The Critical Shortage of Speech-Language Pathologists in the Public School Setting: Features of the Work Environment That Affect Recruitment and Retention PurposeThe primary focus of this study was to elicit the perspectives of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) regarding features of the work environment that contribute to and/or hinder recruitment and retention in the public school setting.MethodA questionnaire was distributed to SLPs employed in 10 school districts in Central Florida representing small, medium, ... Article
Article  |   January 2007
The Critical Shortage of Speech-Language Pathologists in the Public School Setting: Features of the Work Environment That Affect Recruitment and Retention
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Debra L. Edgar, The University of Central Florida, Communication Disorders Clinic, 12424 Research Parkway, Suite 155, Orlando, FL 32816-2215. E-mail: dedgar@mail.ucf.edu
  • © 2007 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training
Article   |   January 2007
The Critical Shortage of Speech-Language Pathologists in the Public School Setting: Features of the Work Environment That Affect Recruitment and Retention
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2007, Vol. 38, 31-46. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/004)
History: Received April 15, 2005 , Revised October 31, 2005 , Accepted June 16, 2006
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2007, Vol. 38, 31-46. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/004)
History: Received April 15, 2005; Revised October 31, 2005; Accepted June 16, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

PurposeThe primary focus of this study was to elicit the perspectives of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) regarding features of the work environment that contribute to and/or hinder recruitment and retention in the public school setting.

MethodA questionnaire was distributed to SLPs employed in 10 school districts in Central Florida representing small, medium, and large school districts. The primary goal of the questionnaire was to elicit the perspectives of school-based SLPs regarding (a) factors in the work environment that contribute to retention, (b) factors in the work environment that hinder retention, and (c) issues that may contribute to the recruitment and retention of SLPs in the school setting. A total of 382 questionnaires was obtained, yielding a 64.5% response rate.

ResultsThe participants ranked working with children, school schedule, and educational setting as primary reasons for their satisfaction with working in the public school setting. The participants ranked workload, role ambiguity, salary, and caseload as primary reasons for their dissatisfaction with working in the public school setting.

ConclusionThemes emerged from the data that provide insight into several factors that serve as powerful influences in understanding issues of recruitment and retention of SLPs in the public school setting.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Special thanks to my Chair and Advisor, Dr. Lee Cross, for her encouragement and support of this research. I want to extend my thanks to the 10 district administrators of the Central Florida Speech-Language Consortium for their support, assistance, and encouragement and for their participating clinicians. Without their support, this study would not have been possible.
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