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Monday, February 23, 2009

Who Can Afford it Anymore?

Joining a professional organization can help us as school psychology students by helping us stay informed with all of the most current news and research in the field we will someday be working in. The NASP offers student membership, which grants us access to online journals, newspapers and reference materials. Also, it can help us stay connected with what is going on in the world of school psychology by providing information about conventions and conferences where we can increase our knowledge by listening to experts in the field. You can even sign up for e-mail notifications regarding changes in legislation that will impact school psychology. The organization provides students with multiple resources that can both aid and supplement our learning as well as provide us with tools to one-day find jobs.

Go to http://www.nasponline.org/students/index.aspx to check out everything our professional organization has to offer. If you do decide to join you will encounter that there is an $80 annual fee. Even with all of the perks this organization has to offer can graduate students in a failing economy afford this? Is it still worth it?

This blog was created by Jessica Sosnowski.


Laura M said...

I definitely think it is worth it. Joining a profesional organization as a student member is a great way to stay informed and can be a valuable resource. You have too think of the cost as a part of your tuition and not just something extra that you don't need to pay for. Buy a few books used online next semester to make up for it.

Tami said...

During this economic crisis it very difficult for everyone, including us graduate students. The expense of daily living along with tuition is a burden on most graduate students. As well as attending school full time most of us are working either part or full time in order to pay for tuition as well as in order to survive. Some of us may have taken out loans because we could not pay for tuition up front, and some of us even have families to support as well. Whichever situation we find ourselves in, chances are money is an issue in our lives.
However, I do not believe that we should shy away from joining organizations which will help our career. These organizations are very informative to us as students, and we can learn valuable information from them which we may not learn in the classroom. Yes, the fee for these organizations is another economic burden, but $80 or so seems so small if you think about it compared to the thousands of dollars already put towards our education.
If we feel attending graduate school is important to our education and careers even though it is very costly, why wouldn't we feel the same about a professional organization? Yes, this organization is not giving us a degree or certification, but it is giving us valuable knowledge. This information we will gain from being a part of the organization will only help us succeed and be stronger professionals. Knowledge gained and learned, in my opinion, means more than a degree.

Angelica said...

I feel that professional organizations like NASP and APA are great organizations that any individual, especially a student involved in the field of psychology should definitely become a member of. Even though these organizations have annual fees that may be a little costly to a graduate student, it will be of great worth. Becoming a member of these organizations gives us, future psychologists, a gateway to staying informed about the various occurrances within our field, and especially keeps us up to date on the continuing changes that arise. Not only would we be learning outside the classroom with our membership, we would also be obtaining extra valuable resources that may help us obtain the necessary tools and framework for our jobs. Aside from these tools, we also have access to references and to convention dates to expand our knowledge within our field. These organizations are definitely a great opportunity for us students to put ourselves out there an learn on the side. And we even get a plus, as members, we're able to put this membership on our resumes and portfolios and use it to help us find not only future jobs but also for externship opportunities.

The world keeps changing and fields are advancing right before our eyes. We need to stay connected and stay up to date on these changes. This is a great way to accomplish this.! I definitely agree that it's worth it.

Desiree Antas said...

I think it is very important to join organizations like NASP and APA. By joining these programs you gain useful information on current trends that are going on in the field. It might be a little costly, but it is undoubtedly worth it. Also these organizations are great resources. You can obtain articles,find out about conventions and conferences, and receive journals. Also if you are a member of NASP you get a discounted liability insurance as a student. Something we should all have just in case anything was ever to occur while we were in our internships. It is only $35 per year, which is very cheap to save yourself from being sued.
I haven't joined either one yet, but by the summer time I will. Funds are very tight for me right now. I have an astronomical amount of credit card bills and a child to support as well as myself. I am so grateful my parents help me out if it weren't for my family I don't know where I would be. This semester especially hit me pretty hard with all the books I had to purchase and maintance on my car. It's like I can never have extra money if it is not one thing it is another. Struggling now though only makes me want to work harder and when I finally am making decent money I will appreciate everything and take nothing for granted.

Jessica S said...

