Help Define our Value Proposition and Directions CP Education and Employment

By Maurice Elias – June 10, 2009
OfflineMaurice Elias

Please read below to learn about a survey for all community psychologists regarding the value proposition and future directions for our CP education programs, our career paths, early career opportunities, and employment possibilities. You will find the survey thought provoking, I am sure. Please encourage your colleagues to take the survey as well. This is an essential initiative that is broadly supported within SCRA and an example of how we can turn research into action promptly and effectively. Thank


In the most recent issue of The Community Psychologist, I described the need for a Community Psychology Value Proposition (see also for a draft).  A  Value Proposition is: "A business or marketing statement that summarizes why a consumer should buy a product or use a service.  This statement should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings."
The SCRA Practice Group, which brought the idea of a Value Proposition for CP to the forefront, has taken the lead role in creating a survey to assist in validating and modifying the proposed Value Proposition.   We need the full range of SCRA members to respond to this survey if it will serve its many purposes, including delineating the terrain for community psychology practice, surveying employment settings for current and future needs for our skills and competencies, and directing our graduate programs (and undergraduate efforts) to prepare students for careers in CP.  Please read on, and then take the time to respond to the linked Survey.

We have long debated whether CP practice includes academia and there are still differences of opinion about the answer.  However, for the purposes of this survey, it is ESSENTIAL that ALL those who identify with CP respond, regardless of the context in which you work.  The consumers that the practice group will target are potential employers of community psychologists, and potential purchasers of community psychology consultation services.   These include academic settings. 
To better define our Value Proposition, I am asking all community psychologists to report what you really do in your practice of community psychology, what academic training you received in each of the identified community psychology skill sets, and how proficient you rate yourself in each skill set.  There is no expectation that you have been trained and are proficient in all skill sets.  We just want potential employers to know generally what skill sets to expect when a community psychologist applies, and we want our education programs to know what skills they must impart to our students.

Your responses to the linked survey will help our profession become better known and understood by potential employers, help our training programs to respond to market needs, and thus  help our students and community psychologists find or transition employment in difficult times.  And it will help us refine and focus our Mission and Vision in ways that will allow SCRA to become a more strategic and impactful organization.  

CAVEAT:  We know this is an imperfect enterprise.  Definitions of CP and Practice are in flux.  The survey could have been done in many ways and probably everyone will have suggestions for improvement.  But the Practice Group has moved us forward to this point, and we are in their debt. Sometimes we have to remember the Action in our name, and now is one of those times.

Please follow the link below and take time to respond.  Please respond promptly.  Summer is upon us, and we appreciate that this survey is only one of many things seeking your attention.  We assure you that your participation is very important, and we promise each member of SCRA will receive a copy of the final version of the Value Proposition for use in your own marketing.
Thank you for helping advance our profession and our employability.

  Survey Link:

With deep appreciation for your willingness to respond to this pivotal rquest,
Mo Elias

PS, I want to recognize Bill Neigher for his leadership in helping SCRA craft a value proposition, and Al Ratcliffe for dedicated work in designing the survey, elaborating on community psychology competencies, synthesizing many individuals' inputs, and in so many ways turning ideas into constructive actions regarding the future of CP.


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June 10, 2009
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Maurice Elias

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