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Coronavirus/COVID-19

Page last updated: August 19, 2022

The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) and the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) offer the following guidance related to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and its impact on academic programs, clinical practicum/supervised clinical experience, students, clinical fellows (CFs), and other stakeholders.

The CAA and the CFCC sincerely realize that these disruptions have significantly affected all of our professional and personal lives, especially graduate students and CFs who have been working for several years to take the next steps in their careers. The CAA and CFCC have responsibility to assure stakeholders that graduates, CFs, and certificate holders are clinically competent to practice. The accreditation and certification standards have been developed and refined throughout the years by undergoing a vigorous vetting process to protect the public, students, and payers. These standards ensure standardization in the amount and quality of education and training that students receive prior to beginning their clinical fellowship and that a CF receives before practicing as an independent clinician.

After careful and thoughtful consideration, neither the CAA and CFCC reduced the amount of graduate student supervised clinical experience for audiology (the equivalent of 12 months of full-time experience) and clinical practicum for speech-language pathology (400 hours).

It is in the best interest of graduate students and ultimately client/patient care and safety to uphold these accreditation and certification standards. CFCC and CAA are trusting that programs will ensure that students are safe and ready to participate in clinical education experiences and that they will graduate with entry-level knowledge and skills.

Recent Guidance from CAA:

  • The CAA encourages academic programs to find alternative ways to accommodate various methods for students to meet the standards(e.g. distance education, tele options, program extensions, etc.) as appropriate and as needed for the program. Data collected in recent surveys to programs have indicated a return to more normal operations for graduate programs.
  • During the federal emergency, the CAA is temporarily waiving the timelines for programs seeking approval of a permanent change for the delivery of the program via distance education. The program must seek approval in accordance with the CAA’s Substantive Change policy and procedures. At this time, the CAA continues to offer a temporary waiver for the timeline to file a notice of intent and the requirement that a change plan be submitted 12 months prior to enrollment. 
  • Beginning fall 2022, CAA is returning to on-campus site visitsfor accreditation reviews. The CAA conducted virtual site visits to over 100 programs between fall 2020 and spring 2022. The CAA approved an emergency policy, in light of guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) for accrediting agencies, to conduct virtual site visits during the COVID-19 pandemic to support accreditation decisions. A caveat to this policy is that the CAA must conduct follow-up, on-campus site visits to these programs to comply with USDE’s requirements that accreditors visit the physical campus during the course of review. The CAA began the follow-up site visits in summer 2022 and expect all affected programs to be visited over the next two academic years.

Recent Guidance from CFCC:

Contact Accreditation Office at accreditation@asha.org or the Certification Officer at certification@asha.org if you have specific questions.

Related Pages

About ASHA

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for members and affiliates who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, audiology and speech-language pathology assistants, and students.

Connect With ASHA

About the CAA

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) accredits eligible clinical doctoral programs in audiology and master's degree programs in speech-language pathology. The CAA relies on a dedicated corps of volunteers serving as Council members and site visitors to accomplish the work of the accreditation program.

Contact the CAA

Questions and/or requests for information about accreditation or the CAA can be directed to:

The Council on Academic Accreditation in
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard, #310
Rockville, MD 20850

800-498-2071

Email the CAA