Developing an Interest Group
In This Section
NASP Interest Group Guidelines
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 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) 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 Executive Council, appoints the Interest Group Chair, who must also be a NASP member. It is the IG Chair's responsibility to oversee the budgets, operations, and reporting of all the individual interest groups.
Reimbursement for costs associated with IG activities may be submitted for consideration as part of the association's budget process. The IG Chair will solicit budget requests from IG Coordinators and submit a consolidated budget for consideration as part of the budget process.
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.
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 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 and IG chairs 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 and IG Chairs 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.
IG Coordinators are encouraged to participate with the Child and Professional Advocacy 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 Child and Professional Advocacy Committee. Therefore, a draft position paper should be submitted to the Child and Professional Advocacy Committee Chair to be considered for further development and submission for approval.
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.
Each Interest Group shall develop procedures (if not in their original charter) for leadership transition and submit them to the IG Chair. The NASP President, with the consent of the Executive Council, may appoint an IG Coordinator if an unexpected vacancy occurs prior to the specified transition process or if there are no documented procedures.
The IG 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 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.
NASP invites IGs to post information to the NASP fan page, LinkedIn group, and Twitter feed to provide valuable outreach among member and nonmember school psychologists and facilitate interaction among school psychologists and the dissemination of information. IGs should not establish independent social media groups.
Procedures for Developing a New Interest Group
- 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 chair
- Upon receiving an inquiry, the IG Chair will
- make formal contact with the individual making the request to discuss the application process,
- provide that individual with this Appendix from the Operations Handbook addressing Interest Group procedures, and
- provide any additional appropriate assistance to facilitate the IG application.
- A formal IG application will consist of a written charter minimally including:
- the name and purpose of the IG,
- the goals of the IG, including how the IG will benefit participants and the broader NASP membership,
- the name of the proposed IG leader,
- the names of at least 50 NASP members who have an interest in the topic. NASP staff will verify membership of all charter supporters.
- the proposed structure of the IG,
- a 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,
- a process for leadership transition (e.g., IG Community election, selection from participants), and
- a tentative one-year plan of objectives and activities.
- Once the IG application is received, the IG Chair, and possibly other NASP members/staff, will review it. Feedback will be provided to the proposed IG Coordinator. The IG Chair will then submit the proposed charter, as amended, to the Executive Council for review and submission to the Delegate Assembly if deemed appropriate.
- 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 Executive Council and final approval by simple majority of the Delegate 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.