For Administrators

Roles of Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) in Schools

  • SLPs work across all grade levels.
  • SLPs can treat a variety of communication and swallowing disorders, including those disorders involving receptive and expressive communication, articulation (speech sound production), fluency (such as stuttering), or voice.
  • SLPs provide treatment when a communication disorder is considered to be educationally relevant.
  • SLPs can provide advice to other educational professionals in the areas of linguistics and metalinguistics.
  • Because of the interrelationships between language, speaking, reading, and writing, SLPs may play a vital role in increasing students’ literacy skills.
  • SLPs might play a role in the prevention of communication disorders, perhaps by using the MTSS
  • SLPs screen and assess for communication disorders using comprehensive methods including both formal and informal measures.
  • SLPs may serve as case managers for special education students who are identified with “speech or language impairment” as a primary diagnosis.
  • SLPs provide both direct treatment to students, as well as serve in consultative and coaching roles.
  • SLPs work collaboratively with other educational professionals, as well as families.

Service Delivery Options

  • SLPs may provide services in a variety of different environments, including a therapy room, the classroom, during specials, in the cafeteria, on the playground, at a job setting, or anywhere else where speech-language skills can be addressed.
  • SLPs may provide therapy services in “pull-out” settings, such as individual therapy in a speech room or social skills groups.
  • SLPs may provide “push-in” services in a multitude of environments.
  • SLPs may provide therapies of differing frequencies and durations.
  • SLPs may use different types of scheduling, including receding, cyclical, block, or blast schedules, depending on the needs of the student.
  • SLPs can work in a preventative basis in classroom environment to address whole-class needs in areas such as oral language development, phonological awareness, etc.

Type of Certificates

  • In the state of Pennsylvania, a school-based SLP may have one of two certifications: Instructional and Educational Specialist.
  • School-based SLPs with either Instructional or Educational Specialist Certifications may both perform all of the speech-language roles listed above.
Additional Credentials that an SLP may hold:
                Many school based providers also hold the Pa state license and the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Additional information can be found at: