54 Monitor on Psychology • January 2015
Education SPEAKING OF
Starting a new year often fills us with optimism and a renewed commitment
to make a difference. One way to make a difference on a large scale is through
advocacy. Whether working in schools, research labs, universities, community
health centers, independently or elsewhere, I believe psychologists share a
common desire to improve the lives of people in their communities.
My hope is that 2015, the APA Education Directorate’s 25th
anniversary, sees our members resolving to learn more about
APA’s advocacy efforts and choosing to join them to increase
As I arrive in Washington, D.C., this month to begin my
new job here at APA, the 114th Congress is outlining its
agenda for the coming year. Just as the new Congress begins
with hopes of accomplishing a significant agenda, so, too,
does APA’s Education Directorate. This is done through
our Education Government Relations Office (GRO). The
Education GRO’s mission includes advocating on behalf of
the discipline of psychology to expand opportunities and
support for education and training, and for the integration of
psychological science in education and training.
The Education GRO achieves this mission by educating
Congress about the relevance of psychological science to
education policy and lobbying for programs and federal
funding that support psychology education.
This year, our legislative priorities champion psychology’s
role in education on several levels:
• As Congress drafts new legislation to reauthorize the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Higher
Education Act, we will work to educate Congress about
the ways psychological research can improve teaching and
learning and can create more opportunities for graduate
study in psychology.
• In addition, we will garner support for the Garrett Lee
Smith Memorial Act reauthorization to fund much-needed
suicide prevention programs and resources.
• The Education GRO will also continue to be the primary
advocate for increasing federal investments in the Graduate
Psychology Education Program, which has generated $40
million in funding for interprofessional psychology graduate
education and training.
Members like you are key to accomplishing our goals.
Our strength rests in the critical support of our Federal
Education Advocacy grassroots leaders and a nationwide
grassroots lobbying network of psychologists and students
who respond to our calls to action on these and other
priorities. By bringing psychologists to Capitol Hill, we strive
to raise Congress’s awareness of psychology’s contributions
and to show how federal investments in psychology training
programs are essential to addressing the unmet mental and
behavioral health needs of our most vulnerable populations.
The Education GRO coordinates nearly 250 meetings
between committed colleagues and members of Congress.
We complement these efforts with political advocacy that
is only possible through the Education Advocacy Trust, a
legal entity within the American Psychological Association
Practice Organization funded by members like you. Your
contributions allow our staff to attend events for members of
Congress who support our psychology education advocacy
Although the recent mid-term elections saw the lowest
voter turnout since 1942, with only 36. 4 percent of the
voting-eligible population, I know from speaking with many
of you that our members remain committed and engaged in
important public health and education policy decisions.
We, in the Education Directorate, look forward to working
closely with you to translate the science of psychology
into informed policymaking that not only improves our
federal education policy, but also promotes public health
by expanding opportunities for psychology education and
training and increasing research in and access to mental
and behavioral health services. As we embark on this new
year and celebrate our 25th anniversary, let us resolve to get
involved with education advocacy efforts for the future of
psychology and the public good. n
A resolution worth keeping
BY JIM DIAZ-GRANADOS, PHD • APA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR EDUCATION