NASP Communiqué, Vol. 37, #7
Advocating for School Psychologists in
Response to the APA’s Proposed Model Act for State Licensure of Psychologists:
10 Things State Associations Can Do To Help
By Anastasia Kalamaros Skalski
NASP has created a roadmap for state
associations to respond to the model act. This roadmap contains extensive
information on the model act, checklists for assessing your state’s risk for
exposure to these proposals, and suggestions for working to combat them. The
full roadmap is available at http://www.nasponline.org/standards/stateadvocacyroadmap.aspx.
Exhibt E in this roadmap details the top 10 essential
advocacy activities for state associations. These activities include:
leaders and a clear set of procedures for monitoring and responding to the
introduction of potentially harmful state legislation, regulations, or
policies. Suggested leaders include: State Association President,
NASP Delegate, State GPR/legislative
chairperson, SPAN Coordinator, state lobbyist, etc.
a needs assessment of the advocacy skills and knowledge of leaders and
members. Prepare school psychologists as needed so that they clearly
understand key advocacy messages and specific strategies that they can
personally use in responding to this issue. Consult the
NASP GPR Committee as needed in building this
a “risk” assessment of how vulnerable your state is to potential policies
or legislation that would remove the right of nondoctoral school psychologists to use the “psychologist” title and to engage in
psychological practice in school settings.
NASP Advocacy Roadmap for States: Profile
of School Psychology Credentialing and Psychologist Licensing (Exhibit
to needs assessment, risk assessment, Profile
of State Credentialing, and other
NASP Advocacy Roadmap for States materials by developing a State
Action Plan (Exhibit I). To be most useful, the state plan should have
concrete recommendations of specific actions (e.g., advocacy training,
developing a legislative alert system, setting up a phone tree for
contacting legislators, etc.) to be taken to improve awareness,
communication and message development, and advocacy skills.
up an ongoing State Action Plan (Exhibit
I) monitoring and evaluation system to ensure that all activities are
completed on time and all pertinent information is communicated to state
school psychology leaders and grassroots advocates.
communication methods with state school psychologists where regular
updates are posted, questions answered, and time-sensitive action requests
can be made. Suggestions include: website bulletin boards, blogs, brief e-mail
announcements, and “alert systems” that include e-mails, phone calls, or
other types of announcements. Appoint specific leaders as responsible for
managing all communications.
and reach out to key stakeholders and allies. Inform nonschool psychology
colleagues and stakeholders about the model act issue and solicit their
support in responding to any potential threatening legislation. Focus on
the how disruptive potential legislation could be to services, policies,
and procedures. Build coalitions that can be helpful in responding to this
crisis while also building collaborative relationships and promoting
shared missions regarding advocacy for essential student services.
information packets or an “issue kit” that can be accessed easily and
quickly. Select key materials and information that succinctly explains the
problem and how it can be resolved. Consult the
NASP Advocacy Roadmap for States materials for ideas of key materials and resources.
with state administrators, psychology licensing boards, state
credentialing boards, and other public policy agencies and personnel to
work out agreements that articulate why school psychologists
are essential to the mission and purpose of schools. Be patient and never
give up. Your colleagues and students are counting on you.
Several state associations have made a significant effort to
inform their members about the impact that the model act could have on
practices within their state and have also developed tools and strategies to
help their members respond. Exhibit P in the Advocacy Roadmap provides examples
of some of these products.
Anastasia Kalamaros Skalski, PhD,
NASP Director, Public Policy.