medium_SCRA_logomark_4col.jpg

The
Community
Psychologist

Volume 44 Number 3 
Summer 2014

Special Feature

SCRA Launches New Web Site!

Written by Ashley Anglin, on behalf of the Website Task Force

This is an exciting time for SCRA as we announce the public release of the new website [www.SCRA27.org]. We believe that the SCRA website should reflect our values as community psychologists, and those values include inclusivity and accessibility. Although our former website included a great deal of information, much of the content was difficult to access, and some pages were only accessible for current SCRA members. Therefore, the new website includes more public-facing content and resources. When visitors come to the site for the first time, they will be able to see all of the resources, information, and stories that we have to share in an easy-to-navigate platform.

For SCRA members and non-members alike, the website should be informative, accessible, and promote collaboration and involvement. In practice, the new website aims to meet these goals by including clear and descriptive menu options; greater connectivity to other agencies and organization; new resources and content that facilitate the work of community researchers, practitioners, activists, and policy-makers; and greater capabilities for interactivity, such as blogs, information about how to join committees and interest groups, and the ability for all members to easily add resources and content. Current members will also appreciate the new single-login feature. This means that instead of logging in separately to collaborate on the website (e.g., add resources, post comments) and manage membership, as was the case on the old website, members only have to log in once. The new website site was also designed to be responsive, meaning it adapts to the platform so it can be easily viewed and navigated using any internet-connected device (e.g., laptop, tablet, smartphone).

The development of the new website has also allowed us to put our community psychology values of collaboration and inclusive participation into practice. This website is the product of the combined effort of a diverse range of SCRA members, including Jean Hill and Gina Cardazone (the leaders and organizers of this initiative), Ashley Anglin, Kyrah Brown, Michael Brubacher, Victoria Chien, Jim Cook, Scotney Evans, Jeremy Fremlin, Sharon Johnson-Hakim, Carlos Luis, Gregor Sarkisian, Sylvie Taylor, Jack Tebes, and Lindsey Zimmerman, as well as many other dedicated SCRA members who contributed their time and resources to develop and expand the new website. And, because this is an ongoing process, it is not too late to get involved!

What to Expect on the New Website

The homepage of the new website is designed to be welcoming, attractive, and provide visitors with a quick way to find the information they need. The pages and content of the website are organized under six primary sections for ease of navigation: Who We Are, What We Do, Publications, Resources, Events, and Membership. In order to help you get acquainted with the new website, a summary of these sections and their content is included below.

Who We Are

This section is vital to our organizational goal of spreading the word about community psychology and recruiting new members, as it includes the vision, mission statement, principles, goals, and guiding concepts of SCRA. Much of this information is not new, and you will likely recognize these sections from the old website. However, it is easier to access and read on the new website. New visitors will be able to quickly navigate from the homepage to find out what makes community psychology unique; it showcases our commitment to promoting health and empowerment and to preventing problems in communities, groups, and individuals (the SCRA mission), as well as our organizational goals of understanding behavior in context, working toward social justice, and promoting an international field of inquiry and action that respects cultural differences and diversity and honors human rights.

This section also includes information about the SCRA leadership, committees and councils, interest groups, regional coordinators, and interorganizational collaborations.

What We Do

The What is Community Psychology? subsection expands upon the information provided on the Who We Are page by sharing how we put our values and goals into practice. It showcases the diversity of community psychology careers, activities, and educational programs, and is intended to give those new to the field of community psychology, in particular, a comprehensive picture of what it means to be a community psychologist. It also includes downloadable resources that address the question, “what is community psychology?,” which can be used by non-members to learn about the field and by SCRA members to disseminate information about community psychology and our organization. 

The additional webpages in this section fall under five subsections: Education, Research, Practice, Policy, and Get Involved. The education subsection is generated and maintained by the SCRA Council for Education Programs (CEP), and includes a section for the history of the CEP, information about and for academic programs, resources and advice for teaching community psychology (and other related courses), and resources for clinical internships and postdoctoral training. For example, in this subsection you can find undergraduate and graduate syllabi and activities for the teaching of community psychology and related courses (such as program evaluation and community interventions); download videos on important CP topics; search for academic programs that offer degrees in community psychology and related fields; and post or find information about clinical internships and postdoctoral positions.

The Research pages include a research highlight and a collection of community psychology research topics, methods, and tools. This area of the site is designed so that all SCRA members can add material. If you have a resource related to a specific research topic or method, please add it! You can find instructional videos describing how to do this in the Membership section under “using this site”.

The next subsection—Practice—represents the work of the SCRA Community Psychology Practice Council (CPPC). It is the home for information about the CPPC and their current activities, the competencies for community psychology practice, and Community Mini-Grants. It also includes practice-related documents and resources, a link to a practice blog, and information about how to become involved in the CPPC. Specifically, within this subsection you can learn about the 18 community practice competencies (developed in collaboration between the CPPC and CEP), which include competencies related the foundational principles of community psychology, community program development, community and social change, and community research; apply for a Mini-Grant; join the CPPC and view minutes from past meetings; and access a blog highlighting the work of community practitioners.