I feel that professional organizations such as NASP are our life lines to stayng in-touch with what is going on in our fields.
If we choose not to join these organizations, we turn into the teacher who has been teaching the same lesson on civil rights for the past 40 years. Lots and lots has happened since the civil rights movement, and I think all professionals, no matter what field, have a duty to keep current.
As Silvia mentioned in class, would you go to a doctor and let him examine you if he didn't re-take his board examinations every ten years?
I think it's important to become a member of these organizations so that parents aren't afraid to let us counsel their children.
However, I do understand being broker than broke and not being able to afford to purchase a membership. As students, we are entitled to reduced rates, which is very helpful.
As working professionals, we should try and budget these membership dues into our finances, like we would for clothes or shoes that we would need to work.

Melissa said...

I think that joining the NASP organization is beneficial to us as future school psychologists. It is important to stay current with the latest trends in the field, because they will help us in practice. Despite the debt that most graduate students are in, $80 is not a lot of money for what we would be getting out of the organization. I think that in these tough economic times we should spend our money wisely and on what's important. Being a member of NASP is important for us because this is our future career and as graduate students it is important to have access to as many helpful tools as possible. I will definitely be joining the NASP organization so that I can learn as much as possible about the field I am about to enter into.

SBartolozzi said...

I agree with what everyone is saying. Joining professional organizations can benefit us in many ways and I don't even think that we know all of those ways yet. Yes, economic times are definitely trying right now, but joining these organizations is important and we should try to do whatever we can to be able to do so. We'll be able to stay up to date with current information and research, read journals and articles, network with people that we normally wouldn't be able to, attend conferences, and much more. It's great that there is a discount for students, but once we are working we should be sure to renew our memberships and stay in touch with these organizations.
Many financial burdens are hitting all of us, especially with student loans, tuition, books, and everyday life. But I agree with Tammarra when she said the small fee is really nothing in comparison to what we're spending on our careers already. We should definitely take advantage of all of our opportunities to learn and stay "in the loop" with our fellow school psychologists.

Tjasa said...

I tend to agree with many of you that joining a professional organization such as the NASP is definitelly worth it. First, if we join as students we get the discounted price and enjoy the same benefits as someone who pays the regular membership. Next, by joining this organization we tend to be informed about the most current issues in school psychology. It is extremely important for us as the future professionals to stay up to date with the current research. Further, information that can be found on the NASP can help us a great deal with our every day tasks.

To sum it up, I believe that even though the economy may not be the greatest at this time, it is in out best interest to join this organization. This organization is made for us and we will benefit from it quite a bit.

Tahina said...

I agree with all of you. We should look at joining these professional organizations such as NASP and APA as a way of networking, staying up-to-date with relative information in our career, and simply being a part of something. Paying for a membership definitely will have its perks. And I agree with Laura, if this is our career we can chalk up the cost as part of our tuition.
One thing that is interesting to me is that for School Psychologists, joining APA as a member is not an option if you don't pursue a PHD. How many of us feel that being an actual member (not just an Associate) of APA seems a little bit more "prestigious" than being a part of NASP alone?
My opinion, maybe not... I mean majority of School Psychologists don't even pursue a PHD.

Jamie Cowan said...

I agree with everything that has been posted in favor of sacrificing the fee of membership in order to share in the great number of benefits. As school psychologists we may be the only one in a district if working in a small town, or the only one spread between several schools with colleagues in other schools in larger districts. Either way I am sure at some time there is the possibility of feeling "alone" or overwhelemed. By networking and joining a professional organization such as NASP it will help ease those burdens by providing us with numerous amount of contacts and resources.
As has been mentioned often in this blog session, money and budgeting definitely becomes an issue, however if throughout the coming year you are able to put just $10 a month on the side for it, by the time renewal comes around you will have plenty saved.

Roxane N. said...

I agree with everything that was said here. I think it is important to join professional organizations. It enables you to utilize many of their conferences, journals, etc. for a great student rate.

In response to Tahina, I agree that APA is more 'prestigious' because they have the more vigorous requirements of a doctoral degree. However, NASP really helped move our career forward and 'organize it'.