Professional Development

2013 Division 16 convention update

The APA convention includes 35 hours of sessions specific to school psychology.

By Shannon Suldo

Mark your calendars - the 2013 APA Annual Convention spans from Wednesday, July 31 through Sunday, August 4, 2013 in Honolulu. The Div. 16 program includes 35 hours of sessions specific to school psychology, and contains many excellent presentations for trainers, practitioners, and students alike. The program was developed by the Convention Co-Chairs (Shannon Suldo and Robin Codding) in collaboration with the VP of Convention Affairs and Public Relations (Jim DiPerna). Of note, each division incurred a 10 percent reduction in programming time because of the limited convention space and conference hours in Hawai'i.

Program Highlights
  • In lieu of invited speakers, we will provide a Presidential Symposium to share the work of the Division 16 task forces. Presenters for this session include: Vincent Alfonso (Chair), Sissy Hatzichristou (Globalization), Susan Forman (Translation of Science to Practice), and tentatively Stuart Hart (Social Justice & Child Rights).
  • This year's Awards Address will include the following four speakers: Chris Skinner (Senior Scientist), Beth Doll (Jack Bardon Distinguished Service), Lisa Sanetti (Lightner Witmer), and Steve Kilgus (Outstanding Dissertation).
  • We provided the Student Affiliates in School Psychology (SASP) with 2 hours of our substantive programming hours, which they will use to provide a student research forum. • We donated 1 hour to the Presidential Programming on Services for military personnel, veterans and their families.
  • We co-sponsored two symposia with other Divisions, specifically presentations on prevention of bullying in LGBT students (with Division 44) and international school-based research (with Division 52)
Process of Peer Review of Unsolicited Proposals

Division 16 recruited proposals through multiple school psychology listservs throughout the fall of 2012. We ultimately reviewed a total of 294 submissions, which included proposals for 275 individual (poster) and 19 group (symposia) presentations. The total number of submissions represents a substantial increase from the number of proposals received for the 2012 (185 total; 170 posters and 15 symposia), 2011 (238 total; 216 posters and 22 symposia) and 2010 conventions (226 total; 210 poster and 16 symposia).

We appreciate the assistance of the 72 reviewers who rated each proposal summary. The reviewers included 52 faculty/post-dos, 17 graduate students, and 3 practitioners. Reviewers were divided into 24 teams of three individuals (with a max of one graduate student per team). Each team reviewed 12 to 13 proposals, and submitted reviewed electronically in early January. Proposals were rated from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 4 (Strongly Agree) on five criteria: presentation relevance to school psychology research, training or practice; likelihood the presentation will make a substantive contribution; scientific rigor (i.e., foundation, logic, & methods); organization and clarity; and global assessment that the presentation should be accepted. After removal of outlier ratings, the 225 individual proposals that were rated, on average, more favorable than unfavorable (mean score > 2.5) were accepted for presentation in one of the six poster sessions to be sponsored by Division 16. This 81.81% poster acceptance rate is similar to that of recent years (74% in 2012 and 87% in 2011).

The aforementioned reduction in programming time limited us to accepting only 8 symposia. The mean score for virtually all symposium exceeded 3, indicating an excellent pool of symposia that were viewed as highly meritorious. We accepted the 8 with the highest mean scores (3.53 to 4). This symposium acceptance rate of 42.11% is substantially lower than in recent years. Chairs/first authors of all proposals submitted for individual or group presentation were notified via email of their presentation status (accept or reject) in mid-January.

Summary of 2013 Division 16 APA Convention Program

Our six one-hour poster sessions include up to 40 presentations per session grouped by common topic: Assessment and Data-Based Decision Making; Consultation and Students with Disabilities; Professional Issues and Methodological Advances; Mental Health and School Success; and Science to Practice- Prevention and Intervention (2 separate sessions). The symposia range in topics from assessment (e.g., universal screening for behavioral and emotional disorders, usefulness of specific methods for English Language Learners) to professional issues (e.g., current status of school psychology research, increasing evidenced-based practices in the schools) to topics geared towards students (e.g., non-school internships, insights on faculty careers from early career trainers).

The APA Convention Office is still finalizing the schedule, and aims to notify presenters directly regarding the time of their specific poster(s) or symposium in late March, 2013. Presentation slots are generally 8 a.m.-2 p.m. each day of the convention, with the exceptions of convention days that end at noon on Thursday and Saturday to allow more time to enjoy the surroundings in Hawai'i.