Page last updated: May 7, 2020
Federal, State, and Regulatory Guidance
Programs should consult their institutional and external regulatory requirements (e.g., state licensure, state department of education, and U.S. Department of Education) in determining the most appropriate course of action for your program, especially as it relates to adjustments in degree requirement (providing telepractice and telesupervision, adjusting length of time in clinical placements based on school closures, adjusting clock hours requirements, adjusting credits). We know that state regulatory agencies are providing updates to programs in their respective state, as well as guidance coming from the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
For example, the ED issued the following statement that indicates programs should seek guidance from their state regulatory agencies (i.e., state licensure board, state department of education):
“The Department is providing broad approval to institutions to use online technologies to accommodate students on a temporary basis, without going through the regular approval process of the Department in the event that an institution is otherwise required to seek Departmental approval for the use or expansion of distance learning programs. This flexibility only applies to a program during a payment period that overlaps the date of this electronic announcement or the following payment period. If an institution chooses to continue offering a new program or use distance education in a manner requiring the Department’s approval after that point, it must seek approval under the Department’s normal process.
“We are also permitting accreditors to waive their distance education review requirements for institutions working to accommodate students whose enrollment is otherwise interrupted as a result of COVID-19. We currently are limiting that permission to distance learning opportunities developed for the purpose of serving students who were already in attendance, but whose attendance was interrupted by COVID-19. Please note that this flexibility is not available for clock-hour courses that lead to licensure if the licensure body will not accept distance learning courses or hours or give credit for them toward the number of hours a student must complete.” *
*Note: You can view the full document from the Office of Postsecondary Education/Federal Student Aid, and get additional information and resources from the ED.
Degree Requirements and Licensure
Requirements to meet licensure requirements vary across jurisdictions, ranging from very broad to very detailed about the academic and clinical program of study, post-graduate clinical experiences, passing score for the national exam, and so forth.
Academic programs have the discretion to revise program requirements in response to the current crisis; however, these changes may or may not be in accordance with licensure requirements. In making program changes, program directors are encouraged to consult with external regulatory requirements beyond the CAA and the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) as a part of their program planning during this time.
Students should consult with their program leadership, review state licensure resources for the state(s) in which they plan to seek a license once they have graduated, and to visit the ASHA state advocacy page for more information on licensure requirements. ASHA’s Government Affairs and Public Policy team continues to monitor state activities and will announce temporary or permanent changes for credentialing expectations.