APA Education GRO Launches Advocacy Training Webinar - June 2008

In our increasingly Internet-dependent society, it is not unusual to find people glued to their computers and/or BlackBerrys at any time of the day or night. In fact, we now use our fingertips to communicate or find information on any topic at a moments notice. Everything is but a "click" away.

With this in mind, on June 18 the Education Government Relations Office hosted its first-ever online advocacy training webinar, titled "Advocating for a Piece of the Federal Pie: Gaining Support for Psychology Education and Training." During the one-hour session, three areas were covered: 1) basic (introductory) information about the role of advocacy and its benefits to psychology; 2) brief review of federal legislative process using current legislative initiatives; and 3) tips on communicating effectively with Members of Congress.

Advocacy training is one of the most important services that Education GRO provides to APA members, and especially to members of our grassroots network. However, it's not always possible for members to stop teaching and leave their work to attend advocacy training sessions that are often held during the annual meetings or in Washington, DC. Consequently, Education GRO is in the process of developing a series of advocacy training webinar sessions that will be available on-line to psychologists all across the country.

Connected by computer and conference call, participants in the webinar will follow simple instructions that allow them to access a private on-line "meeting room", where webinar presenters are able to go through power point presentations, show videos, administer tests and polls, and chat with the attendees.

Because of the interactive nature of the webinar, the sessions are limited to 20 participants, with Campus/Training Representatives (CTRs) and other members of the Federal Education Advocacy Coordinators grassroots network given priority. However, interested faculty colleagues and students may also participate, as openings permit.

In addition to an "introductory" overview of advocacy, Education GRO is developing two more hour-long webinars. One will focus on advocacy at all three levels of government (local, state, federal); and the other will explain the important role that political giving plays in advocacy.

Education GRO hopes to be able to use these on-line training webinars to provide advocacy training to CTRs and other psychologists and students several times a year. Providing easy-to-access training will not only promote a better understanding of the value and importance of advocacy, but ensure that members of our grassroots network have the background and skills needed to advocate effectively on behalf of psychology!