The Winds of Change and Staying Rooted
By Susan Gorin & Katherine C. Cowan
There are a number of exciting changes afoot at NASP. The past 3 years have involved significant planning and outreach to members regarding how best to serve and support you, and to lead the school psychology profession into the future. Boiled down to the core priorities, you told us that you value and need:
- Access to usable, reliable resources online
- Access to flexible, affordable professional development
- Advocacy on behalf of the profession and the resources related to this
- Technology that makes all of the above easier
In response, NASP leaders and staff have been moving forward with enhancements to our current capacities in a few areas. Some are in place and growing, such as the introduction of our live webinars last year and the improvements to our Online Learning Center (OLC). Both offer NASP- and APA-approved CPD that you can access when and where it’s convenient for you. You can expect online learning opportunities to expand in the coming year. Most changes stemming from our strategic planning, though, will become realities over the next year or so.
What Can You Look Forward To in the Coming Year
Rollout of the new logo. You may have seen our new logo. The new logo is designed, among other things, to function more effectively in online contexts and be more aligned functionally with our many education partners for our collaborative work. The logo remains rooted in psychology with the psi and in schools and learning with the tree of knowledge (more information on the development of the logo is available online http://www.nasponline.org/communications/new-logo.aspx).
What a new logo means in practical terms is the revision of the look of our publications and resources. This will be done over time to minimize any costs, so you will see a combination of our current logo and new logo in use for a while. In general, we will be making design changes as materials are developed or revised. You can expect to see a new look for CommuniquÃ© starting in the fall. We will also be replacing NASP Announce, our member e-newsletter, with a new format that will provide easier, regular access to CommuniquÃ© Online as well as links to key reports and resources. You will notice new looks for other e-communications throughout the summer and fall.
New NASP publications app. Mobile access to our periodicals and publications is a priority. This summer, we will launch an app that supports School Psychology Review (SPR), School Psychology Forum (SPF), the upcoming Best Practices series, and future publications. NASP members will have access to the app, which will function on Apple and Android tablets. Content will download onto the tablet so Internet access will not be needed to read the articles. You will be able to search, bookmark, and annotate articles and chapters. Eventually, we will be adding multimedia content to augment articles. SPF and SPR (including all issues going back to the first volume in 1972) will continue to be available online. Articles on the Web are printable, and issues going forward will have access to multimedia and related Web-based content.
Based on user feedback, SPR will go entirely electronic. The September 2014 issue will be the last printed issue of SPR, which will also be available via the app and online. Knowing that not everyone uses tablets, we are adding e-mail notifications when a new SPR just as we have always done with SPF.
A brand new nasponline.org. We are in the midst of a complete redesign of our website, identified by members as one of the most valuable member benefits and tools. It is also our most effective mechanism for reaching other educators, families, the general public, and policy makers. The new website will have enhanced searchability, improved functionality, a more streamlined structure, and will be mobile friendly for tablets and smartphones. It will also be easier to keep content updated and fresh, while maintaining a usable archive. We will be inviting members to participate in beta testing when we get to that point. The new website is anticipated to launch in 2015.
Enhanced advocacy and leadership development. Developing effective leadership and advocacy skills at the national, state, and local levels is a key role that NASP takes very seriously. We are looking at a number of areas within governance and professional advocacy work as part of our strategic improvement efforts. This includes realigning our governance structures to be more nimble, facilitate member engagement, and better support volunteer leaders’ work on the major issues shaping education and the profession. NASP is unique as an association in the degree of involvement and quality of our volunteer leaders, who are essential to our continued effectiveness. Particularly exciting is a new process for identifying, engaging, and supporting new leaders both in terms of elected leadership and being part of volunteer programs and initiatives. We will be working collaboratively with state associations on this. We are also bolstering our collaborative support of and work with the state associations on major advocacy issues, such as Affordable Care Act implementation related to school services, school safety and crisis planning, and implementation of the NASP Practice Model.
What Isn't Changing?
NASP remains absolutely committed to our mission to empower school psychologists by advancing effective practice to improve students’ learning, behavior, and mental health. We will continue to be the largest, most influential voice on behalf of school psychologists in the world, shining a light on the unique and critical role you play at the intersection of psychology and learning. The foundations of our work will not change: advancing and promoting high-quality, science -based skills and services; maintaining high standards for ethics, practice, and training; providing relevant, reliable publications, resources, and professional development; championing the profession in policy and practice and defending the title “school psychologist” when necessary; advocating for the diverse learning and developmental needs of students and their families; and keeping kids and their well-being and learning at the center of all the work of our volunteer leaders and staff. NASP remains rooted in our vision that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and throughout life. None of this will change. We simply strive to do our job a little better so that you can, too.
Susan Gorin is NASP Executive Director and Katherine C. Cowan is NASP Director of Communications.