Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Program Questions and Registration

Q: Is the Advocacy Academy the same as the annual Public Policy Institute (PPI)?

The Advocacy Academy (At Home) edition is a virtual learning experience that is not meant to replace the PPI experience, but instead offer a strategically focused viable alternative given the restrictions present due to the pandemic. The Advocacy Academy offers pre-recorded sessions, LIVE CPD content and discussion sessions, and guidance on conducting virtual meetings with Congressional Hill staff. The Advocacy Academy is topically driven and will focus on developing grassroots advocacy skills for the specific purpose of building the capacity of school psychologists to work together to remedy shortages in school psychology.  By contrast, the PPI is a face-to-face hands-on experience in Washington, DC, typically taking place over three to five days, offering more CPD, content addressing federal and legislative policy and advocacy as it relates to a broader array of topics impacting school psychology, and a cumulative Capitol Hill experience that allows participants to explore the U.S. Capitol grounds while also meeting in person with elected officials and staff.

Q: How do I register for the 2021 Advocacy Academy (At Home Edition)?

To register for the 2021 Advocacy Academy (AA) visit the AA webpage and click on the “REGISTER NOW!” button. This will take you to the homepage for the Online Learning Center, “Virtual Advocacy Academy and Capitol Hill Day” course. You must be logged into a NASP account to register. If you do not have an account, you can create one for free. NASP members receive a member discount. Click on “+ADD TO THE CART” and then press the “CHECKOUT” button at the bottom of the page to initiate payment.

Q: How do I access my purchased 2021 Advocacy Academy training content?

Once you have purchased the training, it will appear in “MY ACCOUNT” in the Online Learning Center. Sign in with your credentials. Hover over “HELLO [YOUR NAME]” and then select “My Products”.

Q: What is the deadline for registering for the Advocacy Academy?

The last day to register for the Advocacy Academy is June 30, 2021, or when the enrollment capacity for the training is reached. Enrollment is capped at 200.

Q: My plans have changed, and I am no longer able to participate in all the Advocacy Academy experiences? May I get a full or partial refund?

No refunds, full or partial, are available for the 2021 Advocacy Academy effective June 18, 2021. However, you will have 120 days from the date of purchase to view the recorded content from the Pre-Academy and LIVE sessions. The LIVE CPD session recordings will be made accessible within approximately one week after the Advocacy Academy.

Q: I am only able to complete the Pre-Academy material and will not be able to attend any LIVE sessions. Can I access only one part of it and pay a reduced rate?

There are no partial registration options. There is only one all-inclusive rate that includes the Pre-Academy learning modules, LIVE sessions, and Capitol Hill Day experience. The LIVE CPD sessions will be recorded and may be accessed for NASP Approved Category H (formal) CPD at your convenience. All recorded content will be available through your Online Learning Center account for 120 days.

Q: How do I access the Advocacy Academy agenda?

You can find the Advocacy Academy agenda in several places. The public agenda is on the NASP website here. You can find the agenda for registrants that includes links to live discussion sessions in the course materials in your Online Learning Center account.

Q: What types of CPD are awarded as part of the 2021 Advocacy Academy (AA)?

  • The Pre-Academy prerecorded sessions are eligible for Category H Self Study (formal) NASP Approved CPD. Documentation is provided.
  • The LIVE CPD sessions are eligible for Category A (formal) NASP Approved CPD. Documentation is provided.
  • The reading of program materials and participation in the AA Live regional and topical discussion sessions, and Capitol Hill visits, are eligible for Category H Self Study (informal) CPD. However, simply completing the readings does not provide NASP-approved CPD documentation; in other words, no formal documentation is provided.

Pre-Academy Content:

Q: How do I access the Pre-Academy learning modules?

The Pre-Academy learning modules are available through NASP’s Online Learning Center. Simply log into the NASP website and you can access your purchased OLC content through the "My Account” tab on the OLC home page. Note: You must watch the Pre-Academy recordings in sequential order. 

Q: How do I get my CPD documentation for the Pre-Academy sessions?

