How I "ACE"d ASHA Continuing Education

Award for Continuing Education (ACE) Recipients Tell Their Stories

Janice Brown"I work with the District of Columbia Public Schools. Although I have worked with students of all ages (preschool through high school) during my 26 years career, I have been assigned to two elementary school over the last five years.

An essential part of our professional understanding comes from establishing and maintaining an interest in best practices not only in our own areas of practice, but across the field of speech-language pathology. As a veteran speech-language pathologist, I believe it is tremendously imperative to stay "fresh" and current in our profession. Hence, I seek to further my education about current research, technology, and therapy techniques and/or strategies to optimize efficiency and effective results. I display my ACE certificate in my office; and many people ask what it is. In addition, I provide copies of my certificates to my principal and my program manager.

As a Clinical Fellowship supervisor, I consistently encourage recent graduates and new clinicians about the necessity of continuing to study, research, and apply recommended best practices when providing direct intervention services to individuals with speech and/or language disorders. Continuing education is vital to being an effective clinician.

I honestly believe that if one wants to effectively work in the areas of speech-language pathology they must adopt the belief that this field involves a journey of life-long learning through new research and trends in our profession. Continuing education is essential in providing the best services possible for our clients."

Submitted by Janice Brown, Washington, DC

Miyuke Hasegawa-Alonso"Being a holder of the ACE means a lot to me. It is a 'framed reminder' of my hard work and dedication. It also encourages me to continue to enrich my knowledge and resources by attending continuing education courses on a regular basis. I have my ACE certificate beautifully framed and displayed. Client and co-workers have asked me about it and I am proud to explain to them how I got it.

ASHA's recognition of my participation in professional development is one of the greatest benefits for me from earning the ACE. Because of earning the ACE I get a discount on my professional liability insurance. Its also an 'extra special' item on my resume. Earning the ACE a couple of years ago motivated me to become a presenter in conferences offered by ASHA CE Approved Providers at my former place of employment. I love to present and share the new knowledge and skills that I have learned with my professional colleagues."

Yaser N. Al-Sa'bi"First and foremost, I would like to thank the ASHA Registry for their dedication and commitment to help us meet our professional responsibilities through all CE activities offered throughout the year-from live conferences, to live courses and webinars, or through taped courses and seminars. I have been honored with three ACE awards in the past 4 years, and that is not the end, of course. These awards made me different. ACE empowers my clinical experience, as well as my theoretical background and helps me better serve my clients and their families, my students and my supervisees. As a general rule in health care services, the higher you are on the academic and/or the clinical professional rung, the more important continuing education becomes. As a PhD holder, I think earning my PhD in the field adds to my responsibilities rendering CE more of a necessity than mere intellectual luxury.

It is indeed your professional responsibility to make sure that you are on top of all of the latest advances in your field for the sake of your patients and students. Therefore, I always encourage my colleagues and supervisees to stay tuned in and connected through ASHA CE activities. Thank you ASHA for making knowledge affordable, and accessible for every professional in our field. Finally, I would like to thank Mm. Sultana Alireza, director of Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing (JISH) for her continuing support and assistance that enables me to participate in these CE activities, be it local in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or elsewhere in the world."

Lois Waldo"To me the ACE means that I have taken steps to insure that I am keeping current in my field and helps me better serve students and their families on my school caseload. It means I have attended a variety of learning experiences that have allowed me to network with fellow SLPs! Networking gives me opportunities to collaborate with a broad range of professional colleagues and the discussions and brainstorming that take place during my courses has brought fresh enthusiasm and 'dreams of possibilities' back to my day-to-day clinical practice. It also means that I can return to my school district with a renewed spirit and ideas to share with co-workers.

If I hadn't taken additional graduate-level courses; if I hadn't kept current with professional literature; if I hadn't collaborated with other SLPs, and if I hadn't invested time and money in conference opportunities, I'm sure I would have 'bottomed out' years ago. I would have been unable to serve my workload/caseload in a manner they deserve. Thank goodness ongoing research and technology is available to allow us to better meet the very real needs of the students we provide services to in the schools. What we do can make such a difference to our students! But we can only make a difference if we hold ourselves to a high standard of preparedness. We don't have room in our professions for wimps or for complacency. If we rest on our laurels, they wilt!"

Ken Kwasniewski"The ACE reaffirms my commitment to serving others. It is a visible representation of that commitment, as well as the commitment to stay current in order to constantly improve my skills and best serve my clients. The ACE provides a nice "pat on the back" for staying current and up-to-date with my clinical skills and knowledge.

I am grateful that at the age of 21 I recognized that the profession of speech-language pathology would provide me a platform for a lifetime of learning!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Judith Erwin"I am very proud that I have earned an ACE and I believe it has shown my supervisors how dedicated I am to continue to improve myself personally and for the betterment of the students in my district who receive speech and language services. As a supervisor, I think it is very important that I stay abreast of all current information so that I can share this information with my staff. I often tell my Clinical Fellows that most of what I do as far as therapy techniques, eligibility determination and assessment are things that I have learned since attending continuing education courses after I graduated.

One of the unanticipated benefits of earning the ACE has been that I have met speech-language pathologists from all over the country at the conferences I have attended.

Belonging to a Special Interest Group (SIG) has been very beneficial to my continuing education and earning the ACE as the information I get through the SIG is specific to my job setting, practical and valuable to my work."

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