The SLP Guide to the ASHA Clinical Fellowship

The criterion for soon-to-be SLPs is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Clinical Fellowship. Below, you’ll find an overview of the ASHA Clinical Fellowship, along with resources to help you prepare for this final but very important step in your journey to become a certified clinical speech pathologist. 

About the ASHA Clinical Fellowship for Speech Pathologists

Think of the ASHA Clinical Fellowship as the transition period between being a student and being an independent provider of speech-language pathology clinical services. Upon graduation from a master’s degree program in communication sciences and disorders (CSD), you’ll possess a strong foundation of technical knowledge, along with some supervised work experience. The goal of the ASHA Clinical Fellowship is to develop that foundation even further and prepare you to work independently as an SLP in a professional setting—your speech-language pathology certification will serve as proof of your preparedness and competency. 

In the speech pathology fellowship, you’ll work in a care setting under the supervision of a licensed clinical speech pathologist. Most students complete one clinical fellowship year (CFY) in a single setting. The CFY is a minimum of 1,260 hours and a minimum of 36 weeks of full-time experience, or its part-time equivalent. But clinical fellows have up to four years to complete the speech-language pathology fellowship. In some cases, fellows can have more than one mentor or work at more than one job site.  

The fellowship is divided into three segments. Over the course of these segments, your clinical fellowship mentor, a certified CF SLP, will evaluate your preparedness in 18 critical skill areas, as outlined by the ASHA. Upon successful completion of the speech pathologist clinical fellowship, you will submit your ASHA membership paperwork and final evaluation from your mentor to gain a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). 

Certification with ASHA is recognized in nearly all 50 states as a key component of gaining your licensure. Because the association maintains rigorous standards, those fellowship experiences may already meet their state’s SLP license requirements.

Who is This Clinical Fellowship Guide For?

Whether you’re a current student in a degree program, a recent graduate, or a clinical SLP who is interested in mentorship opportunities, this ASHA Clinical Fellowship guide can help you. Below, you will find resources for every stage of the process. 

Current Students

If you’re beginning to explore the ASHA Clinical Fellowship, visit our What is the ASHA Clinical Fellowship? page. You’ll find out why the fellowship is important, and what it can help you achieve in your career.

Graduates

If you are preparing for a clinical fellowship, explore our How to Complete the ASHA Clinical Fellowship page. We dive into how to find a clinical fellowship site and mentor, steps you can take to achieve great scores, and what to do once you have completed your fellowship.

Clinical SLPs

If you currently hold an ASHA certification, you may find our How to Be an Effective Clinical Fellow Mentor page useful. Explore tips and tools to help you become an impactful mentor and empower those under your supervision with independence.

Have other questions about becoming a speech-language pathologist? Explore the rest of our site for more information on degree programs, career information, resources for speech pathology clinical fellows and more. 

Information last updated May 2020