American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Leadership Development Program

Ready, Set, Lead!

If you want to...

  • Expand and Refine your leadership skills to drive change in your current work setting
  • Become a leader within your state or professional association
  • Build a lifelong professional network
  • Give back to your profession through volunteer service
  • Influence policies, programs, and services

Then you should consider participating in ASHA's Leadership Development Program!

Leslie Hammond explains why she applied for ASHA’s Leadership Development Program, how the program has benefited her so far, and how it can benefit others.

What is ASHA's Leadership Development Program (LDP)?

The Leadership Development Program is a year-long program for ASHA members with leadership potential. The program encourages you to develop your leadership skills and give back to the professions through volunteering—whether with ASHA, at your workplace or for a related professional organization.

Here is what current Leadership Development Program participants are saying about the most rewarding aspects of the LDP:

  • Collaborating with colleagues
  • Learning new ideas/strategies for setting goals, formulating a project and articulating a vision
  • Being able to discover my strengths and challenges as a leader and to develop those further along with my colleagues
  • Gaining leadership perspective from professionals
  • Gaining a leadership support staff of friends

2014 LDP Cohorts

The  two cohorts of the Leadership Development Program in 2014 are Health Care and Emerging Leaders.

Information regarding the 2015 cohorts will be released in early-Fall.

What are the components of the Program?

If selected, you must commit to all program components:

  • Participate in a full-day Leadership Development Program face-to-face workshop.
  • Participate in scheduled webinars over the course of the next year on selected leadership topics.
  • Develop and complete an individual leadership project.
  • Actively participate on your learning team.

What is a Learning Team?

Participants are assigned to a learning team made up of other participants. Participants meet/work with their teams in-person at the workshop and virtually throughout the year. A learning team serves as a participant's project advisory board. Teams are meant to be independent and schedule their own virtual team meetings spread over the year. Additionally, they are to provide a venue for deeper interactions and exploration of the content provided by the LDP webinar sessions.

Leadership Projects

Individual learning projects for LDP Health Care are focused on the workplace or a community or other volunteer organization, with the elements involving leadership activities such as working with a team or gathering the support of stakeholders. Examples include:

  • Working on a project for your state association.
  • Developing a support group or family training program.
  • Working with a team to implement a new clinical or educational program.
  • Working to advocate for reimbursement, legislation, or policy change.

Individual learning projects for LDP Emerging Leaders are focused on assisting members in the participant's home state outside of the work setting. For example, a project that benefits a related professional organization (college, university, state association, ASHA) such as leading a team to plan a state association conference, managing a state grassroots advocacy campaign, managing a state association board of directors initiative, or organizing an early career professional group within the state.

Specific examples of project ideas might include:

  • Developing a state related services coalition in health care or education to:
    • Implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act to ensure that SLP and Audiology services and other related services are covered
    • Work with university programs and the department of education to address personnel shortages in education settings
    • Develop a state legislative initiative to pass loan forgiveness legislation in the state
  • Create a project to address shortages of SLP graduates to work in the state by:
    • Coalescing a group to work with university programs and others to create a “grow your own” model for increasing the number of in-state students in CSD programs
    • Working with training programs to develop a distance education program for CSD students
  • Create a project to develop a state wide hearing screening program for school-age children. 
  • Develop a project to work with the state health care authority to create a state Medicaid manual for SLP  and Audiology services

When is the Leadership Development Program kickoff workshop?

The Leadership Development Program for Health Care kicked off on Thursday, April 10, 2014, in conjunction with ASHA’s Health Care/Business Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

The Leadership Development Program for Emerging Leaders will kick off Saturday, July 12, 2014, at the ASHA National Office in Rockville, Maryland.

Is there a fee to participate?

Yes. If your application is accepted, you pay a nominal fee of $350, which covers the one-day face-to-face program, one night's hotel accommodation, meeting materials, and webinars. If you do not need hotel accommodations, the fee is $250.

Who can apply?

We're seeking energetic people who are motivated to influence professional issues in speech-language pathology or audiology. Each program accepts 30 participants selected through a competitive application process. Preference is given to members who belong to a Special Interest Group, as well as to past members of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA).

LDP Health Care Applicant Requirements:

  • Current ASHA member
  • Employment in a health care environment
  • No prior service on an ASHA or Special Interest Group committee, board, council, working group, or task force. Leaders in state associations are welcome to apply.
  • Able to commit to participate in the year-long program and complete all program requirements

LDP Emerging Leader Applicant Requirements:

  • Current ASHA member
  • Desire to develop or enhance leadership skills relative to a current or future interest in becoming a state association or ASHA volunteer leader
  • May have been nominated for past appointed or elected positions in ASHA
  • May have past or present service as a member or chair of an ASHA Committee, Council, Board, or SIG Coordinating Committee (Exception: Past, present, or incoming ASHA Board of Directors members may not apply.)
  • Service as a volunteer, committee member, chair, or Board of Director of a state association
  • ASHA SEALS, SMACs, STARs may apply
  • Able to commit to participate in the year-long program and complete all program requirements

How do I apply?

The application periods for both LDP Health Care and LDP Emerging Leaders have closed. Information regarding the 2015 cohorts and application dates will be released in early-Fall.

Please follow the below steps to apply during the application period.

  • Send an e-mail to during the application period.
  • Put "LDP Emerging Leaders" in the subject line
  • Provide your full name and ASHA membership number.
  • Log into the online application center once you receive the link (within 48 business hours).


Contact Haley Jones, ASHA's Volunteer Operations Manager, at

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