Ideas for Professional Growth

  • July 11, 2005
  • Henriette Langdon

A Personal Note:

I received my doctoral degree in the field of psycholinguistics and special education including all requirements to be a certified Speech Language Pathologist almost 30 years ago (1977). If I had not “kept up” with the trends and waves of the profession, I could not have qualified to join the faculty of a training institution 8 years ago.

Upon completing my doctoral degree, I moved to a different state and, regrettably, I was unable to find a teaching job in higher education. Even though it was discouraging at first, I decided to focus and develop my areas of interest (bilingualism and language learning disabilities) while trying to keep up with the evolution of profession. In those days, Continuation Education Certificates were available through ASHA but they were not mandatory to maintain certification or licensure. For 20 years prior to my academic appointment, I continued to learn and gain new knowledge in the field through multiple avenues that included attending conferences, reading journals and books, participating in research projects with other colleagues, writing, offering workshops in my area of expertise as well lecturing at local universities.


Today’s public school clinicians have greater responsibilities because of the populations they serve, new legislation, and general advances in medicine and the field of speech-language pathology. Survival of fragile babies who need additional assistance in areas such as swallowing and/or augmentative communication, a significant increase of children with a diagnosis within the ASD spectrum disorders, service to a growing number of cultural and linguistic populations, the important role of the SLP in literacy development that necessitates writing speech and language goals that are curriculum based as well as implementation of evidence-based intervention approaches make it necessary for every clinician to keep current in several professional issues..

Thus, Continuation Education is no longer an option but a necessity and is part of life-long learning In fact, new guidelines were put into effect by ASHA beginning January 2005 requiring proof of “30 contact hours of professional development activities every three years.” and “ASHA will accept the same activities you use to meet your state licensure renewal requirements as long as the activities meet ASHA’s definition of professional development and occur during your assigned 3-year maintenance interval.” Keep in mind that requirements vary from state to state and you can find further information by clicking or typing

Ideas for Continuation Education Activities:

Although many offerings are available during the academic year, summer is an excellent time to combine some relaxation with opportunities for professional growth which can also be converted into credits towards Continuation Education.

By clicking or typing you will read about five options: Many of the opportunities offered below can be completed at your pace.

  1. ASHA Professional Development-CEUs are provided by studying programs and products developed by ASHA.
  2. ASHA e-learning. This is a program where you can learn material online and self-study in addition to over 20 journal self-study products.
  3. Learning your way. This is a special e-learning program that also includes independent study.
  4. Take a course from a database for courses offered by ASHA from approved CE providers.
  5. Attend conferences. Upcoming School conference is in Indianapolis July 8-10. The emphasis is on Evidence–based practice.
    Click or type

Continuation Education related to Culturally and Linguistically Different Populations?

  1. Join ASHA Division 14- Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Different Populations.
    You can earn CEUs by reading current and past Newsletters.
  2. Visit the ASHA’s Website to study various topics related to issues related to CLD populations. You may earn from 0.2 to 0.5 CEUs on various topics.
    Topics related to Multicultural Issues

I hope you get inspired to continue your life-learning journey.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Socrates. In Plato, Apology 36a.

Please be sure to read the August ¿Qué Tal? column
New Book Titles of Interest to SLPs Working with CLD Populations

As always, I do welcome your comments.

Henriette W. Langdon, Ed.D., F-CCC-SLP
Communicative Disorders & Sciences
College of Education
San José State University
San José, CA 95192-0079
408-924-4019 voice
408-924-3641 fax

Gracias – Thank you.

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