From the CEO

Nearly half of all APA members belong to one of the association’s 54 divisions, which represent psychology’s many and varied facets. A significant number of members belong to two or more. From clinical practice to experimental psychology, from teaching to trauma, arts to media, there is a division for every APA member. (The full list of divisions is available online.)

Recognizing the importance of divisions, APA has developed several services to help divisions meet their members’ needs. New this year, through APA’s Division Services Office, APA is offering support for division officers and committees, meeting planning, and even graphic design help. Through APA’s à la carte services, divisions can try out different approaches, such as marketing initiatives and workshops. Each division will be assigned an account representative to assist with all needs and serve as a central point of contact.

APA also provides free Web hosting and online content management to divisions, allowing them to offer valuable information to both members and the public. Free listservs enable division leaders to discuss management issues, share best practices and communicate important APA updates. APA also keeps division members connected to each other through Division Dialogue, produced by APA’s Division Services Office. This monthly e-newsletter offers articles on recruiting, engaging, renewing and reinstating division members, among other topics.

In the financial realm, APA offers free accounting services to all divisions through CBIZ, a national CPA firm. This means a division treasurer has less day-to-day paperwork while still maintaining control over finances. Year-end reports and tax filings are prepared for the division, and financial records are stored and archived for at least seven years.

Of course, the future success of APA and its divisions is guaranteed by ensuring that new psychologists know about the benefits of division membership. Not surprisingly, APA members who join a division become engaged in critical issues of the day and are more likely to retain APA membership. But only a quarter of early career psychologist members have joined a division, so getting the word out about the benefits is important. That’s why APA asked its Committee on Early Career Psychologists for ideas on how best to recruit and retain early career psychologists. The committee came up with a wealth of ideas, including creating division mentoring programs, offering ways to help new members navigate the APA governance structure and paying for early career psychologists to travel to division conferences. Other ideas included launching an ethics hotline and discounting membership rates. The committee also recommended offering more resources on starting a practice, financial planning, debt reduction, emerging and nontraditional careers and risk management.

It’s also important to attract psychology students to APA’s divisions. Toward that end, the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) sponsors a Division of the Year Award, a $1,500 cash prize that recognizes divisions for promoting graduate student development, including helping students shape their own professional identity. Last year’s winner was Div. 51 (Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity). The application deadline for this year is May 1. APAGS also maintains a listserv for student leaders of APA divisions, allowing networking and discussion about member recruitment and retention.

APA is committed to making divisions’ valuable and much-appreciated efforts both productive and engaging.