From the Education Directorate

The inaugural Education Leadership Conference (ELC), held on October 28-30 2001, was a success in facilitating a rethinking process concerning education in psychology and psychology in education.

Education Leadership Conference: Successfully Shaping the Future of Education

The inaugural Education Leadership Conference (ELC) held on October 28-30 2001, was a success in facilitating a rethinking process concerning education in psychology and psychology in education. As many other disciplines have already undertaken the process of identifying their vital roles in education from K-12 and beyond, psychology has often been segmented among its many subareas and levels and the diverse initiatives that those areas support. For the first time, participant-leaders from over 20 education and training organizations in psychology and representatives from APA divisions and governance groups were brought together to think broadly about the discipline of psychology, to reflect upon its infrastructure, and to examine its future.

Participant-leaders and APA Education Directorate staff worked together in small, focused groups to brainstorm the issues, which will be prioritized by participants. These priorities have the potential to become an agenda for future conferences and intergroup collaborations that will set the tone for cohesive action within the discipline to influence the teaching of psychology and the preparation of future psychologists. The agenda can also serve as a vehicle for addressing the critical role that psychology can play in education, and where appropriate, public policy regarding psychology in education and education in psychology.

The ELC was honored to have Seymour Sarason, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Yale University, as the distinguished keynote speaker. The ELC was also honored to have school principal Michael Silverman, from Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia, PA to provide his insight on current issues for educators and school communities, and how psychology can make a difference. A keynote panel on the future of education in psychology was comprised of psychologists with significant experience in education and higher education administration. Those panelists included: Edward P. Sheridan, PhD (Moderator), Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Houston; Judith E. N. Albino, PhD, President, Alliant International University; and Wilbert J. McKeachie, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Michigan.

The APA Education Directorate is excited to have had the opportunity to work with its Board of Educational Affairs in developing this initial conference and in meeting its objectives. Thanks are due to all participants for their hard work and dedication to envisioning psychology's role for the future. We look forward to continued collaboration on issues that will require more in-depth examination and action steps. For ELC updates, please visit our website at

Precollege and Undergraduate Programs Update

The Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools are eager to share information about their initiatives on behalf of high school psychology teachers. In 2001, TOPSS offered five workshops for high school psychology teachers in 2001 and hosted 8 hours of convention programming at the APA Convention. This year, TOPSS will host several more workshops for teachers and make plans for a special convention program in Chicago, Illinois. TOPSS looks forward to celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2002! Look for announcements about special events to recognize the occasion at the APA Convention!

During the fall of 2001, TOPSS collaborated with the APA Membership Development staff to conduct a recruiting drive to attract Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology teachers to join APA as high school teacher affiliates. In addition, the TOPSS Executive Board recently launched a fundraising campaign in collaboration with the American Psychological Foundation. The purpose of the campaign is to work towards establishing an endowment fund that will support scholarships and special initiatives for high school psychology teachers and their students.

TOPSS members have been instrumental in reviewing the National Standards for the Teaching of High School Psychology, which is being revised. Members of APA Divisions have provided input and a number of psychologists have worked with the Standards Working Group as expert reviewers. APA Divisions will have an opportunity to review and comment upon subsequent drafts of the National Standards in the coming months.

The BEA Community College Working Group (CCWG) has been heavily involved in planning for its transition to the newly approved Committee of Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges (PT@CC). CCWG is approaching the final stages of their work on a survey of psychology departments at community colleges. A summary reporting on their findings will be available later this year. CCWG is eager to learn more about the needs of two-year college faculty and hopes to develop initiatives that will address critical issues for these teachers.

In 2001, the BEA Task Force on Psychology Major Competencies developed the National Guidelines and Suggested Learning Outcomes for the Undergraduate Psychology Major to describe a set of goals and learning outcomes for the undergraduate psychology major. Substantial progress has been made by this group, which although it has only met once, is now working on revising its 10th draft after receipt of considerable field input. The student outcomes articulated to date include a broad range of competencies encompassed in a psychology major in a liberal arts and sciences education. In addition, outcomes will address competencies developed to serve students seeking entrance to graduate or professional schools, as well as those entering the labor force upon receipt of the baccalaureate degree. This document will serve as an important contribution to the discipline of psychology that will be valuable to psychology departments, faculty members, and to higher education administrators. In 2002, the Task Force intends to address implementation issues, including recommendations for assessment of the standards and learning outcomes specified in the report. APA Divisions are invited to review the report that is available on the web at

Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP)

The Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) has received petitions for recognition by APA of the following proficiencies and specialty: a proficiency in “Serious Mental Illness: Systems, Services, and Interventions,” a proficiency in “Sport Psychology, “ and continued recognition of a specialty in “Industrial-Organizational Psychology.” The proposed petitions can be viewed at the CRSPPP website at the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP). Hard copies of the petitions are available upon request.

Prior to CRSPPP's consideration of these petitions, a period of public notice and opportunity for comment is required. A period of public notice and opportunity for comment of 60 days is available beginning January 1, 2002. Comments may be submitted until March 1, 2002. Comments may be submitted via e-mail to Joan Freund. Written comments may also be submitted to Joan Freund, Office of Graduate Education and Training, Education Directorate at the APA address.

