Developing an Interest Group

NASP members who are interested in an area not addressed through existing Interest Groups may initiate the process for a new Interest Group (IG) by contacting the IG subcommittee chair and reviewing the Procedures for NASP Interest Groups that follow.

Purpose and Structure

NASP Interest Groups provide an opportunity for NASP members to come together around an area of common interest to the benefit of the participants and the broader NASP membership.

The Interest Group (IG) Subcommittee Chair oversees the formation and function of the various interest groups in the Association. Each interest group has an Interest Group Coordinator (and/or co-coordinator) who manages the activities of the individual interest group they represent.

Interest Group Coordinators are assigned or elected by procedures in the charter or otherwise developed by the interest group. All participants in NASP Interest Groups shall be NASP members. The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, appoints the Interest Group Subcommittee Chair, who must also be a NASP member. It is the IG Subcommittee Chair's responsibility to oversee the operations and reporting of all the individual interest groups.

Interrelationships and Activities

Interest groups (IGs) may interact with NASP committees/workgroups around specific issues of common interest. Individual IGs may interact with NASP members in a variety of ways, including IG meetings at the NASP Convention and through the NASP Communities, the NASP website, and articles in Communiqué.

Recognition

Interest groups are permitted to issue a certificate of recognition to members that they wish to honor for specific reasons.

Interest groups shall obtain approval prior to implementation of recognition procedures. Proposals for recognition procedures originating from IGs should be submitted first to the Interest Group Subcommittee Chair, who will forward them to the Awards Subcommittee Chair to avoid duplication with NASP Awards and for procedural clarification. The proposal should describe goals and procedures to be used with the recognitions, including any potential expenses associated with the recognition. The selection criteria should state that if the recognition winners are school psychologists they must be NASP members.

The Awards and IG Subcommittee Chairs will review the recognition for consistency with NASP's mission, fairness, and appropriate selection criteria and procedures. Because recognitions should represent the mission and goals of NASP, the Awards and IG Subcommittee Chairs shall submit proposals to the NASP Board of Directors for final approval. After approval by the NASP Board of Directors, the interest group may adopt the recognition procedure.

Awards

Interest groups shall obtain approval prior to implementation of awards procedures. Proposals for awards procedures originating from IGs should be submitted first to the Interest Group subcommittee chair who will forward them to the Awards committee chair to avoid duplication with other NASP awards and for procedural clarification. The proposal should describe goals and procedures to be used with the awards, including any potential expenses associated with the award. The selection criteria should state that if the award winners are school psychologists they must be NASP members.

The Awards chair and IG subcommittee chair will review the award for consistency with NASP's mission, fairness, and appropriate selection criteria and procedures. Because awards should represent the mission and goals of NASP, the Awards committee chair and IG subcommittee chair shall submit proposals to the NASP Executive Council for final approval. After approval by the NASP Executive Council, the interest group may adopt the award procedure.

Position Papers

IG Coordinators are encouraged to participate with the Professional Positions Committee Chair to develop or revise position papers relevant to their Interest Group. Position papers may also be drafted or proposed by an IG, but all position papers must ultimately come from the Professional Positions Committee. Therefore, a draft position paper should be submitted to the Professional Positions Committee Chair to be considered for further development and submission for approval.

Communications

IGs are encouraged to interact through electronic means rather than printed newsletters. The IG coordinators should promote communications in the IG Community by posting questions and/or responding to posts on a regular basis.

IG Coordinators are encouraged to solicit and to submit articles from IG members about specific interest areas to the Communiqué following the guidelines available on the NASP website.

IG coordinators are also encouraged to solicit articles and handouts for posting in the IG Community Library. Links to resources available elsewhere on the Web may also be shared.

Leadership Transition

Each Interest Group shall develop procedures (if not in their original charter) for leadership transition and submit them to the IG Subcommittee Chair. The NASP President, with the consent of the Board of Directors, may appoint an IG Coordinator if an unexpected vacancy occurs prior to the specified transition process or if there are no documented procedures.

Meetings

The IG Subcommittee Chair will organize an annual meeting with IG Coordinators, which will take place at the annual convention. The purpose of this meeting will be to share ideas, to provide procedural information and updates, to problem-solve, and to plan for the upcoming year.

IG Coordinators are encouraged to organize a meeting (limit of one per IG each year) for interested NASP members at the annual convention. The meeting may be 60, 90, or 120 minutes long. It is the responsibility of the IG Subcommittee Chair annually to inform coordinators of procedures for submitting a request for a meeting room. It is the responsibility of the IG Coordinator to submit the meeting space request through the online space request system.

Social Media

NASP invites IGs to post information to the NASP Facebook page, LinkedIn group, Twitter feed, and other NASP social media platforms to provide valuable outreach among member and nonmember school psychologists and facilitate interaction among school psychologists and the dissemination of information. Requests for posting on a NASP sponsored social media site should be submitted to the NASP manager for Communications and Social Media. IGs should not establish independent social media groups.