Participants must watch all recorded sessions (1-6) in sequence, respond to the “attendance checks” when they pop up, pass the short post-test quiz at the end of the 6th session, and complete the Pre-Academy Final Evaluation. After you have completed all these items, you will receive documentation of completing 3.5 hours of NASP approved CPD. Once you finish your evaluation, and sign the affidavit confirming that you reviewed the content, you will be able to print your CPD via the button that says, “GET CERTIFICATE”. If you are not able to print your CPD immediately after completion, you can always go back to your Online Learning Center account to print your certificate at a more convenient time.

Q: What will the “attendance checks” look like during the Pre-Academy sessions?

Checks will appear on the screen at random times asking if you are still present. Simply click “YES” when this occurs. If you miss the attendance check, the session will rewind approximately 15 minutes, and you can not fast forward through sections you have not watched.

Q: When do I need to complete the Pre-Academy learning modules by?

Participants should complete the pre-recorded learning modules prior to the LIVE sessions which start on July 21. Participants who are not able to complete the modules before the LIVE sessions begin may still participate in the live sessions but will be at a serious disadvantage as content and activities will be linked to these sessions. Pre-Academy content is available for 120 days from the date of purchase.

Q: Why do I have to complete the Pre-Academy learning modules before the LIVE sessions?

The Pre-Academy recorded sessions provide the foundational knowledge needed to have a rich learning experience during the LIVE sessions. The modules cover the basics of grassroots advocacy, introduce terminology and public policy concepts that will be referenced during the LIVE sessions, and instruct participants on how to find relevant data that will assist them in preparing for virtual meetings with Capitol Hill staff.  

Q: How do I get in contact with other Advocacy Academy participants from my state so that we can begin setting up our Capitol Hill appointments?

In the email communication you received from the OLC indicating that the Pre-Academy course materials were now available for you to begin reviewing (sent on 6/23/21), the email included a link to a Google Drive excel sheet that had the names and contact information for all participants. Additionally, a week or so after this email, you will be contacted by your NASP Government and Professional Relations (GPR) regional representative. Your GPR Regional Rep will also assist you in contacting your state participants. Email Becca Murdoch (rmurdoch@naspweb.org) if you need help getting in contact with attendees from your state.

Q: I have questions and comments I would like to discuss related to the content shared in the Pre-Academy materials and recordings. Will there be an opportunity for dialogue about the Pre-Academy content?

Yes. We invite all participants to join the LIVE Pre-Academy discussion session to be held Tuesday, July 20, 2021, from 7:45-8:45pm EDT. Please see your master agenda posted in the Online Learning Center for the Zoom link for this session.

 

LIVE Sessions

Q: What types of LIVE Sessions are included in the 2021 Virtual Advocacy Academy?

There are two types of LIVE sessions scheduled for the 2021 Virtual Advocacy Academy: LIVE CPD sessions and LIVE Discussion sessions. The LIVE CPD sessions meet the criteria for Category A NASP Approved CPD. The LIVE Discussion sessions do not award NASP approved CPD but are designed to reinforce participant learning and can be used for Category H Self Study (informal).

Q: How should I prepare for the LIVE sessions?

Complete the Pre-Academy learning modules, review the talking points for your virtual Capitol Hill Day and the Preparing for Your Virtual Capitol Hill Day documents, and connect with other attendees from your state. Download the Go-To-Training (GTT) software and test your technology.

Q: What technology preparation should I do to get ready for my first LIVE session?

Be sure to try to log in at least 20+ minutes ahead of the first LIVE CPD session to ensure you have the necessary software. The LIVE CPD sessions will be using Go-To-Training, which may require a download. If you are using a computer issued by your school district, please consider attempting to download the software even earlier as you may need administrator support to complete the download.

Q: How do I access the LIVE sessions?

