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Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Clinical Supervision:
Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need special training to be a supervisor?

In order to provide quality clinical supervision, speech-language pathologists who accept interns are encouraged establish and maintain competence in supervision.  ASHA has numerous resources on supervision to help you.   Go to the ASHA Web site at . Contact the university liaison for additional resources.

Supervisors are required to have a current ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence and  hold current state credentials for their work setting as required.  It is desirable that the supervisor has at least three years of clinical experience before taking a student intern.


How are off-campus clinical education placements made?

Students are required to get a breadth and depth of clinical experiences over the course of their graduate education.  Students strive to accrue experiences  with clients of various ages with varying social/cultural backgrounds, with needs across the “Big Nine” CSD categories: articulation/phonology, voice/resonance, fluency, receptive/expressive language, social communication, cognitive communication, swallowing, modalities, and hearing.   To do this, students typically complete off-campus placements in one medical and in one education setting.

The university liaison meets with graduate students during their first semester of graduate school to begin the off-campus placement process.  Students’ preferences are considered in the process, but the focus must stay on getting a breadth of clinical education experiences.  Students do have opportunities to complete full-time externships in other cities if the placement meets their education needs, if the department considers the placement request appropriate, if the site accepts the student, if an affiliation agreement can be put in place, and if there is a speech-language pathologist with their CCCs and state credentials who is available to take the student during the time frame requested. 


How are supervisors selected?

Each site has their own policies regarding how a supervisor is selected to take a student intern.  Please contact your administrators to learn how the process works in your facility.  On occasion, an organization asks the university liaison to work directly with their speech-language pathologists to arrange the placements.  More often, the university liaison works with the organization’s Human Resources Department, the organization’s director or program administrator.  The administrator contacts their speech-language pathologists and then informs the university liaison who the supervisor will be for a given intern.


How do I volunteer to take a student?

If you are interested in taking graduate student interns from our program, thank you!! Please check your organization’s policies on taking student interns and on arranging placements. Contact Lynette Carlson, the university liaison for off-campus placements, at or 218-726-6151.


I am interested in taking an intern, but the university program has not sent one.  What might explain that?

Sometimes we have speech-language pathologists at sites with incredible potential to offer a rich educational experience, and no student interns get placed with them.  There could be a number of reasons a student is not placed at the site. 

  • Sometimes students prefer to be placed in certain regions and will decline a  placement based on the region. 

  • Sometimes students need an experience in a different type of setting in order to round out their clinical education. 

  • Sometimes the time frame in which the site is available does not match the time frame needed for a placement. 

  • Sometimes the speech-language pathologist does not have their ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence. 

If you have questions about why a student has not been placed at your site, please contact the university liaison for off-campus placements.


I have accepted a student.  How will I know when they are coming?  What are the dates of the student’s placement?

Typically, when the placement is finalized, the liaison will send a confirmation of the placement by email or postal mail.  As the internship starting dates nears, you will receive a letter in the mail with further details about the placement.  Most information and resources needed for the placement are available on the UMD CSD Web site.


Can I interview the student or get a resume before the student begins?

Supervisors or organizations can require that a student participate in an interview and submit a resume or application for the internship. This request should be made when the placement is first arranged.   


How much of the practicum do I need to directly supervise?

Supervisors must provide as much supervision as they determine the intern requires  in order to ensure the client receives quality service, and never less than 25%.  Your facility, payers, and other regulating agencies may also have rules and regulations regarding the amount of supervision required.


Do I have to be on-site when my student is on-site?

A supervising SLP with CCCs must be on site when the intern is working with clients.  If you need to be gone on a day the student is schedule, the student is NOT allowed to provide therapy or diagnostic services unless there is another ASHA-Certified supervisor who will assume supervision duties for you.  Students cannot be used for coverage.




The intern has had coursework but has never had clients like the ones on my caseload.  Why is that the case?

Over the course of their first year of graduate school, students are focused primarily on completing academic coursework in preparation for more intensive clinical education.  Students do have limited internships in the university clinic, but have had fewer than 10 different client assignments before starting their off-campus placements.  Students have accrued only about 175 clock hours before going off-campus for an internship, and they may have fewer than 100 hours before going off-campus for a mini-practicum. 

Off-campus placements play a major role in the students’ clinical education.  It is their opportunity to learn to “put it all together,” to apply academic and limited clinical knowledge and skills to a more comprehensive clinical education experience.   As students, they have a lot to learn from off-campus supervisors and other professionals and clients in the off-campus setting.  To learn more about supporting student learning, please go to the Off-Campus Supervisor Education in the CSD Resources Web page: .


My intern seems to prefer another setting.  Why were they sent here to work with me?

 The CSD Graduate Degree and ASHA Certification Standards both require a student to obtain a breadth and depth of clinical experiences.  In order to obtain their degree, students generally have off-campus placements that include one medical setting with adults and one school or pediatric clinic.   Students are encouraged to keep an open mind about working in various settings with clients who have a variety of communication impairments.  While some students may have a preference for a certain setting when going into a placement, they often expand their ideas of the types of settings in which they would consider working.  Students often do not realize their options until they have more experiences.


Can I submit a grade electronically?

The CSD Department is transitioning to a Web-based grading system called CALIPSO.  In 2014-15, the faculty will use the tool on-campus.  The program will release the Web-based grading tool to off-campus supervisors in 2015-16.  For 2014-15, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is unable to offer an electronic version of the Grading Protocol.  Student privacy under FERPA regulations presents limitations in electronic exchange of grades.  Please submit all grades via paper/postal mail for this year.


Who do I contact if I have concerns about my intern’s performance?

The university liaison is your contact for any questions or concerns regarding the internship or the intern.  Lynette Carlson is the university liaison for off-campus placements. 

Lynette Carlson
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Minnesota Duluth
177 Chester Park
31 West College Street
Duluth, MN  55812


How can I provide feedback to the program?

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders appreciates the feedback from off-campus supervisors.  Supervisors are welcome to contact the university liaison at any time to provide feedback: .  The university liaison will send a survey to off-campus supervisors after the placement has ended, asking about the clinical education experience.  Returning this survey is another means of providing feedback.  Composite feedback from off-campus supervisors and from student interns is shared with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and with the CSD Community Advisory Committee, to foster continuing improvement in the undergraduate and graduate programs.


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Last modified on 10/29/14 10:58 AM
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