APA's Office of Continuing Education in Psychology has launched an online classroom that offers psychologists continuing-education (CE) credits. The new APA Online Academy--available through www.apa.org/ce--will also offer courses tailored to teachers but grounded in psychological research.
The academy's first offering for psychologists is a four-credit course on HIV treatment and adherence that was designed by APA's Office on AIDS and funded by the federal Center for Mental Health Services. The course--now available--features focused readings with links to more in-depth articles, multimedia clips, a discussion board and an online test, which users must pass to earn their credits.
Just a few of the academy's other planned classes for psychologists include:
Evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents. This course is due to be launched this spring and is based on recorded keynote and workshop sessions from the Third Biennial Niagara Conference on Evidence-Based Treatments for Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Problems, July 24-26, 2003. The conference featured experts in child and adolescent mental health and was co-sponsored by APA Div. 53 (Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology).
Psychological services during traumatic events. Designed by Vladimir Nacev, PhD, and due out this spring, the course will give psychologists CE credits for learning about current issues affecting the psychology of trauma and psychologist-debriefers, and remind psychologists that their clients aren't the only ones affected by disaster.
"We need to be very cognizant that we, too, are humans and will be affected by the same event that our client is," says Nacev.
APA's Ethics Code. Still in the design stages, the course will provide psychologists with CE ethics credits by educating them about APA's Ethics Code.
The Office of Continuing Education in Psychology plans to continually develop evidence-based courses on topics of interest to psychologists, says Brennan Harmuth, manager of APA's continuing-education program.
Adds Cynthia Belar, PhD, executive director of APA's Education Directorate: "APA is committed to providing its members with convenient access to high-quality continuing-education programs. The new APA Online Academy is the first step in developing new models to meet our members' needs."
Moreover, the Online Academy will offer a series of programs for other professionals who can benefit from psychology's knowledge, says Harmuth. The first of these programs is due out late this summer and will focus on evidence-based classroom management strategies for secondary school teachers. A similar class for elementary teachers is also in the works, as well as courses on bullying, test-writing and how to determine whether students need special testing.
--D. SMITH BAILEY