Looking backwards and moving forwards: Advancing science, practice and policy

Div. President Shane R. Jimerson on early career colleagues, increasing membership, technology, bylaws and more

By Shane R. Jimerson

It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as Division 16 President during 2012. Throughout 2012 our division continued its priorities to advance “Science, Practice, and Policy” relevant to school psychology. As this article will be published in January and Dr. Vincent C. Alfonso will be taking over as Division 16 President, I will provide some reflections on the past year (2012) and also highlight some ongoing activities and opportunities for Division 16 members and leadership. I encourage each of you reading this article to become more involved with Division 16, as your involvement is essential to facilitate the success of Division 16 and school psychology.

Throughout the year, there have been many topics that the Division 16 Executive Committee members have navigated with great deft. Our collective efforts throughout 2012 continued to advance the objectives of our division: 1) to promote the development and dissemination of knowledge that enhances the life experiences of children, families, and school personnel; 2) to facilitate school psychology practices that result in effective services to youth, families, and school professionals; 3) to facilitate regional, national, and international communications regarding contemporary issues within school psychology; and 4) to advocate within APA and elsewhere for services, policy, and research concerned with children, families, schools, school personnel, and the schooling process. The activities of the Division Vice Presidents, Council Representatives, along with division participation on APA committees, Working Group chairs and members are essential to accomplishing our division’s objectives. Indeed, these individuals “care a whole awful lot” and I am confident that their efforts help to make things better for many children, families, and psychologists. As 2012 president, I am grateful to each of the individuals who contributed to these shared objectives.

As I have communicated with school psychology faculty, professionals, and students across the country and throughout the world, it is clear that there is much that has been done, and there are many important topics that remain to be addressed by school psychologists to promote further student success. Herein, I highlight some of the important activities that Division 16 has been attending to during 2012, and note some opportunities for 2013.

The future of Division 16 — Early career colleagues and students

Early career colleagues and school psychology graduate students are the future of the profession. Indeed, the future vitality of the Division is dependent upon their aspirations, activities, talents, and active involvement. Throughout the past year, Division 16 leaders have been actively encouraging and involving early career colleagues to participate in Division 16 committees, workgroups, and elected positions. In addition, Division 16 leaders have also been actively engaging the Student Affiliates of School Psychology (SASP), to promote further involvement among faculty and students across the country. The new Division 16 website includes a specific tab in the menu bar for Students. There are many opportunities for early career colleagues and students to become further involved with SASP and Division 16, please send Dr. Vincent C. Alfonso an email if you would like to be involved.

Increasing membership — Free first year membership to new members

Dr. Jessica Hoffman (Division 16 Vice President of Membership) and the Division 16 Executive Committee have developed and implemented new plans to further promote and increase Division 16 membership. Based on analyses of previous piloting of free first year membership to new members, Division 16 will now offer the free first year to all new members during the upcoming 5 years, with annual reviews to examine the renewal rates. Additional outreach during conventions and via current division members aims to increase the number of Division 16 members during the next three years. Importantly, between August 2012 and today, (10/28/12), 275 new student members had already taken advantage of this new initiative! Through their membership, we anticipate that they will learn more about the many activities and contributions of Division 16 and decide to renew their membership. Updates via the Announce Only emails from Division 16 should help to inform new and continuing members of the many contributions of the division.

Window to the world — Activities of the Division 16 Technology Committee

During 2012, Dr. David Shriberg contributed important leadership as the chair of the Division 16 Technology Committee, a critical component of our ongoing efforts to communicate with members and others regarding the important work and opportunities for Policyfurther involvement among Division 16 members. Throughout 2012, all Division 16 members received announcements highlighting recent Division activities, accomplishments, and resources. Recent postings on the website include important documents developed by the Globalization of School Psychology Working Group. If you are interested in contributing to the Division 16 Technology Committee or if you have particular insights related to the use of technology that you believe would further enhance Division 16, please email Dr. Shriberg. I know that Dr. Alfonso will continue to highlight the importance of communications with and among Division 16 members and leaders, thus, I expect that the Division 16 Technology Committee will continue to provide many important contributions during the upcoming year.

