Feature

APAGS--the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students--is APA's single largest continuing committee and constituency group and the largest organized group of psychology graduate students worldwide.

Organized in 1988 and approved by APA's Council of Representatives, APAGS's mission is to:

  • Promote the highest standards in the research, teaching and practice of psychology to further the education and development of all psychology students.

  • Represent all graduate study specialties of psychology, facilitating information exchange between these groups.

  • Promote leadership development to communicate and advocate for students' concerns.

  • Establish and maintain channels of communication between APAGS and schools, universities, training centers, institutions and other members of the psychological community.

APAGS is as diverse as APA in membership composition and scope of member interests and needs. Similar to APA, APAGS implements governance initiatives and policies, provides direct member contact and support, develops resources to meet the information and advocacy needs of members, provides leadership opportunities, and provides special convention programming and other distinct training.

The group is critical in providing APA, its boards and committees, and other allied psychological/health-care entities with students' perspectives on issues of training and education, professional practice, diversity, psychological science, resource needs, legislative advocacy, public policy, public education and professional development, just to name a few.

Membership benefits

APAGS offers a wide variety of services for its 59,700 members. Graduate student affiliate membership rates are $40. Undergraduate rates are $27, but these students can pay the $40 rate and receive all of the advantages graduate students do, including voting in APAGS elections. Benefits include:

  • A web of information. The APAGS Web site provides critical professional development information and resources for graduate students in electronic format. The site offers information on APAGS elections and other leadership opportunities, scholarships, awards, listserv descriptions and other information. The site also links to articles, Web sites and resources on topics of interest to graduate and undergraduate students on such issues as mentoring, internships, legislative advocacy, job seeking and interviewing skills.

  • News you can use. APAGS's newsletter seeks to inform students about emerging and timely professional, practice, training and scientific issues, while providing students with a forum for their opinions. (Students and psychologists alike are encouraged to submit their work for Web page and Newsletter publication consideration to: Carol Williams.)

  • Listservs galore. APAGS administers several listservs that offer a place for students to pose questions, post announcements and obtain support. (See LISTSERVS for the list of APAGS listservs and information on how to sign up for them.)

  • Resource guides. Several APAGS resource guides serve as excellent handbooks for specific graduate student issues, including the APAGS Internship Workbook, the APAGS Survival Guide for Ethnic Minority Graduate Students, the Networking Guide for Students within State and Provincial Psychological Associations, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students Convention Survival Guide. A list of the guidebooks appear at www.apa.org/apags. All are free to APAGS members with the exception of the APAGS Internship Workbook.

  • A voice for students. APAGS committee members represent students on many boards and committees in and affiliated with APA. Their involvement ensures that students have a voice in shaping the policies and initiatives that affect them and their future. Among the groups with student liaisons are APA's Board of Directors and APA Council of Representatives, as well as groups outside of APA, such as the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, the Council of Chairs of Training Councils, and the National Council of Schools of Professional Psychology. Meanwhile, APAGS enjoys full voting membership on the Committee on Accreditation, the Ethics Code Revision Task Force, the Psychology Executives Roundtable, the Trilateral Forum on Psychology, and the 1999-2000 Commission on Education and Training Leading to Licensure in Psychology.

  • Scholarships and awards. Despite its small budget, APAGS funds a handful of prestigious scholarships and awards. (See the list of this year's winners.)

  • And much more. Additional resources and activities are listed on APAGS's Web site: visit APAGS. Contact APAGS directly by sending an e-mail to: APAGS or call (202) 336-6014. APAGS is always looking for student volunteers to oversee projects and become involved in the leadership of APAGS.