From the Executive Director

Among the directorate's accomplishments are the adoption of the Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology and the National Standards for the High School Psychology Curricula

Dr. Cynthia BelarAs the year draws to a close, I am mindful of the hard work by our staff and governance groups to advance education in psychology and psychology in education. This is the year that the Education Directorate turned 21, and we can confidently say that we have come of age. A full report of our activities can be found on our website or elsewhere in this newsletter, so I will note only a few here. Of great significance has been APA’s adoption as policy two very important documents we have worked on with our governance groups: the Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology and the National Standards for the High School Psychology Curricula. These policies demonstrate APA’s commitment to teaching psychology as a science and to accountability in higher education, both of which are important in meeting national needs. We believe that psychological literacy is a public good.

Throughout the year we have also collaborated with other health professions organizations, government agencies and groups (e.g., the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, the Carter Center) in promoting workforce development, interprofessional competence, and integrated care in the changing health care system. In working with our own community of education and training organizations, we have supported an increased focus on quality assurance and interdisciplinarity.

In other areas, our Board of Educational Affairs received a telling report, based on responses from approximately 4,700 classroom teachers, on violence in the classroom, and we created a new module on teacher stress to add to our classroom management series used by teachers and in teacher education. The Online Psychology Laboratory website also continues to serve the education community, as documented by the over 500,000 page views per year. And prospective graduate students now have access to the 2012 version of Graduate Study in Psychology.

The infrastructure for support of the APA CE Sponsor Approval process and the APA Commission on Accreditation (CoA) have required intensive attention this year as we have moved more of our activities online. Although there have been bumps along the way, we trust that the new systems to be implemented will provide a more efficient process for those submitting applications and for the volunteers who serve in the peer review process. With respect to our regulatory activities, this year we also went through a review ourselves—that is, the U.S. Department of Education recognition process for the APA CoA as an accrediting agency.

Consistent with our mission, we continue to support the professional development of our members in a variety of ways, such as through CE workshops at the convention, the expansion of the APA Online Academy, and the launching of live webcasts of our Clinician’s Corner Workshops. Some of the programming related to developments in statistical analyses have been our most popular.

Our advocacy efforts are described elsewhere, but I do want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have participated in our grassroots efforts. As they say, all politics are local, and we could not have achieved what we did without your help. Please consider becoming a campus training representative so we can get information out to your communities most efficiently. It is also essential that we have educators’ participation in the Education Advocacy Trust so that we may engage in the full range of activities essential to effective advocacy. If you are not a member, please join us.

Directorate staff continue to provide support and expertise for a number of important initiatives, the reports of which will be forthcoming. The BEA Primary Care Training Task Force has articulated a set of initiatives to promote training in primary care. Our Education and Training for Health Service Psychology Working Group has identified seven major issues for focused attention in the future and will be developing a blueprint for action early in 2012. In addition, staff have been working with task forces on educational disparities and training for multidisciplinary team science as well as proposals for teacher certification. Be sure to stay tuned. We have another exciting year ahead, and I am buoyed not only by our mission, but the opportunity to work with our high-quality, dedicated staff.