From the executive director

Most succinctly, the mission of the Education Directorate is to advance education in psychology and psychology in education

This year is the 20th anniversary of APA’s Education Directorate. I have been privileged to serve as its executive director for the past 10 years, but as I reflect on our mission and accomplishments, it is with great certainty that I say that I stand on the shoulders of others. Joanne Callan and Jill Reich were the two previous executive directors, and both led during times of significant accomplishments. And without their development of infrastructure, none of what we have currently accomplished would have been possible. There are also two unsung heroes who have been fundamental to our growth. Both Paul Nelson and Martha Boenau have been with the directorate since its inception. Paul served as deputy director and led in areas of graduate education and accreditation through tumultuous times. Martha, in addition to her help throughout the directorate, has been a major player in the growth of our precollege and undergraduate initiatives. Staff has always been critical in the functioning of the directorate, and it is no less true now. Psychology has every reason to be proud of the high-quality, dedicated APA staff serving our interests.

Most succinctly, the mission of the Education Directorate is to advance education in psychology and psychology in education. We have had initiatives at all levels of education, from preK-12 through professional development. A recent Monitor article describes just a few of these; a few of the new initiatives in the last decade that have been particularly memorable and heartwarming for me are listed below. The Education Directorate also serves eight governance groups and interacts with well over 25 psychology organizations external to APA, as well as national organizations focused on higher education and other disciplines. Our federal advocacy efforts have been singularly effective in establishing the Graduate Psychology Education program in the HRSA Bureau of Health Professions, the Campus Care and Counseling Act in the Garret Lee Smith Memorial legislation and the Center for Deployment Psychology in the Department of Defense. The federal government has spent well over $100 million for these programs. Of course there is much more work to be done.

Within the directorate we continue to learn about the needs of and for psychology in contemporary society and try to engage our communities in addressing related concerns. It is no accident that this year’s Education Leadership Conference was on psychology and lifelong learning. We are learners not just as individuals, but as a discipline as well. If we are to thrive, we must meet societal needs. And if we are to be effective, we must create a voice for education within the discipline and public policy.

New initiatives of the last decade*

APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major • APA Online Academy for Continuing Education • APA Online Psychology Laboratory • Assessment Cyberguide for Learning Goals and Outcomes • BEA Task Force on the Assessment of Competence • Campus Care and Counseling Act • Center for Deployment Psychology • Classroom Violence Against Teachers Project • Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education • Competency Benchmarks for Professional Education and Training • Education Leadership Conferences • Graduate Psychology Education Program • Graduate Study in Psychology Online • National Conference on Undergraduate Education in Psychology • National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula • Online Teacher Education Modules • Psychology Department Program • PT@CC Committee (Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges) • Revised CE Sponsor Approval Guidelines and Procedures • Snowbird Accreditation Summit • Talent Development Programs (Pinnacle/Catalyst) • Teachers’ Needs Survey • Teaching, Learning, and Assessing in a Developmentally Coherent Curriculum • The Educator • The Other 3Rs: Reasoning, Resilience and Responsibility • Zero Tolerance Task Force Report

* Each of these was accomplished by the hard work and expertise of our staff and our members.