: The Practice Portal, ASHA policy documents, and guidelines contain information for use in all settings; however, members must consider all applicable local, state and federal requirements when applying the information in their specific work setting.