Inside the NCSPP
As affirmed at its 1994 Midwinter conference, the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) is committed to developing psychology as a socially responsible science that has “central role in improving our society.”
The NCSPP Executive Committee meets quarterly to manage the organization’s affairs and to guide the organization. The seven-member committee includes the President, the President-Elect, the Past President, the Secretary/Treasurer, and the Chairs of the Ethnic Racial Diversity Committee (ERDC), the Women’s Issues Committee (WIC), and the Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Committee (SOGDC).
The Executive Committee is structured to ensure organization continuity. For example, the President, who is charged with supervising and controlling all the NCSPP business and activities, serves a one-year term as President-Elect before taking office. After the one-year presidential term has been completed, the President serves another on-year as Past President. In the President’s absence, the President-Elect performs presidential duties, plus additional tasks assigned by the President or the committee as a whole. A new President-Elect is elected by the membership each year.
The Secretary/Treasurer serves a two year term, and can be elected by the membership to more than one term of two years. The Secretary/Treasurer is responsible for taking minutes at meetings, keeping the organization’s records, seal, coordinating with the website manager, and managing NCSPP funds and securities. If both the President and President-Elect are absent, the Secretary/Treasurer performs presidential duties.
Chairs of the ERDC, WIC, and SOGDC are elected by members of those committees for a two-year term, and can be re-elected for a second term of two years. The years of election are staggered so that not all Chairs of these committees will be new to the Executive Committee at the same time. These committees also elect a Vice-Chair, who will be elevated to Chair if the Chair is unable to serve.
The Executive Committee meets once in the spring, once in the fall, and once before the summer and midwinter NCSPP membership meetings. To keep Members and Associate Members informed, minutes of these meetings are provided.
The midwinter meeting also includes a conference, usually two days of focused training or activities on a topic selected by the President. A conference committee, consisting of three delegates selected by the President, assists the President in the planning and implementation of the conference. For more information about recent conferences, visit the Conferences page.
The three committees represented on the Executive Committee are standing committees of the organization, and have specific missions. For more information on the missions and activities, click here for ERDC, click here for WIC, and click here for SOGDC.
In addition to these standing committees, the Executive Committee designates other committees to take on various tasks over specific periods of time. The President appoints Chairs of these committees, which currently include:
Reviews applications for and changes to NCSPP membership status.
Reviews issues pertinent to the accreditation of schools and programs, and facilitates communication between NCSPP and the APA Committee on Accreditation.
Advocacy for Professional Training Issues Committee
Identifies opportunities and develops strategies to advocate on behalf of NCSPP and education and training in professional psychology.
Clinical Training Committee
Focuses on issues related to training in human service skills, such as assessment, intervention, supervision, consultation, education, and management.
Education and Pedagogy
Focuses on issues related to teaching and learning in professional psychology, such as development, implementation, and assessment of curricula.
Research and Evaluation Committee
Identifies and studies issues relevant to the mission of NCSPP, and oversees all research and evaluation sponsored by the organization.
To respond to pressing needs beyond the work of these regular committees, the Executive Committee forms task forces or ad hoc committees. Task forces are limited in time and scope, and address particular issues or tasks. For instance, a recent clinical training task force addressed internship training and accreditation issues, and alternative models of internship training.
When NCSPP members recognize other needs or interests, they may form a caucus or special interest group. Such groups meet during the midwinter or summer meetings to discuss their particular areas of interest. For instance, delegates interested in spiritual and religious issues in education and training have had meetings to share ideas and information. Similarly, delegates involved in administration at their School or University have formed special interest meetings.
Thanks to the work of all these groups and to the leadership of the Executive Committee, NCSPP is continuing to expand and to have an impact on the education and training of professional psychologists, and on the field of psychology itself. NCSPP has grown from a small group of founding schools to represent a large number of schools and programs across the United States. NCSPP is very active in liaison work with a number of other organizations in psychology, and works to advocate onbehalf of its constituency within APA and other organizations.
by Philinda Smith Hutchings, Ph.D., ABPP, Argosy University/Phoenix and Andrea Morrison, Ph.D., Argosy University/San Francisco