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​CSPG 86 - School Speech and Language Pathologist (PK-12)

​Educational Specialist Area Code 1883
Modified: October 1, 2019

Speech and Language instruction is the art and science of providing intervention to persons with communication impairments that adversely impact educational performance. A speech-language pathologist is responsible for the diagnosis, prognosis, prescription, remediation and the intervention of speech, language, and swallowing disorders. A speech-language pathologist evaluates and treats children who have difficulty speaking, listening, reading, writing, or swallowing. The overall objective of speech-language pathology services is to optimize an individual's ability to communicate and swallow, thereby improving quality of life and educational achievement.

Grade Level Scope of Certificate

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate as an Educational Specialist for School Speech and Language Pathologist is qualified to teach and provide services for students in pre-kindergarten through grade PK-12, both inside and outside the classroom utilizing a variety of service delivery options.

Certification Assignment

An educator holding a valid Pennsylvania Educational Specialist Certificate for School Speech and Language Pathologist is qualified to teach individuals with speech and language disabilities in the following areas: language, articulation, fluency, voice, oral motor, phonological, alphabetic principle-phonics, social language disorders, and other appropriate areas. This person cannot serve as the teacher of record for a Speech and Language Impaired classroom or assign grades as the teacher of record.

The educator with this certification is qualified to develop, implement and assess individualized education programs, and participate in school wide implementation of a standards aligned system. They understand and apply applicable laws and policies to assess speech and language disorders, develop and implement specific treatment regimens, and treat diagnosed disabilities.

This person has demonstrated knowledge of communication and swallowing disorders and differences, including the appropriate etiologies, characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates in the following areas:

Articulation; fluency; voice and resonance, including respiration and phonation; receptive and expressive language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, pre-linguistic communication and paralinguistic communication) in speaking, listening, reading, writing; hearing, including the impact on speech and language; swallowing (oral, pharyngeal, esophageal and related functions, including oral function for feeding, orofacial myology); cognitive aspects of communication (attention, memory, sequencing, problem-solving, executive functioning); social aspects of communication (including challenging behavior, ineffective social skills and lack of communication opportunities); and augmentative and alternative communication modalities.

This person is qualified to assess the effects of speech and language disorders on educational performance and to plan and manage assessment and intervention of student instruction.

Special Considerations

An educator certified in this field may:

  • Provide professional development;
  • Serve in the role of mentor or advisor; and
  • Assist students in understanding how to read content area materials.


Program Specific Guidelines for Certification

22 Pa. Code: Chapter 4: §4.21, §4.22, §4.23

Chapter 49: §49.11, §49.81

Chapter 14

Pa. Public School Code: §1202, §1212, §1604

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject. Previous printing dates on this subject: 8/14

Summary of Changes

Date of RevisionsMajor changes to CSPG #86
  • Updated grade scope for consistency and clarification