Chapter 10: Other APA Activities of Interest to Divisions
Continuing Education in Psychology
One of the goals of the Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP) Office is to serve as a resource to APA divisions on issues related to continuing professional education. The APA CEP Office works closely with the CEP Committee to plan and implement continuing professional education programs at the APA convention and at other times during the year, to review applications from organizations seeking approval as sponsors of continuing professional education for psychologists, and to make policy and program recommendations regarding APA's initiatives related to continuing professional education and training.
The CEP Committee selects approximately 55-60 CEP workshops for presentation during the APA convention that provide CEP opportunities on a wide variety of topics to approximately 1500 psychologists each year. Workshops are solicited through a call for proposals each fall, with selections finalized in December for the following year's convention. The CEP workshops are offered during scheduled convention hours over a five-day period.
The APA CE Office also offers a vigorous Independent Study Program that allows psychologists to participate in self-directed study using current APA publications. Other CEP opportunities during the year include cruise and other travel opportunities and an annual CE Winter Weekend in the month of February.
The CEP Committee has the responsibility of administering the sponsor approval system, and currently has approved approximately 670 sponsors of continuing education for psychologists. These organizations have demonstrated their ability to provide highly regarded CEP programs that adhere to the criteria established by the APA Council of Representatives. APA divisions pay reduced fees when applying for approval and when maintaining their sponsorship.
An additional service the APA CEP Office offers to APA divisions is the review and approval of individual CEP programs planned by divisions for presentation as pre-convention CEP workshops. This option allows Divisions to seek APA approval of their individual programs in order to meet the specific requirements of the state of California. Such approval assures divisions that their members who are licensed in California will be able to participate in divisional CEP programs and utilize the CE credits to meet their licensing requirements.
The APA CE Office staff is available at any time to division officers for technical assistance and to answer questions related to continuing professional education.
The American Psychological Foundation (APF)
The American Psychological Foundation (APF) is a nonprofit, philanthropic organization which provides grants, scholarships, and awards to individuals and groups in order to advance the science and the practice of psychology for the understanding of behavior and the benefit of human welfare. PRIVATE
Individuals and organizations support the Foundation through cash contributions, bequests, stocks, life insurance, and other planned gifts. Those APA members who include APF in their estate plans through their wills, trusts, and other such mechanisms become members of APF's Legacy Club. Many individuals also contribute in honor or in memory of someone close to them. The individual recognized (or the family of the individual) receives an acknowledgment that a donation has been made in his or her honor.
For further information on the American Psychological Foundation, please call Elisabeth Straus, Director of APF, at (202) 336-5824.
Public Affairs Office
The Public Affairs Office is a department of three media relations experts who serve as the official channel of communication between the Association and the news media and general public. The department is part of the Office of Public Communications.
Its mission is to advance the public's knowledge and appreciation of psychology and to position APA as the definitive voice of the profession. The department reaches its targeted audiences primarily through news stories in newspapers, journals, magazines, television, and radio; and generates at least 2 - 3 thousand news stories about psychology and APA each year.
One of the biggest projects of the year is the planning and operation of the press room at the APA Convention. The department also operates a Media Referral Service (MRS) and conducts media training workshops for APA members who wish to give interviews to the press.
APA's Web Site
APA was among the first associations to provide a public web site starting in January 1995. Now with over 10,000 public information documents, the site sustains over 3.5 million file transfers representing over 300,000 unique visitors each week. In addition a special secured member area now offers APA members and affiliates access to PsycINFO and APA Journal Articles online. The site content and design is coordinated by a special web staff committee representing the APA directorates. Management of the site is handled through the Office of Communications Internet Services department. The Division page on APA's Web site is linked to divisions that have their own World Wide Web sites, and includes basic information on each division. The Web site is an effective tool for distributing timely information to the public quickly and at low cost.
Center for Workforce Studies (CWS)
The primary mission of the Center for Workforce Studies (CWS) is to collect, analyze, and disseminate information relevant to psychology's labor force and educational system. To do this, the office conducts major periodic surveys examining the early labor market experiences of new doctorates in psychology, salaries of psychologists, and the characteristics of graduate departments (e.g., faculty salaries and student characteristics). Research staff also are responsible for providing technical assistance on data collection strategies and research methodology to governance groups and Central Office units, and for conducting other studies of the membership deemed important by the Association. Divisions are encouraged to contact the office with questions or for additional information at (202) 336-5980; E-mail: Research or visit the CWS Web site.
Psychology Defense Fund
The Psychology Defense Fund (PDF) was established by the APA Council of Representatives to provide support for legislative and legal activities which focus on the definition, regulation, and recognition of psychology as a science and a profession, and as a means of promoting public welfare. The PDF is separate from the APA operating budget and is supported solely by contribution from individuals, APA divisions, state-affiliated organizations, and other groups.
Since its inception, the Psychology Defense Fund has awarded approximately $788,720 through December 30, 1998. The following categories are representative of the types of awards made:
14 awards to support suitable environments for scientific research; 12 of these awards are related to animal research/welfare issues and 2 related to publicly funded research;
68 awards to state-level associations for legal, ethical, and legislative projects (e.g., sunset, licensing, direct recognition);
17 awards to support psychologists' right to practice in hospital settings, including legislative projects and the precedent-setting CAPP v. Rank lawsuit;
10 awards to school psychologists for litigation involving ethical issues, practice standards, and disclosure of records;
35 awards to support litigation and legislation, including scope of practice, freedom of choice statutes, surrounding issues of reimbursement for psychologists under insurance, managed care, and employee benefit plans;
14 awards to support lawsuits involving licensing the protection of therapist-clients privilege and the confidentiality of records;
5 awards to support psychologists in employment disputes occurring in academic and hospital settings; and,
a total of $30,000 to support the antitrust action which won the right for psychologists to be admitted without discrimination to psychoanalytic training institutes.
The Committee on Women in Psychology Network
The Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) has an established network of representatives of divisions and state and regional associations with whom CWP coordinates efforts to improve the status of women in psychology, to increase women's participation in the various organizations within psychology including APA governance, and to collect and disseminate information on women's issues in psychology.
The CWP network meeting that is held at the APA annual convention provides an opportunity for network representatives or their designates attending the convention to have face-to-face communication and discuss issues of common concern with CWP. During the year, communication is maintained through an active listserv of Network representatives. A database of information on Network representatives is also maintained by the WPO. Women's groups within divisions and states may turn to CWP and the Women's Programs Office for support for their activities as well as technical assistance.