There are two types of LIVE sessions: 1) LIVE Zoom discussion groups; and 2) LIVE CPD sessions. To access the LIVE Zoom discussion groups, you will have access to a “master agenda” for the Advocacy Academy training in the materials found in the OLC. The agenda provides a Zoom Link for all LIVE Zoom discussion sessions. LIVE Zoom discussion sessions are not available for NASP Approved credit. However, you can document your experience and apply it towards Category H (informal) CPD. For the LIVE CPD sessions, the link to the session will appear in your OLC Account under the “MY PRODUCTS” tab.

Q: How do I know what region my state is in for the LIVE Regional Discussions?

NASP leadership uses the following state assignments by region to facilitate smaller group discussions and networking. For the Advocacy Academy, we will be using these assignments for participants from the 50 states, District of Columbia (DC) and Puerto Rico (PR).

  • Central Region- IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, OK, SD, WI
  • Northeast Region- CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, VT
  • Southeast Region- AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
  • Western Region- AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY

Q: I am logged in for the LIVE Sessions, but I am having technical problems. What can I do?

Check your home internet connections first as this is the typical source for most technical problems. Consider turning your computer’s video camera off to minimize the bandwidth needed for participation. If the Online Learning Center or NASP office has a disruption in service on our end due to a technology or power failure, please check your email for messages on how you will be able to access the content delivered. If your technical problems persist, on the bottom of the homepage for the OLC there is a “Live Chat” button, or you can call the technical support line at (877) 880-1335.

Q: Are there attendance checks in the LIVE CPD sessions?

There will be no “pop up” attendance checks in the LIVE CPD sessions. These only appear in recorded content. However, during the LIVE sessions, the computer will be tracking your attendance. If you step away from the computer during a LIVE CPD session, depending upon how long you are absent, you may need to watch the recording of the LIVE CPD session to earn your NASP Approved CPD. We recommend that you close all windows to other applications as the software may identify you as not participating.

Q: How will I get my CPD for the LIVE Advocacy Academy Sessions?

For the LIVE CPD sessions, you must attend the full session. The computer will be tracking your attendance.  If you have done this successfully, at the end of the session you will be prompted to complete an affidavit and an evaluation form, as well as a post-test.  Upon completion of these steps, you will be able to access and print your NASP-approved, Category A CPD documentation. Documentation of completion of the CPD will remain available in your Online Learning Center account.

Q: I logged in late to a LIVE CPD session. Can I still get my CPD?

If you logged in late to a LIVE CPD session, you may watch the remainder of the session, but you might have to go back and watch the recorded version to obtain your NASP-approved CPD-- if your attendance time was not sufficient. Earning NASP Approved CPD requires full participation in the session. If you are not prompted to complete the evaluation at the end of your viewing of the LIVE CPD session, you can still watch the on-demand recording after the Advocacy Academy and receive NASP-approved CPD documentation under Category H (formal). This will require viewing the entire recorded session, successfully responding to the attendance checks, passing the post-test, signing the affidavit, and completing an evaluation.

Q: Something came up and I missed the end of a LIVE CPD session. Can I still get my NASP Approved CPD?

By leaving before the session ended, you may not be able to fulfill the participation requirements for NASP Approved CPD Category A. However, you will be able to access the recording of the session once it is posted and earn NASP Approved Category H (formal) CPD if you complete the requirements.  This includes viewing the entire recorded session, successfully responding to the attendance checks, passing the post-test, signing the affidavit, and completing an evaluation.

Q: Will LIVE sessions be recorded and available to view after the Advocacy Academy?

Yes and No. All LIVE CPD sessions and the Pre-Academy sessions will be recorded and available in the Online Learning Center.  The LIVE CPD session recordings will be available approximately 1 week after the original broadcast. The LIVE Zoom discussion sessions will not be recorded.

Q: My internet kicked me off and I missed part of the presentation.

As the computer tracking system monitors attendance and verification of attendance is a requirement for issuing CPD, we are unable to offer an exemption to this requirement. However, if you are kicked off of the internet and can quickly reconnect, it might be possible for you to still qualify for the Category A NASP Approved CPD. If, at the end of the session, you have met the required threshold for attendance, the computer will prompt you to complete an evaluation. If you are not prompted to complete an evaluation, you can still watch the on-demand recording of the LIVE CPD session after the Advocacy Academy and earn your NASP-approved CPD under Category H (formal). This will require viewing the entire recorded session, successfully responding to the attendance checks, passing the post-test, signing the affidavit, and completing an evaluation.