Continuing contributions — Division 16 working groups

The activities of each of the Division 16 working groups were featured in several venues during 2012, including the President’s symposium session at the American Psychological Association convention in Orlando, and also at the National Association of School Psychologists conference in Philadelphia. Each of the working groups has continued to develop documents that will provide important contributions to advance science, practice and policy relevant to school psychology across the country and throughout the world. Members interested in contributing are encouraged to communicate with the working group chairs (contact information below and available on the Division 16 website).

Globalization of School Psychology Working Group

The goal of the globalization working group is to define transnational/multicultural issues in school psychology. The first task undertaken by the group is developing a bibliographic data base on basic thematic areas of school psychology science and practice, including assessment, prevention, crisis intervention, consultation, evidence-based interventions, poverty and transnational/multicultural school psychology. Coordinators have been identified for each topic area and are in the process of forming subgroups to identify relevant readings and create a database that reflects work on an international scale. Subsequent steps include synthesizing and disseminating the transnational database. The long-term intent is to develop an international network of researchers, facilitated by collaboration across organizations that represent school psychology domestically and internationally. Documents are developed by this workgroup are presently available online. For those interested in contributing further, please contact; Chair: Dr. Sissy Hatzichristou, University of Athens, Greece.

Social Justice and Child Rights Working Group

The goal of the social justice and child rights group is to facilitate professional development of school psychologists in the promotion of social justice and child rights. The initial task is to review and consider adopting the existing Child Rights for School Psychologists curriculum developed by the International School Psychology Curriculum Group, a partnership of International School Psychology Association [ISPA], Child Rights Education for Professionals [CRED-PRO], and School Psychology Program at Tulane University. In addition, the working group plans to develop two additional modules related to promoting social justice and accountability for child rights and social justice. Subsequent steps include dissemination and piloting of the full curriculum. The long-term intent of the group is to build an international community around social justice and child rights, facilitated by collaboration across school psychology organizations. During 2012, the members of this work group successfully developed an online portal to facilitate access to the training modules online. For those interested in contributing further, please contact; Chair: Dr. Stuart Hart, University of Victoria, British Columbia.

Translation of Science to Practice and Policy Working Group

The goal of the translation working group is to enhance the translation of research to practice and practice to research within the specialty of school psychology, to promote Division 16 as a resource for evidence-based practice for school psychologists, and to enhance research-based psychological practices in the context of schools. To this end, the working group will engage in research to review existing literature, identify ongoing efforts by other professional groups, survey school psychologists about the challenges in implementing evidence-based practices, and examine the nature of preservice training relevant to promoting translation of research. The anticipated outcomes of this work are generation of implications for professional development and of resources for implementing research-based practice. This work group has prepared a manuscript that is under review for publication and has also recently initiated a survey to collect additional information to facilitate further understanding of this topic among school psychologists. For those interested in contributing further, please contact; Co-Chairs: Sylvia Rosenfield, University of Maryland; Susan Forman, Rutgers University.

High quality sessions — Division 16 proceedings at APA in Orlando

As a result of the outstanding leadership of Dr. Jim DiPerna (VP for convention and public relations) and the Division 16 convention chair, Dr. Scott Methe and many members who served as reviewers, there were many high quality sessions for the 2012 APA convention held in Orlando, Florida. Those attending the APA convention during the past five years will recognize that the Division 16 programming has continued to expand, including numerous cross-division collaborative sessions, as well as symposium sessions and keynote presentations, in addition to hundreds of poster presentations that emphasize important considerations relevant to advancing science, practice, and policy related to school psychology. Dr. Shannon Suldo will be the Division 16 Convention Chair for the upcoming 2013 APA convention July 31-August 4, in Honolulu, Hawai'i. The active involvement of so many Division 16 members who participate and present each year at the APA convention is critical to ensuring high quality sessions that advance the science, practice and policy relevant to school psychology.

Maintaining the infrastructure — Division 16 Bylaws revised

Attending to the Division 16 infrastructure is certainly essential to the ongoing operations of the division. Following the important activities of the Division 16 Executive Committee members, the proposed revisions to the Division 16 Bylaws were sent out to all Division 16 members for review and voting, resulting in a favorable outcome with the proposed revisions being accepted by the members. Access the Division 16 Bylaws.

