Interest Group Procedures
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 Membership Committee has as one of its members an Interest Group (IG) Subcommittee Chair who 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 lead. It is the IG Subcommittee Chair’s responsibility to oversee the operations of all the individual interest groups.
Interest Group Charters
Each Interest Group must have a charter. This charter includes information regarding: 1) the name and focus of the Interest Group; 2) procedures for assigning or electing the Interest Group Coordinator and co-coordinator, if applicable; 3) procedures for replacing a coordinator or co-coordinator; 4) Goals of the Interest Group and how it will benefit participants and the larger NASP community; 5) the name of the proposed coordinator and co-coordinator, if applicable; 6) a written plan for recruiting NASP members to join the group; and 7) a tentative plan for activities and objectives in the first year. For a charter for a new Interest Group, or when merging two Interest Groups, please also provide a list of at least 50 current NASP members who have an interest in the topic.
NASP Membership Status of Coordinators
All Interest Group Coordinators and participants shall be NASP members. If the Interest Group Coordinator does not have an active NASP membership, attempts will be made to contact them to reinstate their membership. If they fail to renew their membership and it is 90 days past due, the IG Subcommittee Chair will follow the procedures in the charter to identify a new coordinator. If no such charter exists, the following process will be used:
- The IG Subcommittee Chair will post two requests in the Interest Group, 15 days apart, calling for self-nominations. Interested coordinators should write 1-2 paragraphs explaining their desire to serve and their connection to the Interest Group topic and submit their self-nomination to the IG Subcommittee Chair.
- Nominations will be presented to the NASP President for review and the President will make a formal recommendation to the Board of Directors, who will approve the new coordinator based on a simple majority vote. The new coordinator will be asked to develop a charter with instruction for leadership transition. The charter will be adopted following a positive recommendation by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors.
Interrelationships and Activities
Interest groups (IGs) may interact with NASP committees/boards 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 or virtually through meetings and messages on the NASP Communities and articles in Communiqué. Members of the IG may promote free opportunities for engagement (such as Twitter chats or webinars) around relevant topics, however these cannot be identified as official Interest Group events, as the group is member-only. Materials cannot use “NASP” or the NASP logo or tree.
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 via an initial or revised charter, first to the Interest Group Subcommittee Chair, who will forward the charter 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. Note that Interest Groups do not have budgets for expenses through NASP. The selection criteria should state that if the recognition honorees are school psychologists they must be NASP members.
The Awards and IG Subcommittee Chairs will review the recognition portion of the charter for consistency with NASP's mission, fairness, and appropriate selection criteria and procedures.
IG Coordinators may be consulted by the Professional Positions Committee Chair to help develop or revise position statements relevant to their Interest Group. IG Coordinators may contact the Professional Positions Committee if they identify a need for a new position statement, and the Professional Positions Committee will follow its established procedures for determining next steps. Members of Interest Groups are encouraged to respond to open calls for position statement writing team members when relevant.
The IG coordinators should promote communications in the IG Community by posting questions and/or responding to posts on a regular basis. Coordinators may also host virtual meetings to facilitate engagement.
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 with proper copyright permission.
Each Interest Group charter shall include procedures for leadership transitions. 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, if the IG has had inactivity for a period of 4 months, or if there are no documented procedures. In this case, the IG Subcommittee Chair will follow the same procedure as outlined above regarding posting requests in the IG to call for self-nominations and submitting those to the NASP President, who then makes a formal recommendation to the Board of Directors for review and approval by simple majority vote.
The IG Subcommittee Chair will organize an annual meeting with IG Coordinators, which will take place at the annual convention or virtually. 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. If the meeting is held at the annual convention, 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. IG Coordinators are welcome to host other virtual meetings for IG members throughout the year, however, these meetings must be open only to current NASP members and facilitated through the community platform directly.
IGs may request that NASP post information to its official social media 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 social media channel should be submitted to the NASP Manager, Communications and Social Media. IGs cannot establish independent social media accounts or groups (i.e., all IG activities must be done through the Communities platform directly).
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 Subcommittee Chair.
- Upon receiving an inquiry, the IG Subcommittee 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 charter requirements as stated above.
- Provide any additional appropriate assistance to facilitate the IG application.
- Once the IG application is received, the IG Subcommittee Chair, and other NASP members/staff, as appropriate, 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.
- 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. 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. The revised charter shall at least include the items listed in the Interest Group Charters section above as well as an explanation for merging the groups. The groups will be merged with the recommendation of the IG Subcommittee Chair and a positive recommendation by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors.
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 for any of the following reasons:
- If no one is identified to serve as the group coordinator using the process outlined in the group’s charter and following two requests for volunteers posted 15 days apart by the IG Subcommittee Chair to the IG Community.
- If the group has had no activity for any 4-month period as demonstrated by an absence of posts to the IG Community, or a meeting at the convention. This change would be done in phases, beginning with a step down from 12 to 9 months of inactivity as of July 1, 2023, 6 months of inactivity as of January 1, 2024, and 4 months of inactivity as of July 1, 2024.
- 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 recommendation by simple majority vote of the Board of Directors for the following reasons:
- It no longer meets the goals stated in its charter.
- It is no longer in alignment with the NASP mission.
- It no longer benefits IG participants and the broader NASP membership.
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 information as outlined in the Interest Group Charters section above as well as a rationale for the revised charter.
The revised charter must be accepted by the IG Subcommittee Chair, with a positive recommendation by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors or the group will be dissolved.
Approved by the NASP Board of Directors December 2010; revised and adopted February 2023.