Undergraduate Observation Hours

Clinical Observation Hours

Undergraduate students are required to have 25 hours of guided clinical observation (clock hours) prior to beginning a graduate program in speech-language pathology. Other than those required in major coursework, observation hours are not required of students seeking a graduate degree in audiology. Generally, students need to complete all observation hours BEFORE beginning their clinical experiences in graduate school for speech-language pathology. Observation hours may be completed in as part of our coursework, in our clinic (on-campus) and/or off-campus. 

The observation hours must be within the ASHA Scope of Practice of Speech-Language Pathology and must be under the supervision of a qualified professional who holds current ASHA certification in the appropriate practice area. The guided observation and direct client/patient contact hours must be within the ASHA scope of practice in Speech Language Pathology and must be under the supervision of a clinician who holds current ASHA certification in the appropriate profession and who, after earning the CCC-SLP, has completed

  • (1) a minimum of 9 months of post-certification, full-time experience and
  • (2) a minimum of 2 hours of professional development in the area of clinical instruction/supervision.

Examples of guided observations may include but are not limited to the following activities: debriefing of a video recording with a certified clinical educator, discussion of therapy or evaluation procedures that have been observed, debriefing of observations that meet course requirements, or written records of observations. It is important to confirm that there was communication between the clinical educator and observer, rather than passive experiences where the student views sessions or videos. It is encouraged that the student observes live and recorded sessions across settings with individuals receiving services with a variety of disorders. Guided clinical supervision may occur simultaneously during the student’s observation or afterward through review and approval of the student's written reports or summaries. Students may use video recordings of client services for observation purposes. Evidence of guided observations may include documentation of hours, dates, activities observed, and signatures from the clinical educator. We recommend that students use the Record of Guided Undergraduate 25 Observation Hours form and maintain a copy of the observation hours for their records. This form includes all necessary information to receive credit for the observation, including the clinician/supervisor’s signature and ASHA number. This documentation will form the foundation of the ASHA certification process for each student pursuing a career in speech-language pathology. Students must maintain copies of all of their observation hour forms for their records.

Rules for observations

See the rules for observers of clinical sessions. You also need to let the supervisor and student clinician know that you are observing at the time of the observation. It is important to remember that this is a professional activity. You should dress neatly and professionally. Introduce yourself in a professional manner to the family once you talk to the supervisor and student clinician. Remember that you are there to observe and want to be careful not to intrude. The supervisor will let you know when it is time for you to ask questions, share thoughts, or make comments.

How to obtain observation hours in and outside the Kent State University Speech and Hearing Clinic

Students must sign up for the observation times in the KSU Clinic.  If students have signed up for observation hours in advance and the client cancels, students will typically be notified of the cancellation, but this is not always guaranteed. The clinician you observe must be certified by ASHA (the person would have a CCC after their name) or be supervised by someone with ASHA certification. During the COVID-19 pandemic, priority for observations in our in-house clinic will be given to post-baccalaureate students and undergraduates who expect to graduate at the end of the current semester.

Observations conducted at a facility other than the KSU Speech and Hearing Clinic are also considered a professional activity. Students must arrange the time of the observation with the therapist, contact the clinician to cancel the observation, dress neatly and professionally, and use professional manners and language during the interaction. Remember you are observing  - save any questions and comments you might have for a time when the supervisor indicates it is appropriate to share. Please review the rules for observers of clinical sessions.