What's going on at APA? The recent APA's Council of Representatives (COR) meeting was held on August 1-3 to set policy and conduct APA business. The August meeting featured the passage of important APA policies that are relevant for SPSP members. Here are some to note:

  • Need for Safe Work Environments for Adolescents: COR passed a Resolution on Developmental Risks and Opportunities in Adolescent Employment. It pushes "state and federal agency officials to increase enforcement of laws, regulations, and penalties for industries and employers engaging in exploitative and detrimental youth labor practices that compromise the health, well-being and economic advancement of adolescents in the labor market."  APA also calls on psychology to focus additional research, advocacy, and policy to ensure safe labor conditions for adolescents.
  • Equity and Inclusion in Student Admissions in Higher Education:  In response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling banning the use of race in university admissions, the Council passed a policy statement reaffirming its support for equity and inclusion in higher education. The resolution included support for "adversity scales", "targeting students at high schools that have a limited history of sending applicants to their school; paying full tuition in geographic areas for students with family incomes of $150,000 or less; establishing early college programs that allow high school students to take courses to earn college credit; and providing academic support and college admissions advice to high school students in low-income communities." It also supported eliminating admission preferences for the wealthy (e.g., legacy admits).
  • Mental Health Screening and Practice of Law: COR passed a policy opposing the use of mental health screening questions on character and fitness exams for licensure to practice law.  The resolution notes that, "[S]tatistical data reveal that there is no connection between bar application questions about mental health and attorney misconduct" and the ban is "not a successful screening tool for who can and cannot practice law in a competent manner".  APA will jointly work with the American Bar Association to remove these questions.
  • BEA Racial Disparities Task Force Report on Racism and Bias and Racial Disparities in PreK-12 Education: COR received the report of the Board of Educational Affairs Racial Disparities Task Force. The report examines racism and bias-producing disparities in education, the intersection of race and disability on outcomes, and school workforce disparities. It concludes with recommendations for research and policy reform. 
  • BSA Task Force Report on Tenure and Promotion for Faculty of Color: COR received the report of the Board of Scientific Affairs Report on Tenure and Promotion for Faculty of Color. The report discusses systemic barriers and biases that affect faculty of color undergoing promotion and tenure evaluations, and gives guidelines on how to more equitable evaluations.
  • Guidelines for Operational Psychology: The Council passed the Guidelines for Operational Psychology as APA policy (expiration date of Dec. 31, 2028). They provide recommendations for psychologists engaged in operational support activities within areas of national security, national defense, and public safety in order "to maintain and improve the quality of operational psychology services, standardize and enhance the professional delivery of such services, encourage the practice and continued development of operational psychology, and respect the applicable rights of persons affected by such services."

The APA Council will next meet in February to continue their APA policy work. Please reach out to me at [email protected] with additional questions, feedback, and to learn how you can get involved.

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