Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Rachelle Kisst Hackett

First Committee Member

Jill Duthie

Second Committee Member

Robert Oprandy


Clinical education is a key element of graduate school training in the field of speech-language pathology. Graduate students are required to obtain 375 supervised clinical practice hours in order to earn their provisional license and begin their career. Supervision of clinical hours is most often provided by experienced speech-language pathologists with minimal, if any, training in effective supervision practices.

Within the field of speech-language pathology, Anderson’s Continuum of Supervision (Anderson, 1988) is the most widely accepted model and provides a structure and sequence for supervisors to follow in order to facilitate the clinical development of their student clinician. Anderson’s model suggests that the collaborative supervision style should be used to transition student clinicians from directive supervision (where they are reliant on the supervisor for direction) to self-supervision, which represents independence. Despite this, and because of a lack of evidenced-based methods and a lack of training opportunities, many supervisors have difficulty implementing the collaborative supervision style. This study examines the effectiveness of an external tool, the Clinician’s Hierarchy for Advancing Treatment (CHAT) (Duthie, 2008), in helping supervisors to implement the collaborative supervision style.

This is an exploratory quantitative, quasi-experimental non-equivalent groups study. Students and supervisors were surveyed about their perceptions of the supervisory process following their participation in a semester-long clinical practicum in a university speech-language pathology clinic. Prior to working with a second cohort of students, the supervisor group was trained on the CHAT. This method features a chart which objectively defines levels of client performance and corresponding levels of clinical supports needed for the client to advance in treatment. Supervisors were trained to use this tool to guide student clinicians in the clinical decision-making processes. Implementation of the CHAT occurred across the following semester in the same university clinic with a new group of student clinicians. Supervisors and students were again surveyed at the end of the semester on their experience of the supervisory process to determine if the perception of collaborative supervision had increased with the implementation of the CHAT.

The Supervisory Relationship Measure (Pearce et al., 2013) and the Supervisory Relationship Questionnaire (Palomo et al., 2010) were used to survey the student clinicians and supervisors, respectively. Independent-samples, one-tailed t-tests were conducted to determine if there was a significant increase in the perception of collaborative supervision. These analyses were conducted using the Safe Base Subscale score from the surveys, of which items focus on the interactions and relationship between the supervisor and the student clinician as they relate to collaboration. Analysis resulted in insufficient evidence to suggest an increase in the perception of collaborative supervision from the first semester (without CHAT) to the second semester when CHAT was implemented. Additional analyses were also conducted on items that were considered particularly salient to collaborative supervision. Results of item-level analyses were marginally significant for two items from the supervisor surveys, both of which queried the supervisor’s perception of the student’s level of openness and honesty in supervisory conferences.

These findings suggest that using an external tool such as the CHAT, may result in student clinicians being more open and honest about their experience of the clinical process in the supervisory conference. It is argued that the objectivity of the external tool prompts more objective conversation between the supervisor and student clinician. The increase in objective conversation, in turn, decreases the judgment and evaluation that students often associate with supervision, thereby creating a safer environment in which to voice their honest reflections.