Psychology education and the dissemination of the discipline's scholarship were at the forefront of many actions taken by APA's Council of Representatives at its Feb. 24–26 meeting.
Concerning education in psychology, the council adopted two new guidelines and approved funding to update a third. The approved guidelines include a taxonomy for education and training in professional psychology and a framework for preparing teachers of high school psychology. The approved funding will support a meeting of a Board of Educational Affairs task force charged with revising the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Major in Psychology.
"I was pleased to see the emphasis on education and training throughout the meeting," said Suzanne Bennett Johnson, PhD, who as APA president served as presiding officer during the council meeting. "Education—of future psychologists, allied professionals and the public—is the key to the discipline's future and the impact it can have on society."
In addition to her duties as presiding officer, Johnson updated the council on her three presidential initiatives, which focus on the nation's obesity crisis, how to attract more early career psychologists to APA and interdisciplinary practice and science.
Johnson's obesity initiative targets the role that psychologists, as experts in behavior, can play in addressing the alarming rates of obesity in the United States. According to data Johnson shared with the council, 33 percent of boys and 39 percent of girls born in 2000 will develop diabetes at some time during their lives because of obesity.
More information about these presidential initiatives is available online, including a link to Johnson's Presidential Report to Council.
The council also devoted more than a half-day of its two-and-a-half-day meeting to a "mega issues" discussion as part of APA's Good Governance Project (GGP). The GGP task force recently concluded an assessment of the APA governance system and brought forward recommendations designed to more fully align the system with what is needed for a 21st-century organization. The assessment found that council members want to discuss strategic issues that have significant impact on the discipline. Toward that end, the council was provided with a succinct background document for its discussion of how technology will affect psychology and APA over the next decade. The discussion centered on such ideas as using social media in public education, training psychology faculty in new technologies, delivering research findings through technology, the role of new technologies in data-sharing and the creation of psychology apps.
In other actions, the council:
- Approved funding for the continuing work on the APA/Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/APA Insurance Trust Task Force for the Development of Telepsychology Guidelines.
- Adopted a revised Committee on Animal Research and Ethics Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals in Research. See guidelines.
- Rejected a proposal to eliminate the dues discount for APA members who are also members of the Canadian Psychological Association.
- Approved a proposal to eliminate the practice of billing APA members for unpaid back-year dues.
- Approved two journals: the Div. 54 journal, Practices and Services Delivery in Pediatric Psychology, and an American Psychological Association of Graduate Students journal, Translational Issues in Psychological Science.
- Approved a proposal to include an APA teacher affiliate member on the Board of Educational Affairs. The proposal requires a change in the association's bylaws. It will therefore be put before a vote of the full membership this fall.
- Received the report of the 2011 Presidential Task Force on Immigration. Full text of the report is available online.
- Received the report of the 2011 Presidential Task Force on Diversity and Discrimination. Full text of the report is available online.
- Approved the 2012 APA budget of $105.2 million in revenues and $104.9 in expenses.