Student Ethics Essay Award

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2017 Student Ethics Essay Award (SEEA) competition. Authors of winning essays will be notified in June 2017. See Student Ethics Essay Award recipients to view previous winners and read their winning essays.

The SEEA program is conducted as part of ASHA's efforts to enhance ethics education activities. The goal of the program is to encourage students to think about ethical decision making and create greater awareness of situations that could pose ethical dilemmas as they prepare to start careers in audiology, speech-language pathology, or speech, language, and hearing sciences.

The essay competition is open to students who are enrolled in any undergraduate, post baccalaureate, or entry-level graduate program (U.S. only) in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Participating students write an essay on the selected ethics topic and submit it to their CSD program director or his/her designee for initial review; each program director/designee may select up to five student essays for submission to ASHA for the final review and selection process. Members of ASHA's Board of Ethics review the essays and select three winning authors, who receive

  • one student registration to the 2017 ASHA Convention (first place winner only);
  • monetary prizes ($750, $500, and $250 for first, second, and third place, respectively);
  • certificates of achievement;
  • a 1-year national NSSLHA membership;
  • invitations to the NSSLHA Luncheon and Honors Ceremony during the 2017 ASHA Convention

Winners and their essays are recognized

  • on the ASHA website,
  • on ASHA social media,
  • at the NSSLHA Luncheon and Honors Ceremony, and
  • in The ASHA Leader.

Award Eligibility

Students: To be considered eligible to participate in the SEEA competition, you must be

  • enrolled in any undergraduate, post baccalaureate, or entry-level graduate program (U.S. only) in communication sciences and disorders (CSD), and
  • enrolled part-time or full-time during the 2016–2017 academic year.

2017 Student Ethics Essay

Topic: Independent and Evidence-Based Clinical Judgment

From the start of your professional career in audiology or speech-language pathology, you will be committed to providing high-quality services to clients/patients. In some employment settings, you may receive direction from others regarding clinical strategies and services that may conflict with your own professional judgment. This can be a particularly confusing situation because it can raise doubt and ethical concerns about the actual services to be provided.

In your essay, present an ethical dilemma or challenge that may be faced by a clinician in the area of independent and evidence-based clinical judgment. Then, using ethics resources and the ASHA Code of Ethics, identify one or more Principles and the corresponding Rule(s) that you believe have been violated, and provide a rationale for your choice(s). Finally, discuss what action(s) you would take to resolve this dilemma .

Essay Requirements

You and your essay must meet these requirements:

  • Essay Format
    • 1,200 words or less, excluding title and any references
    • Standard format including title, introduction, body, and summary/conclusion
    • Microsoft Word (.docx), 12-point font, double-spaced
    • Page numbers in footer, starting with first page
    • No footnotes, only end notes
    • All sources cited when quoted, even Code of Ethics
    • No identifying information (e.g., name, address, institution) on the essay
  • Entries must be original work, unpublished, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • Students may not submit more than one essay; submissions of entries authored by multiple individuals will not be considered.
  • Students must notify their CSD program director of their participation before submitting their entry—limit of 10 entries per program. Submissions received (per program) over this limit will not be considered.

Suggested Essay Resources

Evaluation Criteria

Things to keep in mind as you write your essay:

  • Have you followed the essay format and submission requirements described above?
  • Have you approached the essay topic in a fresh, rich, and illuminating way, avoiding moral platitudes and oversimplification?
  • Have you demonstrated familiarity with the ASHA Code of Ethics (2016), relevant Issues in Ethics statements, and other ethics-related resources?
  • Have you made a contribution to ethical deliberation and discernment that is mature, insightful, and likely to be both helpful and interesting to students and ASHA members?
  • Have you presented your position in a clear, logical manner that facilitates understanding of your reasoning?
  • Have you supported your arguments with factors that are ethically relevant, and avoided preoccupation with matters that have little logical relevance to your thesis?
  • Is your analysis comprehensive, objective, balanced, and thorough?
  • Is your essay free of grammatical, typographical, and punctuation errors?

Submission Instructions

  1. Confirm that you and your essay meet the eligibility and format requirements.
  2. Notify your program director that you will be submitting an essay for the SEEA contest.
  3. Go online to fill out the SEEA application and upload your essay—you can save your work and submit it when you're ready.
  4. Meet the Deadline: submit your essay and application by 11:59 a.m.on Friday, April 14, 2017; the online submission system will close automatically at noon, and new or incomplete entries will not be counted.

Contact

For questions on the SEEA or the submission process: Karol Scher, staff liaison to ASHA Ethics Education Subcommittee, at [email protected].

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