Inviting and using member input — The Division 16 member survey

Dr. Jim DiPerna (Division 16 Vice President of Convention Affairs and Public Relations) has provided important leadership in developing and distributing the survey and gathered these important data from Division 16 members in early 2012. Throughout the year, the Division leaders have been carefully considering this recent feedback from Division 16 members and identifying opportunities to further enhance the Division’s activities and communications as well as to inform further strategic planning. For instance, during the APA convention, it was possible to highlight several of the themes identified by members. Additional input revealed the importance of continued communication to highlight the activities and contributions of Division 16 leaders, committees, and work groups. The input from members is invaluable to inform the development of new initiatives and informing optimal programming for the Division 16 proceedings during the upcoming APA convention. You can anticipate further information and updates related to the member survey, both in The School Psychologist and on the Division 16 website.

Advancing science, practice, and policy — School Psychology Quarterly

Dr. Randy Kamphaus, provided important leadership during the past five years and has now completed his tenure as editor of the School Psychology Quarterly journal. As highlighted during the APA convention, the division is grateful for the tremendous efforts and contributions of Dr. Kamphaus, the associate editors, and each of the members of the Editorial Board. The division also owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Linda Reddy (VP for publications and communications), who has contributed generously to advancing the School Psychology Quarterly journal.

The central aim of School Psychology Quarterly is to publish scholarship that advances science, practice and/or policy relevant to school psychology. Dr. Shane Jimerson is now the editor of School Psychology Quarterly and joined by an incredibly talented and committed group of Editorial Board members, associate editors (Dr. Scott Ardoin, Dr. Wendy Reinke, & Dr. Chris Riley-Tillman), and senior editor of International Science (Dr. Thomas Oakland). The emphasis on featuring high quality scholarship and recognizing the globalization of school psychology will continue, as there are numerous international members of the editorial board, in addition to the new post of Senior Editor of International Science.

School Psychology Quarterly publishes empirical studies pertaining to the psychology of education and services for children in school settings, encompassing a full range of methodologies and orientations, including educational, cognitive, social, cognitive behavioral, preventive, cross-cultural and developmental perspectives. Focusing primarily on children, youth and the adults who serve them, School Psychology Quarterly publishes international research advancing science, practice and policy pertaining to the education of populations across the life span.

SPQ is part of Thomson Reuters’ (formerly ISI) Web of Science and has an impact factor of 1.452, ranking 18th out of 51 journals in “Psychology—Education” category. It is published by the APA and Policyis the official journal of APA Division 16 (School Psychology). All articles published in SPQ are included in PsycINFO® and PsycARTICLES®, the most comprehensive and widely used psychological databases in the world; SPQ is also indexed in MEDLINE® and other major databases reaching researchers and practitioners alike. Through print and electronic access, articles published in SPQ are available to a global audience of over 3,500 institutions and 60 million potential readers.

The editorial board is committed to providing high quality and timely reviews. During 2012, over 100 articles were submitted for review to School Psychology Quarterly, and on average there were only 20 days between the date of submission and the date the decision letter was sent to the author(s). Additional information about the journal, guidance for authors, and links to the electronic submissions webpage are available at . Manuscripts should be submitted electronically through the journal’s Manuscript Submission Portal.

Investing for the future — Division 16 Finance Committee activities

Dr. Catherine Fiorello (Division 16 Treasurer) and members of the Division 16 Finance Committee have made substantial efforts during the past year to examine responsible investment options to generate income from the Division resources. The Division 16 Executive Committee recently reviewed recommendations from the Division 16 Finance Committee, and Dr. Fiorello is presently pursuing the development of an investment portfolio that will yield revenue to fund future Division 16 initiatives. These investments will be carefully monitored to inform future decisions of the Division 16 Executive Committee.

