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The
Community
Psychologist

Volume 44 Number 3 
Summer 2014

Education Connection

Edited by Carrie Forden

Spotlight: SCRA Education on the Web

Written by Ashley Anglin , Atlantic Health Systems, Morristown, NJ

The SCRA Education Connection originated in the Community Connection, a clearinghouse founded in 1982 by Maurice Elias and Jim Dalton for exchanging community psychology course syllabi.  In 1987, the renamed Education Connection became a column in The Community Psychologist, and in 2007 Scot Evans, Jim Dalton, and the SCRA Council of Education Programs (CEP) collaborated in making the Education Connection an online resource. Now, seven years later, the online Education Connection is getting a complete makeover, thanks to the creation of the new SCRA website. It will now be housed online in a subsection called “Education” under the “What We Do” section to give viewers easy access to information regarding education and training in community psychology and related fields.

The new website allows the CEP to better meet our primary goals of keeping the list of educational programs and training opportunities in community psychology up to date; facilitating communication between educational programs and each other and programs and SCRA; disseminating and creating promotional and explanatory materials about education opportunities in our field; and encouraging the inclusion of community psychology information within the wider field of psychology education. It also facilitates collaboration by making it easier for members to upload new resources and search for academic programs.

The first thing you will notice about the new Education site, is that it is much more attractive, organized, and easy to view and navigate. A primary issue with the old Education Connection online was that while there were many resources, it was difficult to find specific information and many important links were lost in the text. The new website platform allows for easy content management and provides an attractive, cohesive design that is the same across all pages, making the new Education page much more accessible to a wide variety of audiences. For additional ease of navigation, the Education subsection is divided into five areas: About the CEP, Academic Programs, Teaching CP, Clinical Internships with a Community Psychology Emphasis, and Post-Doctoral Training. These areas are described in the following sections.

About the CEP

This area of the new site provides details on the vision, mission, history, and work of the CEP, as well as a list of current and past members and their affiliations and a downloadable history of the CEP, for those interested in organizational history.

Coming Soon to This Section

In the near future, we hope to add an overview of current CEP and joint CEP-SCRA Practice Council initiatives (and who is involved) to this main page of the Education section in order to promote discussion, help others get involved, and share information about how working toward our group goals can help facilitate your success as a faculty member, student, or practitioner.

Academic Programs

The Academic Programs area provides a list of academic programs that offer education and training in community psychology and related fields. Specifically, there are sections for doctoral programs (with pages for programs in community psychology, clinical-community psychology, and interdisciplinary community research and action/prevention), masters programs (in community psychology, clinical/counseling-community psychology, and community research and action/prevention), and undergraduate programs in community psychology. The listing for each program has a link to the program website and the location of the program. The Academic Program area also includes downloadable resources that may be helpful to programs, such as an overview of degrees in community psychology by Idealist and a guide to publicity for community psychology programs. If you know of a program that is not included on the new site, please let us know and we will be sure to add it to the appropriate section.

Coming Soon to This Section

The CEP is currently working on an updated, searchable and downloadable educational program resource for the new website, which will list all programs that offer training related to community psychology and include detailed information about these programs, such as summaries generated by program coordinators describing the scope and focus of their program(s), contact information, links to program websites, and the SCRA practice competencies emphasized by each program (using easy-to-understand graphics). We hope that this resource will make it easier for students to learn about available programs and to select programs that best match their educational needs and interests.

Resources for Teaching Community Psychology

Teaching CP is the most expansive section of the Education section, with over 100 downloadable resources and several links to related sites. On the “Class Activities” page, viewers can find resources for planning in-class teaching activities and discussions, including activities on the topics of class privilege and oppression, social justice, victim blame, and diversity. Under “Class Projects and Papers,” visitors can download detailed information about the assignments other teachers have successfully implemented in their courses and under “Community Service Learning,” teachers can download and share resources that can help get students out into the community. For those who teach Introduction to Psychology, you can find guidance and resources on the “Introducing CP in Introductory Courses” page on how to include community psychology in your courses to help spread the word about the field and share with students the values, principles, and methodological approaches that make community psychology unique.

