Project Title

School-Based SLPs’ Perceptions and Attitudes of Leadership

Authors' Affiliations

Mary Catherine Smith, Department of Speech Language Pathology, College of Rehabilitative Health Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Gabrielle Saliba, Department of Speech Language Pathology, College of Rehabilitative Health Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Culp Ballroom

Start Date

4-7-2022 9:00 AM

End Date

4-7-2022 12:00 PM

Poster Number

66

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Other - please list

Speech Pathology

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Brenda Louw

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Competition Type

Non-Competitive

Type

Poster Presentation

Project's Category

Education or Instructional Programs, Other Education

Abstract or Artist's Statement

Introduction: The field of SLP continues to expand, posing challenges to academic and clinical preparation of SLPs (Roth, 2015; Mason et al., 2020). According to Carozza (2019), this rapid growth has led to an increase in the roles and responsibilities for SLPs, including managerial and leadership roles. Leadership in healthcare professions is a developing field and has gained new importance with the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to ASHA’s Professional Issues Statement on the roles and responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists in schools (ASHA Practice Policy, 2019), leadership is an important core role and responsibility. This leadership role is performed in advocacy, supervision and mentorship, professional development, parent training and research (ASHA, 2016). Current literature reveals an emphasis on leadership in both Interprofessional Education (IPE) and Interprofessional Practice (IPP). This development emphasizes the importance of exploring leadership in school-based SLPs. Secord (2007) stated that SLPs who are in a leadership capacity can profoundly influence school-based practice.

Aim: The purpose of this study is to explore leadership from the perspective of school-based SLPs through survey research.

Methods: An exploratory, descriptive, quantitative research design was selected to explore the personal perspectives of school-based SLPs regarding their training in, perceptions of, and experiences regarding leadership. An online survey was developed to answer the following research questions: (1) What leadership training have school-based SLPs been exposed to? (2) What leadership positions do school-based SLPs hold? (3) What leadership characteristics do school-based SLPs consider to be essential for leadership in schools? (4) Which specific needs do school-based SLPs have relating to their leadership roles and goals? A total of 112 practicing school-based clinicians acted as respondents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Thematic analysis was done on the results obtained from the open-ended question.

Summary: 92% of the respondents reported that they did not receive any form of leadership education in their graduate program. Only 7% responded that they felt prepared for a leadership position upon graduation. 54% of school-based SLPs reported that they currently hold a leadership position within their school. Some of the leadership characteristics, skills, and strategies identified to be the most important include building trusting relationships; strong collaboration skills; being a good communicator; demonstrating inclusivity; prioritizing students; communicating regularly with teachers; and implementing evidence-based practice. Additionally, the important leadership characteristics to implement during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic were identified as effective and clear communication, flexibility, and the ability to provide clear directions to initiate and maintain action. 59% of the respondents indicated that they would be interested in receiving further information on developing leadership skills in the schools, the most popular preferences being continuing education courses, in-service training, and ASHA annual conventions. The findings indicate an urgent need for increased leadership training in SLP graduate institutions, which may serve to increase both the numbers of school-based SLPs who hold a leadership position, as well as the quality of leadership that school-based SLPs provide within their positions.

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Apr 7th, 9:00 AM Apr 7th, 12:00 PM

School-Based SLPs’ Perceptions and Attitudes of Leadership

Culp Ballroom

Introduction: The field of SLP continues to expand, posing challenges to academic and clinical preparation of SLPs (Roth, 2015; Mason et al., 2020). According to Carozza (2019), this rapid growth has led to an increase in the roles and responsibilities for SLPs, including managerial and leadership roles. Leadership in healthcare professions is a developing field and has gained new importance with the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to ASHA’s Professional Issues Statement on the roles and responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists in schools (ASHA Practice Policy, 2019), leadership is an important core role and responsibility. This leadership role is performed in advocacy, supervision and mentorship, professional development, parent training and research (ASHA, 2016). Current literature reveals an emphasis on leadership in both Interprofessional Education (IPE) and Interprofessional Practice (IPP). This development emphasizes the importance of exploring leadership in school-based SLPs. Secord (2007) stated that SLPs who are in a leadership capacity can profoundly influence school-based practice.

Aim: The purpose of this study is to explore leadership from the perspective of school-based SLPs through survey research.

Methods: An exploratory, descriptive, quantitative research design was selected to explore the personal perspectives of school-based SLPs regarding their training in, perceptions of, and experiences regarding leadership. An online survey was developed to answer the following research questions: (1) What leadership training have school-based SLPs been exposed to? (2) What leadership positions do school-based SLPs hold? (3) What leadership characteristics do school-based SLPs consider to be essential for leadership in schools? (4) Which specific needs do school-based SLPs have relating to their leadership roles and goals? A total of 112 practicing school-based clinicians acted as respondents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Thematic analysis was done on the results obtained from the open-ended question.

Summary: 92% of the respondents reported that they did not receive any form of leadership education in their graduate program. Only 7% responded that they felt prepared for a leadership position upon graduation. 54% of school-based SLPs reported that they currently hold a leadership position within their school. Some of the leadership characteristics, skills, and strategies identified to be the most important include building trusting relationships; strong collaboration skills; being a good communicator; demonstrating inclusivity; prioritizing students; communicating regularly with teachers; and implementing evidence-based practice. Additionally, the important leadership characteristics to implement during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic were identified as effective and clear communication, flexibility, and the ability to provide clear directions to initiate and maintain action. 59% of the respondents indicated that they would be interested in receiving further information on developing leadership skills in the schools, the most popular preferences being continuing education courses, in-service training, and ASHA annual conventions. The findings indicate an urgent need for increased leadership training in SLP graduate institutions, which may serve to increase both the numbers of school-based SLPs who hold a leadership position, as well as the quality of leadership that school-based SLPs provide within their positions.