Recruitment and Retention in Speech-Language Pathology: Addressing the Significant Shortage in the Profession

Recruitment and Retention in Speech-Language Pathology: Addressing the Significant Shortage in the Profession

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Speech-language pathologists (SLP) are in high demand throughout the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the United States will need “about 141, 400 speech-language pathologists through the year 2018 to meet the increasing need in the profession and to replace retiring speech-language pathologists” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). According to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2011-2012 Edition, “employment is expected to grow 18% in the profession in the next decade” (BLS, 2011). A report released by the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) reported “speech-language pathologists are ranked 14th in the nation for fields with a considerable vacancy as related to other areas in education” (AAEE, 2008). In the state of Nebraska, the U.S. Department of Education listed speech language pathology as a “significant teacher shortage area” (U.S. Department of Education, 2011).
Recruiting and retaining qualified professionals has impacted school districts across the nation. Some of the research indicates, “job satisfaction, workload, additional administrative responsibilities, and technological advancements affect the recruitment and retention of school-based speech-language pathologists” (Blood, Ridenour, Thomas, Qualls, & Hammer, 2002, p. 283). In addition, “earlier identification of children with communication disabilities and increased recognition of children with multiple and co-occurring problems have resulted in larger and oversized caseloads, greater time demands, and additional responsibilities for speech-language pathologists” (Blood, Ridenour, Thomas, Qualls, & Hammer, 2002, p. 283). The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) ...


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