The Policy subsection—created and maintained by the SCRA Public Policy Committee—is where visitors can access official SCRA policy position statements; view rapid response actions (a process that provides a mechanism for SCRA, as an organization, to evaluate and potentially adopt public stances or action plans on public policy issues of a time sensitive nature); access additional resources for policy-related activities; as well as find information about the policy small grant program and policy topic areas. More specifically, using the links and information in this subsection, visitors can view calls and procedures for policy grant proposals, explore policy topic areas relevant to SCRA, such as prevention, children and adolescents, employment, health, housing, and substance use; and learn how to be an effective advocate.

Finally, the Get Involved subsection provides information about current initiatives and information on contributing to those initiatives and joining our committees, councils, and interest groups.

Publications, Resources, Events, and Membership

As you might expect, the Publications section of the new website houses information about SCRA publications, including the American Journal of Community Psychology, and The Community Psychologist, as well as other journals relevant to community psychology. All current and past issues (dating back to 1990) of The Community Psychologist are available on the SCRA site itself. Members can also follow a link on the website to directly access the AJCP; all other related journals listed in this section include links to the homepage of each journal.

Although resources are spread across the sections described above, the Resources section allows for easier access to resources site-wide. For community members, this includes information about community resources, such as the Community Toolbox and the SCRA Member Directory. For Community Psychologists, there is information related to grants and financial support and secondary data services (including publically available secondary data sources that can be used in research). This section also includes news/announcements, a job board, the conference line schedule, a file library, and featured SCRA videos. Of this content, the file library has the most notable impact on the accessibility of resources and the documentation of organizational history, as it archives all SCRA documents and allows visitors to search for any document publicly available on the website in one place.

Finally, the Events and Membership sections provide a way for members to stay up-to-date on SCRA activities and for new website visitors to become members. Specifically, the Events section includes information about the Biennial Conference and regional conferences, and includes a comprehensive calendar of events, which informs members of conferences sponsored by related organizations, continuing education opportunities, and university-sponsored events.  The Membership section contains information on how to become a member and renew membership, SCRA awards and Fellows, listserv communication, member directory, and instructions on how to use the site (e.g., how to find resources, add content, and manage your membership). The Member Directory is one of the main features of the new site. It is a searchable database of all SCRA members (who can opt-in to determine whether they want their information to be publicly available), which will, for example, facilitate research and consultation activities, allow visitors to connect with members, and to make our work more accessible to a variety of audiences.

Ongoing Initiatives and Big Ideas

As we’ve learned from our community projects, the work does not stop after implementation. The same applies to the new website: In creating current content and resources, we have been looking toward the future. For example, the CEP is currently working on a searchable document that will include detailed, up-to-date information on academic programs in community psychology and related fields, as well as online support for curriculum development based on the practice competencies. The CPPC is also working to generate new content, most notably the Connect to a Practitioner resource, which will include detailed information about community practitioners. This resource will be downloadable and will be sent to programs to allow students and faculty to search for a practitioner in their area (or practitioners who are willing to travel) to work as consultants, present on their area of expertise, or host workshops. The CPPC is also working on online learning courses and tools. These big ideas are the next steps, which will enhance the website and better serve the SCRA membership and others interested and involved in community work. However, the completion of these next steps will not make the site “complete;” we aim for the website to be flexible and dynamic, changing to incorporate new technologies and to meet the goals and needs of the organization, its members, and those we work with in our communities.

Get Involved

From sending us your feedback, to taking an active role on the Website Task Force, there are many opportunities for you to get involved in this process. And you don’t need to be tech savvy to make a contribution! Most importantly, we need your feedback and ideas. Let us know how the website can better serve you, the communities you live and work with, and the organizations with which you are involved. There are also some specific content areas that could use additional resources and content, such as the research topics, methodologies and tools for community research, and IRB support. In addition, resources related to teaching community psychology and related courses, policy tools and strategies, and lessons learned form community practice are always welcome. Members can add resources directly to some areas of the site, and training videos—which are available in the Membership section—can facilitate this process.

If you are a community practitioner, make sure you are included in the Connect to a Practitioner resource, and if you are interested in getting involved, but haven’t yet had the chance, a great way to begin is by joining a committee or interest group. Finally, you can encourage your community partners, peers, and co-workers to check out the website and share their feedback. From the beginning, it has been our goal for the website to be a platform for spreading the word about community psychology and providing all community activists, practitioners, and scholars with an opportunity to join the SCRA family. Overall, we hope you find the new website to be attractive, informative, and easy-to-navigate. With this new site, we look forward to supporting and expanding the work that we do in and with our communities. 

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »

You must be logged in to the website in order to leave a comment.