As mentioned previously, the original Education Connection was created as a way to exchange community psychology course syllabi. Although the scope of the Education section has broadened, the sharing of syllabi to connect teachers and facilitate curriculum development remains a fundamental part of what we do. Therefore, in the Teaching CP section, you can find pages for graduate and undergraduate syllabi in community psychology and related areas and readings lists for comprehensive examinations, in downloadable documents or through links to related websites. On the graduate syllabi page, three categories focus specifically on community concepts and interventions; community research, evaluation, and assessment; and social policy. We also provide links to other online course syllabi clearinghouses that may be helpful for teachers.

The video resources included in this section are also numerous. The videos listed in this section are accompanied by links and descriptions, whenever possible, and cover topics such as the history of community psychology, ecological frameworks, historical and social issues, human diversity, cultural contexts, social class and poverty, community and social action, and prevention/promotion. Several downloadable video lists and discussion guides and links to recommended websites are also included on this page.

The final subsection of the Teaching CP area is the “Additional Teaching Resources” page. This page includes resource lists—with sections for major journals, helpful websites, current and classic textbooks and reference books, and book-length community studies—which were originally assembled by Jim Dalton from suggestions by members of the SCRA-L listserve. To help grow and update this section, we have included a form at the bottom of the page, where you can suggest an additional resource to add to the to the lists. When you submit the form, your suggested resource will be reviewed and promptly added to the site, if appropriate. This is a great way to promote your own books or websites and to share those resources that have been helpful in your research and teaching.

Coming soon to this section

The CEP is currently working on curriculum mapping tools to add to the new website, under the leadership of  Sylvie Taylor and Carie Forden and in collaboration with the SCRA Practice Council. This initiative came about following the analysis of the 2012 Survey of Educational Programs in Community Psychology, which revealed that several of the 18 competencies for community psychology practice (see Dalton & Wolfe, 2012) are underrepresented in the training that programs report they provide (Connell, et al. 2013). At the 2013 SCRA Biennial, during a joint session on the competencies and how to improve training for underrepresented competencies, there was discussion about helping programs evaluate their own curriculum based on the competencies and explore new academic possibilities. The CEP and Practice Council took action on this idea and will be excited to launch our new online curriculum mapping tools in the near future.

Internships and Postdoctoral Training

These areas provide a list of clinical internships with a community emphasis and a variety of postdoctoral training opportunities (including links to each institution/organization offering these training opportunities). Because these opportunities are always changing and new positions are created on a regular basis, this page also includes a form where you can submit information and position postings for additional internship and postdoctoral positions. These will be added directly to the site to promote quick dissemination and outreach. This is a great resource for students who are finishing up their work in other programs and who are looking for an opportunity for additional training.

Contribute to SCRA Education Online

If you are a community psychology faculty member or student, we would like to know how SCRA Education online could better serve you. The content and resources available on the new site are only a starting point; we are committed to assuring that the site is responsive to changes in technology, needs, and interests of SCRA members. We also know that our largest resource is our fellow SCRA members; all of our current resources have come from the membership. Therefore, we encourage you to share your syllabi, videos, book and article recommendations, internship opportunities, and ideas for new content and CEP initiatives. Members can add resources to any existing resource list included in the Education section and post clinical internship and postdoctoral training opportunities directly on to the site using an online form. Also, if you are a practitioner or community member who has stories or insights to contribute regarding the skills and training students need to work in community organizations, government positions, health care systems, or other community settings, we would greatly benefit from your input.

Finally, a primary goal of the CEP is to spread the word about education and training in community psychology and encourage the inclusion of community psychology information within the wider field of psychology education. Undergraduate students especially should know that studying community psychology is an option, be able to easily access information about what our field has to offer, and find an academic program that best fits their needs. Students who are finishing up their programs and are looking for additional training in the form of an internship or postdoctoral position should also be supported in their efforts. Therefore, we also encourage you to reach out and share the site with students and colleagues who may benefit from our education resources.

References

Connell, C.M., Lewis, R.K., Cook, J., Meissen, G., Wolf, T., Johnson-Hakim, S., Anglin, A.E., Forden, C., Gu, B., Gutierrez, R., Hostetler, R., Peterson, J., Sasao, T., &          Taylor, S. (2013). Graduate training in community psychology practice competencies: Responses to the 2012 survey of graduate programs in community psychology. The Community Psychologist, 46(4).

Dalton, J. & Wolfe, S. (2012). Competencies for community psychology practice:  Society for Community Research and Action draft August 15, 2012. The Community Psychologist, 45(4).

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