For more information, contact Joan Freund at (202) 336-5967 or by e-mail at Joan Freund.

Attention Program Chairs!

The Education Directorate and the Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) have an ongoing interest in working with APA divisions to define, prioritize, and address education and training issues that are regarded to be most critical for psychology. Recognizing the important role of APA divisions and to help you publicize your programs, we are pleased to let you know that BEA will continue the “education and training track" of programming for the 2002 Convention in Chicago. To meet this goal, BEA would like to co-list your division’s programs that relate to education and training in psychology and psychology in education and training.

Because education issues cut across all areas of psychology, we invite each of you to review your division's convention programs and to inform the Education Directorate of relevant sessions to co-list in 2002. We encourage you to use this quick and easy form, and to visit the website for other information pertaining to division programming submissions. All co-listed information will be compiled, posted on the Education Directorate website, and disseminated in hardcopy to your Division members as well as other APA members and students prior to the convention.

We look forward to working with you this year. If you have any questions, please feel free send e-mail to BEA.

[Note: Please remember that when you submit your programs to the APA Convention database (By February 4, 2002) to add the Board of Educational Affairs as a co-listed group for the sessions you have selected.]

Education Directorate Unveils a New Online Forum for Psychologists

The APA Education Directorate invites you to visit the new Education Leadership in Psychology Forum, which is an online resource where educators can talk among themselves and share information about education and training in psychology. The Forum was an idea that came out of the 2000 Education Leadership Roundtable annual meeting, and was unveiled at the 2001 Roundtable during the APA Convention.

Dr. Cynthia Belar, Executive Director of the Education Directorate, welcomes use of the Forum, as your participation will help make it a dynamic communication tool for the sharing of information about education and training in psychology. Discussion topics that are currently showcased on the Forum are: Education and Technology, Assessment of Learning Outcomes, Innovations in Education and Training, Psychological Aspects of Terror in the Classroom, and one that discusses important issues in education and training that take place in various organizations. There is also an area where you can submit suggestions for new topics.

The Education Directorate webstaff will continue to administer the site, noting your comments and ideas for future changes. APA members and affiliates are encouraged to participate in the forum, as its success and utility can only be measured by its use.

Dr. Rena Subotnik Accepts New Position in Education Directorate

The APA Education Directorate is pleased announce that Rena Subotnik, Ph.D., has accepted the position of Director of the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE) as of January 1, 2002. Dr. Subotnik has been a professor of teacher education, an APA Congressional Fellow in child policy, and currently serves on the executive board of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Under her leadership, CPSE hopes to further Education Directorate efforts in the application of psychology to education. Dr. Subotnik is currently the Director for the Center for Gifted Education Policy, which is funded by the American Psychological Foundation (APF). Dr. Subotnik will administer both centers, under the management of CPSE. The directorate is very fortunate to have Dr. Subotnik, and looks forward to her leadership in future Education endeavors.

CoA Request for Comment: Unaccredited Internships

The Committee on Accreditation (CoA) would like to make available a proposed accreditation implementing regulation for review and comment. Comments can be sent to the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation at the APA address, fax 202-336-5978, email Accreditation by February 15, 2002. The CoA will consider all comments received, make whatever revisions are considered appropriate, and formally approve a final Implementing Regulation.

Specifically, the CoA has been discussing issues related to unaccredited internships that are conducted at separate sites and also unaccredited internship experiences that are constructed by and integrated with the doctoral programs. Sometimes called "divided internships," "separated internships," “or integrated internships,” these training opportunities include those in which the student interns at two (or more) unrelated sites either simultaneously or sequentially.

As a result of these discussions, the following regulatory statements have been proposed:

  • A doctoral program that uses or administers non-accredited internships for its students must address this use in its training philosophy, training plan, and must also articulate goals, objectives, outcome criteria that are consistent with the philosophy. It must be clear to students that they will graduate from an accredited doctoral program, but not from an accredited internship.

  • The G&P for internships describe the standards of quality expected of doctoral internship experiences. The doctoral program is responsible for ensuring that all internships are consistent with the G&P, regardless of whether or not they choose to seek accreditation.

  • In addition, internships separated among two or more sites should pay particular attention to the expectation that the training program be sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity. Doctoral programs that use such internships must have mechanisms to insure that this principle is accomplished and demonstrate that it is accomplished. The responsibility to do so lies with the doctoral training program.

In addition, the following implementation actions for site visitors of a doctoral program with a non-accredited internship program have been proposed:

  • In order to implement these principles, the CoA will develop procedures by which doctoral programs that employ non-accredited internship experiences for a majority of their students will be reviewed not only by site visitors designated to examine doctoral programs, but also by site visitors designated to examine internships. The CoA will select a representative sample of internships (at least 10%), and will request that the programs provide information about the internships sites that will allow assessment of the site for consistency with the G&P. The site visitors will visit each site, meet with the training director, staff, and interns, and write an abbreviated report on the consistency of each of the sites visited. While the CoA encourages non-accredited internships to seek accreditation, the review process described here for doctoral programs that employ non-accredited internships does not imply that these internship experiences are independently accredited.