The clinical fellowship year (CFY) is an exciting time for post-grad speech-language pathologists, as it gives them an opportunity to apply everything they’ve learned into practice—all while gaining the valuable experience of working under a mentor.

This year places SLPs one step closer to pursuing independent practice. They’ll face challenges, help real patients, get hands-on industry experience, and work with exceptional mentors they can turn to throughout their careers.

This year is crucial to ensure SLPs are introduced to independent practice with the expertise, skills, and experience needed. So, to maintain CFYs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) allowed for CFY hours to be obtained through telepractice and telesupervision. However, this prior COVID-19 guidance on SLP CFY teletherapy has expired, meaning prospective SLPs need to become familiar with the new rules in place for completing a CFY.

According to ASHA, if you begin your CFY experience on or after January 1, 2023:

  • You may earn up to 25% of the required 1,260 hours using telepractice.
  • Your CFY mentor may complete up to three of the six required direct observations using telesupervision.
  • Your CFY mentor must meet the supervision requirements in Standard V-E in order for you to count the hours that they supervise you. It is the responsibility of the clinical fellow to verify that their mentor’s certification remains up-to-date throughout the CFY.

What is a Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY)?

After receiving a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, graduates must complete a clinical fellowship year (CFY) before they can practice independently. A CFY provides SLPs with practical experience under a mentor where they will need to obtain 1,260 working hours under supervision in either part-time or full-time work.

In the CFY, SLPs will have direct clinical contact helping with the management of disorders, and the responsibilities include providing assessment or diagnostic evaluations, treatment, IEPs, or other duties outlined by ASHA.

Which Qualifications Do I Need for a CFY?

Before starting a CFY, SLPs must have an undergraduate degree in a relevant area of study, such as speech-language pathology, communication sciences or linguistics, and a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an institution accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Once an SLP has these two degrees, they can apply for a CFY.

How Does a Remote CFY Work?

The quantity of remote work and type of remote activities completed by SLP CFY teletherapy is determined by the mentor. According to ASHA, up to 25% of the direct patient contact hours may be earned through telepractice when permitted by the employer and deemed appropriate for the patient and the clinical fellow’s skill level.

If a mentor finds it appropriate for the clinical fellow to gain remote experience, the clinical fellow will complete standard SLP responsibilities through telepractice, which is a virtual meeting with video and audio enabled. The mentor will also be on the video call providing telesupervision of the SLP.

What Are My Roles and Responsibilities When Working Remotely as a CFY? 

The remote hours accomplished during a CFY will be similar to the in-person activities that the clinical fellow will experience. It may involve the SLP—under telesupervision of the mentor—providing assessments, diagnoses, evaluations, screening, treatments, consultations, or counseling via a virtual meeting with video and audio enabled.

How to Apply for a Remote CFY

If you are a graduate looking to start your CFY, the ProCare Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship Program is a great way to find the right fellowship opportunities for you with added support and guidance throughout the CFY.

At ProCare Therapy, our mission is to encourage each child to confidently reach their full potential. To do this, we work with graduates and help them become skillful and successful SLPs. With ProCare’s CFY program, we guarantee CFY placement and match you with the right CFY for you and your aspirations. You’ll be equipped with the latest testing materials and receive ongoing training and mentorship from our advisory team of experienced SLPs nationwide.

Find Remote SLP CFY Jobs

Congratulations—you’re ready to embark on an exciting year getting hands-on experience as an SLP! If you’re looking for opportunities to gain industry exposure in a partially remote CFY job, we invite you to explore ProCare Therapy’s SLP CFY jobs. Our wide selection of CFY positions means you can choose where you want to work and in what specialty, from school-based CFYs to CFYs that offer oral motor and feeding therapy experience. Find SLP CFY opportunities located nationwide here with ProCare today, and we’re sure to have the perfect match for you.

SLP CFY Teletherapy FAQs

Explore frequently asked questions about how SLP CFY teletherapy works and what a CFY with opportunities can do for you.

How does a remote CFY compare to an in-person CFY? 

The remote clinical hours you obtain in your CFY are similar to what you will provide to patients in person. According to ASHA, at least 80% of the CFY experience must be in direct patient contact (e.g., assessment, diagnosis, evaluation, screening, treatment, clinical research activities, consultations, recordkeeping, report writing, and/or counseling) related to the management process for individuals who exhibit communication or swallowing disabilities.

So, the primary difference between remote and in-person direct patient contact is that remote services will be provided to patients via telepractice.

What are the benefits of taking a CFY remotely?

The remote experience you’ll receive in a CFY is incredibly beneficial, especially if you’ll pursue a remote speech-language pathology job in the future. When providing telepractice to patients, you’ll benefit from the less time and money spent traveling to and from appointments and the ease of attending sessions in the familiar comfort of your own home.

Additionally, you’ll become familiar with the digital tools that you may end up using later down the line in your SLP career. For example, video and audio analysis tools and unique virtual activities that can be accomplished by patients in real-time during the meeting.

What is my job outlook once I’ve completed a CFY?

After completing and passing the CFY program, you still have a few more requirements before getting a job as an SLP. SLPs must take and pass the Praxis Examinations in speech-language pathology, and this is usually accomplished during the CFY.

Next, once you’ve finished the CFY and passed the Praxis examination, you need to apply for the ASHA certification and the state licensure required for the state you’ll want to practice in. Once these steps are completed, you’ll be a certified SLP and can begin looking for jobs.

The national job outlook for SLPs is very promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 28.7% between 2020 and 2030, with an estimated 15,200 job openings each year. Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, New York, Arkansas, Nevada, Utah and Texas are the states that will have the greatest employment growth between 2020 and 2030. Employment of SLPs in each of these states is projected to increase by over 35%.