Q: How do I complete the session evaluation?

When the session is completed, and you have met the attendance requirement, you can go back to the session in My Products in the OLC and click CPD Documentation. There, you will be prompted to complete the evaluation and an affidavit and then will have access to your CPD documentation.

 

Virtual Capitol Hill Day:

Q: I have not heard from my GPR Regional Representatives or Advocacy Academy attendees from my state yet. What should I do?

First, check your inbox for communications from your GPR regional representatives (contact information at the bottom of this document). If you do not find an email, reach out to Becca Murdoch (rmurdoch@naspweb.org) and let her know.

Q: How do I access the Capitol Hill Day talking points and instructions for setting up our Hill meetings?

You can find the Capitol Hill Day talking points on the NASP website. These talking points are also posted in the Online Learning Center course materials.  Also, there is a handout that provides detailed instructions for setting up your Capitol Hill meetings in the OLC course materials. Look for the handout: Preparing for the Virtual Capitol Hill Day.

Q: I want a GPR member/NASP staff to join my Capitol Hill meeting(s). Who should I contact?

You should reach out to Becca Murdoch (rmurdoch@naspweb.org). Let her know the meeting details (time, Zoom link, other attendees, etc.) and she will connect you with a GPR member or member of NASP staff.

Q: What does my U.S. Congress Online account offer?

Through your U.S. Congress Online account, you can access profiles of each member with committee and caucus listings, office contact information, a personal bio, and staff listings with contact information, committee assignments and legislative portfolio.

Q: How do I access my U.S. Congress Online directory?

To access the U.S. Congress Online subscription please go to https://www.uscongressonline.com/nasp and use your online access credentials which were listed in the email sent to you on 6/23/21 notifying you that the OLC Pre-Academy content was available. If you have any questions about accessing your account, please reach out to Becca Murdoch at rmurdoch@naspweb.org.

Q: Can I share my access credentials to my U.S. Congress Online account with other leaders in my state association?

No. Your access to this account is restricted to you and is not transferable.

Q: How long will I have access to my U.S. Congress Online account?

Access to your U.S. Congress Online account lasts for one year.

Q: Congressional staffers in my elected officials’ offices have not responded to my meeting requests. What should I do?

After you have sent your initial meeting requests and you have not gotten a response after one week, call the elected official’s Washington, DC office (these numbers are in your U.S. Congress Online directory) and ask to speak to the education staffer about a constituent meeting request. If you still do not get a response, reach out to Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach (kvaillancourt@naspweb.org) or Becca Murdoch (rmurdoch@naspweb.org) and we will do our best to help.

Q: What platform should I use for my virtual Hill meetings?

When scheduling your meetings with Hill staffers, you should offer to send a calendar invitation with a Zoom link. If you do not already have a Zoom account, you can sign up for a free membership and create meeting links through your account. Virtual meeting policies differ from office to office, but most Congressional staffers will appreciate you creating the meeting link for your virtual visit. Please note that not all Hill staffers will join via video, some may just connect to audio. Reach out to Becca Murdoch (rmurdoch@naspweb.org) should you run into any trouble scheduling your meetings.

Q: I just finished my Hill meetings. How do I share meeting feedback with NASP staff about my meeting?

We would like to hear how your Capitol Hill meetings went so that we know what kind of experience you had and how NASP can follow up with staff. Please complete an evaluation form for each meeting at this link: https://www.votervoice.net/NASPOnline/Surveys/7047/Respond.

 

Important Contacts:

Download PDF of FAQ

Questions about the Virtual Advocacy Academy?

Contact:

Stacy Kalamaros Skalski, NASP Director of Professional Policy and Practice

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach, NASP Director of Policy and Advocacy

Becca Murdoch, NASP Manager of Policy and Advocacy