Millennials and Future SLPs

The 2009 ASHA Board of Directors and  Lemke and Dublinske prepared a document – Designing ASHA’s Future: Trends for the Association and the Professions – for the SLP profession. One of the future “trends” I was most interested in related to Generation Y, or the Millennial generation (born between 1982 and 2002).

In 2011, ASHA surveyed the professions’ impression of Generation Y with the question “What has your experience with members of generation Y led you to believe about their future involvement in Association volunteer roles compared to that of other generations?” (ASHA, 2011).  Most respondents, 68%, agreed it would be more challenging to engage this group of individuals; however, the article compared the results to a 2007 survey which showed:

“Respondents reported the generation  to believe more strongly in the importance of volunteering…[the challenge] will be in finding meaningful and substantive ways to involve these less experienced but eager young professionals” (p. 4).

**Waves** I’m an “eager young professional” ASHA – I am ready to be captivated **

So what was the consensus solution to address the issue?  ASHA’s strategic objectives to address future issues included:

  1. Develop and implement programs that engage members in ASHA activities,
  2. Increase targeted events for new members only in the profession three to five years.
  3. Public relations with members and STUDENTS
  4. Customize programs and products for the targeted audience


I can tell ASHA is putting forth efforts to engage my generation. Do you feel engaged if you are in this population? Or even if you aren’t…what makes you feel connected to ASHA and the national office?

A new type of social network began in 2006 – they called it Twitter. Magical. Mystical. Fantastic. Sharing in 140 characters or less appealed to the Millennial generation with its quick shared messages and online community orientation (Epstein, 2006). For SLPs who used Twitter, the hashtag “#SLPeeps”was used by 666 tweeters in October 2011 (McGary, 2011). As the number continued to grow, Twitter and other social networks created an “engagement mechanism” which allowed Millennials to participate and self-organize around issues they found relevant (Lemke, 2010).

Generation Y or Millennials entered the workforce as “digital natives” with a sense for technology; ASHA needed to quickly address the generational divide as the new trend emerged (Lemke, 2010). While articles and research conducted showed improvement in generational differences, much research still needs to be done.  The Millennials cannot remain the ‘new’ generation for long; as they raise children and their children enter the workforce, this trend will continue to be relevant and impact the profession.

I want to contribute. I want to volunteer. I want to make an impact on our profession. For now, my blog is my way to interact. It’s my “engagement mechanism”, ASHA.

Check out other posts related to Research Tuesday!


American Speech-Language Hearing Association [ASHA] (2011).  Impact of the future survey results: Responses from advisory council members. Retrieved from

American Speech-Language Hearing Association [ASHA] (2012) Trends and forecasts. Retrieved from

Epstein, M. & Howes, P. (2006). The Millennial generation: Recruiting, retaining, and managing. Today’s CPA, 24-27.

Lemke, A & Dublinske, S. (2010) Designing ASHA’s future: Trends for the association and the professions. Retrieved from

McGary, M. (2011). Clinicians turn to Twitter to connect and share expertise. The ASHA Leader, 11.

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