The Status of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists in New York State: Challenges and Rewards

Danielle Frankel, Jessica Fritzsch, Rebecca Amir, and Dr. Skott Jones, Department of Speech Language Pathology & Audiology, Ithaca College, 953 Danby Road, Ithaca NY 14850

Currently, nearly half of all available positions for school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are unfilled. As the need for SLPs increases, it is important to evaluate potential factors that can contribute to retention and overall job satisfaction among SLPs in this setting. Previous research has either evaluated SLPs from low-population states (e.g., Vermont, Utah) or a limited sample from each state (e.g., two SLPs). Therefore, prior work is lacking in external validity to generalize the findings, and further work of this kind is warranted. The present study surveyed school-based SLPs in the fourth most populous state, New York, to determine the multiple variables that contribute to current job satisfaction, challenges, and effectiveness. A total of 366 participants responded to an online survey, yielding a 20% response rate. Results indicated that 92% of respondents reported holding the highest national credential from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and that the largest contributors to overall job satisfaction were available space, materials, and benefits/insurance. Additionally, 54% of SLPs reported feeling that their salary was adequate; further data analysis found a significant correlation between age and salary (p <.01). Conversely, job dissatisfaction was evident in the amount of assigned workload, and others’ limited understanding of the role of school-based SLPs. More concerning, only 17% of respondents reported having enough time to complete their full responsibilities within working hours, with the majority of respondents noting that they necessarily finish remaining tasks on their own time. In conclusion, school-based SLPs in New York seem to find their positions both satisfying and rewarding. However, certain critical aspects of their workload, notably the increasing amount as well as the lack of understanding by other professionals, need to be addressed in order to enhance job satisfaction and, subsequently, overall retention. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Rebecca Amir, Jessica Fritzsch, Danielle Frankel

Institution: Ithaca College

Type: Poster

Subject: Physical/Occupational Therapy & Speech Language Pathology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6106