ISPA Settles Into New Home
The Chicago School took another step toward greater internationalization this semester as the Chicago Campus welcomed the International School Psychology Association’s (ISPA) central office.
The arrangement brings to 325 North Wells Street the devoted activities of an organization of nearly 500 international psychology professionals who work with school-aged populations or in school settings. Together, ISPA members promote the psychological rights of all children and the expanding use of school psychology—particularly in countries where psychology has not been prevalent. Members connect through committee work, a yearly conference, the ISPA website, the School Psychology International journal, and a quarterly newsletter.
ISPA’s executive director, Dr. Robert Clark, helped facilitate the central office move when he joined The Chicago School’s School Psychology faculty earlier this year; he has since been named chair of the new International Psychology program.
“The Chicago School and ISPA represent a perfect match,” said Dr. Clark. “Not only is the school devoted to psychology, including school psychology, but it also has a strategic focus on advancing the profession internationally.”
ISPA activities now managed at the Chicago Campus include research, membership support and renewals, correspondence, website updates, clerical duties, and support for the annual ISPA conference, which will be held next year in Malta.
Mandi Croft, a first-year School Psychology student from Lincolnshire, Ill., sees the partnership as an opportunity to merge her interest in school psychology with international and multicultural psychology.
“I think it has opened my eyes to the field at a broader level,” she said of her work with ISPA. “I’ve been able to connect with people from all backgrounds. It’s been a great experience.”
According to Dr. Clark, goals for the central office this year include creating a series of professional development modules and online materials for practicing psychologists throughout the world. He also sees potential in student exchanges to and from Chicago and the prospect of the city hosting an annual conference on international school psychology.
“Just by being located at a psychology school, ISPA can now enhance its professional development opportunities,” added Dr. Clark. “Members will have the means to continue their training though the education offerings at The Chicago School.”