Representing school psychology — Active involvement in APA governance

An ongoing activity of Division 16 is the important representation of school psychology within APA governance. We are grateful for the numerous talented and capable Division 16 members both representing school psychology and contributing importantly to contemporary APA governance. In addition to the numerous Division 16 vice presidents and members of the Executive Committee, who regularly attend important committee and association meetings to represent school psychology, there are also many other elected and appointed Division 16 members providing important representation and contributing leadership throughout APA. These colleagues include Dr. Beth Doll and Dr. Frank C. Worrell who serve as APA Council Representatives. Dr. Frank C. Worrell also serves on the APA Board of Educational Affairs, along with Dr. Tammy Hughes. Other members who serve in various capacities include: Dr. Elaine Clark who serves on the APA Board of Professional Affairs, Dr. Bonnie Nastasi who serves on the Committee on International Relations in Psychology, Dr. Samuel O. Ortiz who serves on the Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment, Dr. Linda Reddy who recently served on the Committee on Division/APA Relations, Dr. Michael Tansy who serves as the APA Division 16 Federal Advocacy Coordinator APA Division 16 Liaison to APA Board of Professional Affairs, Dr. Robert Woody who represents Division 42 on the Council of Representatives, Dr. Frances Boulon-Diaz who represents Puerto Rico on the Council of Representatives, and Dr. Shirley Vickery who represents South Carolina on the Council of Representatives (apologies to any individual whom I have not acknowledged in the brief summary above, please do let me know if I accidently omitted your current service). Members of Division 16 also provide important contributions and leadership serving on the Interdivisional Task Force on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Interdivisional Task Force for Children with SED and Their Families, the Joint Committee revising the Standards for PolicyEducational and Psychological Testing, the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation, as well as the Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, Committee on Women in Psychology. And of course, Donald Bersoff is the 2013 President of APA! During the winter of 2012, additional elections will take place, with several members of Division 16 on the slates for additional representation within APA. The ongoing involvement of Division 16 members is essential for the future vitality of the Division. Considering the relative size of Division 16, this representation reflects a purposeful commitment and contribution to representation within APA governance. Collectively, these efforts provide an important voice representing school psychology within the largest psychological association in the world.

The company we keep — Thank you to the Division 16 Executive Committee

I am truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with so many talented individuals who shared a common commitment as members of the Division 16 Executive Committee. As this is my final President’s Column, I would like to take a moment to publically express my gratitude to: Dr. Vincent C. Alfonso (president-elect), Dr. James DiPerna (VP for convention affairs & public relations), Dr. Beth Doll (Council representative), Dr. Catherine Fiorello (treasurer), Dr. Jessica Hoffman (VP for membership), Dr. Stacy Overstreet (VP for education, training & scientific affairs), Dr. Linda Reddy (VP for publications and communications), Dr. Karen Callan Stoiber (past president), Dr. Susan M. Swearer (secretary), Dr. Amanda Clinton (VP for professional affairs), Dr. Amanda VanDerHeyden (VP for social, ethical and ethnic minority affairs), and Dr. Frank C. Worrell (Council representative). Indeed, it was a pleasure to collaborate with each of you to advance science, practice and policy relevant to school psychology.

Maintaining collaborations and communications with allied organizations

Throughout 2012, Division 16 continued to collaborate within APA, and with its divisions, as well as with allied state, national and international organizations (including the National Association of School Psychologists, Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs, Trainers of School Psychologists, School Psychology Leadership Roundtable, Society for the Study of School Psychology, International School Psychology Association, American Board of Professional Psychology, American Board of School Psychology, Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and other child-focused coalitions), as such collaboration is essential to achieving our missions. Indeed, close inspection of the contemporary leadership within the various organizations reflects considerable overlap, resulting in unprecedented communication, cooperation, and collaboration. We continue to communicate and collaborate with all allied organizations to advance, further and enhance school psychology across the country and around the world.

Be the change you wish to see — Encouraging Division 16 members to be involved

As you can see in the above description of some of Division 16 activities during 2012, there are many important efforts in which Division 16 colleagues participate and continue to be actively engaged in. Throughout the year, amidst the many activities that I have been collaborating on, I continued to learn a great deal about school psychology, APA and further opportunities for school psychologists. I encourage all Division 16 members to consider whether there are important topics and activities that you believe warrant further consideration by the division, or if there are current areas of emphasis that you believe you could contribute leadership. As noted by the Lorax, Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ~ Dr. Seuss. If you are inspired to contribute further to the future of Division 16 and school psychology, please email me or other Division 16 Executive Committee members, as we welcome your further involvement in efforts to advance science, practice and policy relevant to school psychology.