Procedures for Developing a New Interest Group

  1. NASP members who are interested in an area not addressed through existing Interest Groups may initiate the process for developing a new IG by contacting the IG Subcommittee Chair.

  2. Upon receiving an inquiry, the IG Subcommittee Chair will:

    1. Make formal contact with the individual making the request to discuss the application process,
    2. Provide that individual with this Appendix from the Operations Handbook addressing Interest Group procedures, and
    3. Provide any additional appropriate assistance to facilitate the IG application.

  3. A formal IG application will consist of a written charter minimally including:

    1. Name and purpose of the IG,
    2. Goals of the IG, including how the IG will benefit participants and the broader NASP membership,
    3. Name of the proposed IG leader,
    4. Names of at least 50 NASP members who have an interest in the topic( NASP staff will verify membership of all charter supporters).
    5. Proposed structure of the IG,
    6. Written plan for recruiting NASP member involvement (e.g., NASP Communities, Communiqué articles) and possible outreach to nonmembers who might be interested in joining NASP to participate in IG activities,
    7. Process for leadership transition (e.g., IG Community election, selection from participants), and
    8. Tentative one-year plan of objectives and activities.
      A formal IG application will consist of a written charter minimally including technical assistance from the IG Subcommittee Chair will be available for this process.

  4. Once the IG application is received, the IG Subcommittee Chair, and possibly other NASP members/staff, will review it. Feedback will be provided to the proposed IG Coordinator. The IG Subcommittee Chair will then submit the proposed charter, as amended, to the Board of Directors for review and submission to the Leadership Assembly if deemed appropriate.

  5. Formal acceptance of an IG application, initiating all rights and benefits of full IG status, will occur with a positive recommendation by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors and final approval by simple majority of the Leadership Assembly. Such deliberations will be based upon the information in the IG application and a determination that the IG purposes are consistent with those of NASP and do not duplicate the purposes of functions of any existing NASP committee, task force, or other IG.

 

Procedures for Merging Two or More Interest Groups

If the leadership of two or more IGs has an interest in merging, they may submit a revised charter minimally including the items listed below. The groups will be merged with the recommendation of the IG Subcommittee Chair, a positive recommendation by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors and final approval by simple majority of the Leadership Assembly. The revised charter shall at least include the following:

  1. Name and purpose of the merged IG,
  2. Goals of the new IG, including how the IG will benefit participants and the broader NASP membership,
  3. Name of the proposed IG leader,
  4. Proposed structure of the IG,
  5. Written plan for recruiting NASP member involvement (e.g. NASP Community, Communiqué article) and possible outreach to nonmembers who might be interested in joining NASP to participate in IG activities,
  6. Process for leadership transition (e.g. IG Community election, selection from participants), and
  7. Tentative 1-year plan of objectives and activities.

 

Procedures for Dissolving an Interest Group

An IG may be dissolved, at the recommendation of the IG Subcommittee Chair, with a positive recommendation by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors and final approval by simple majority of the Leadership Assembly for any of the following reasons:

  1. If no one is identified to serve as the group coordinator using the process outlined in the group’s charter and two requests posted 15 days apart by the IG Subcommittee Chair to the IG Community
  2. If the group has had no activity for any 12-month period as demonstrated by an absence of posts to the IG Community, or a meeting at the convention, and/or
  3. If the group coordinator submits a written request to the IG Subcommittee Chair outlining how NASP is meeting the needs of those within the interest area effectively through other avenues.

 

Procedures for Requesting a Revised Interest Group Charter

An IG may be asked to submit a revised charter at the recommendation of the IG Subcommittee Chair and with a positive vote by simple majority of the Board of Directors for the following reasons:

  1. It no longer meets the goals stated in its charter,
  2. It is no longer in alignment with the NASP mission, and/or
  3. It no longer benefits IG participants and the broader NASP membership community.

 

An IG may submit a revised charter within 60 days following notification of the Board of Directors vote by the IG Subcommittee Chair. The revised charter will minimally include the:

  1. Name and purpose of the IG,
  2. Goals of the IG, including how the IG will benefit participants and the broader NASP membership,
  3. Name of the proposed IG leader,
  4. Proposed structure of the IG,
  5. Written plan for recruiting NASP member involvement (e.g., NASP Communities, Communiqué article) and possible outreach to nonmembers who might be interested in joining NASP to participate in IG activities,
  6. Process for leadership transition (e.g., IG Community election, selection from participants), and
  7. Tentative 1-year plan of objectives and activities.

 

The revised charter must be accepted by the IG Subcommittee Chair, a positive vote by a simple majority of the Board of Directors and final approval by simple majority of the Leadership Assembly or the group will be dissolved.

Approved by the NASP Board of Directors December 2010; revised and adopted February 2019.