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Course Description and Learning Outcomes

No matter your work environment, writing goals and objectives is probably part of your job.  Why? There are a few reasons, one of which is that the ASHA Code of Ethics includes several components connecting goals and objectives to effective services.  And you can’t have goals and objective without our dear friend, data.

Data is a common thread that weaves itself throughout the crafting, implementation, and analysis of whether or not somebody met their goals and objectives.  You need data about what a person can currently do in order to write goals that are achievable and meaningful, you need to collect data to assess the efficacy of your treatment, and data helps you determine whether or not those goals were met.

There are a few guidelines to help us in this goal and objective writing process.  Enter the SMART goal.  An acronym referring to certain components that should be included within your goal - spoiler alert, there are at least 5 of them.

Come join us as we talk through the components we should consider when writing goals, including how we are going to collect our data.  Learn more about SMART goals to find out if they could help make the process of goal writing a bit easier, a bit better, and maybe even a bit more enjoyable.

  1. Identify at least two components of quality measurement and different types of data collection that are relevant to goal writing 

  2. Identify at least two necessary considerations prior to beginning to write goals

  3. Label and provide at least one example for each component of a SMART goal

Course Presenters


Kate Grandbois (she/her) & Amy Wonkka (she/her

Kate and Amy are co-founders of SLP Nerdcast. Kate is a dually certified SLP / BCBA who works primarily as an "AAC Specialist." She owns a private practice with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, augmentative alternative communication intervention and assessment, and consultation. Amy is an SLP who also works as an "AAC Specialist" in a public school setting. Amy's primary interests are AAC, typical language development, motor speech, phonology, data collection, collaboration, coaching, and communication partner training and support.

Speaker Disclosures

Kate Grandbois financial disclosures: Kate is the owner / founder of Grandbois Therapy + Consulting, LLC and co-founder of SLP Nerdcast. Kate Grandbois non-financial disclosures: Kate is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. She is also a member of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT), MassABA, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the corresponding Speech Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis SIG. 

Amy Wonkka financial disclosures: Kate is an employee of a public school system and co-founder of SLP Nerdcast.  Amy Wonkka non-financial disclosures: Amy is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

Time Ordered Agenda

10 minutes: Introduction, Disclaimers and Disclosures

20 minutes:  Descriptions of the quality measurement and different types of data collection that are relevant to goal writing 

15 minutes:  Descriptions of the considerations prior to beginning to write goals

10 minutes:  Descriptions of each component of a SMART goal

5 minutes: Summary and Closing

References and Resources

Boavida, T., Aguiar, C., McWilliam, R., & Pimentel, J. S.(2010). Quality of Individualized Education Program goals of preschoolers with disabilities. Infants and Young Children, 23, 233–243.

Diehm, E. (2017). Writing Measurable and Academically Relevant IEP Goals With 80% Accuracy Over Three Consecutive Trials. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 2(16), 34-44. doi:10.1044/persp2.sig16.34

Goodman, J. F., & Bond, L. (1993). The Individualized Education Program: A retrospective critique. The Journal of Special Education, 26, 408–422.

Korsten, J. (2002). Meaningful data: Making sense of + and -. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 11(3), 10-13 ( 

Olswang, L. B. & Bain, B. (1994). Monitoring children’s treatment progress. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 3(3), 55-66

Ruble, L., McGrew, J., Dalrymple, N., & Jung, L. (2010). Examining the quality of IEPs for young children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 1460–1470.

Swigert, N. (2014). Patient Outcomes, NOMS, and Goal Writing for Pediatrics and Adults. Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), 23(2), 65-71. doi:10.1044/sasd23.2.65

ASHA’s National Outcomes Measurement System:

 ASHA’s Code of Ethics,making%20related%20to%20professional%20conduct.

Massachusetts Teachers Association Center for Education, Policy, and Practice

Tricks to Take the Pain Out of Writing Treatment Goals 

ASHA Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) in Schools DOs and DON’Ts Roles and Responsibilities of SLPs in Schools Working Group


The contents of this episode are not meant to replace clinical advice.  SLP Nerdcast, its hosts and guests do not represent or endorse specific products or procedures mentioned during our episodes unless otherwise stated.  We are NOT PhDs, but we do research our material.  We do our best to provide a thorough review and fair representation of each topic that we tackle.  That being said, it is always likely that there is an article we’ve missed, or another perspective that isn’t shared.  If you have something to add to the conversation, please email us! We'd love to hear from you!