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Division 16's TEAM Program

The Transforming, Engaging, Achieving Mentoring (TEAM) Program
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Division 16 is proud to announce the Transforming, Engaging, Achieving Mentoring (TEAM) Program. The overarching purpose of the TEAM Program is to create safe spaces for BIPOC mentors and mentees to engage in discussions of experiences impacting the mentee. The program pairs BIPOC students and early career professionals with more experienced BIPOC school psychology professionals.

To join, complete the survey at the following address: https://niu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5vVZQj9t1OnFJMq

Background: As part of Division 16’s work to stand against racism and as part of our School Psychology Unified Anti-Racism Statement and Call to Action, the Division committed to re-establishing the Diversity Mentoring Program our Student Affiliates in School Psychology (SASP) created in 2012:

“We will establish a mentoring program to provide early career psychologists and students, especially those of color, with increased opportunities for collaboration and support”.

Program Goals: The goals of the SASP Diversity Mentoring Program included the following:

  • Connect students and professionals who have common interests related to diversity,
  • Give students the opportunity to interact (i.e., communicate, collaborate on research) with professionals/faculty outside of their program, and
  • Develop a lasting professional relationship.

The TEAM Program will continue with the original goals and adds the following goal:

  • Support early career school psychologists, creating collaborations and mentorship opportunities.

To sustain the program, the VP for Social and Ethical Responsibility, and Ethnic Minority Affairs (VP-SEREMA) will oversee the program with assistance from the SASP Diversity Affairs Co-Chairs. The VP SEREMA will convene a taskforce to assist with the TEAM Program.

Mentor/Mentee Selection: Lifeline Mentors and Mentees will complete a brief information form via Qualtrics. The information collected will be used to pair mentees with mentors as a dyad or mentor circle. A call for mentors will be made through lists and individual contacts. Mentees will be identified through the SASP Diversity Affairs Co-Chairs, student lists and social media. VP-SEREMA and SASP Diversity Co-Chairs will lead the identification of pairs/mentor circles.

Mentor/Mentee Expectations: Mentors are asked to communicate on a bi-monthly basis to check-in with their mentee(s) followed by a monthly, longer meeting dedicated to discussion of diversity issues in School Psychology and other relevant topics. The relationship is expected to be one that is mutually beneficial and in which both parties are able to gain and offer support throughout the process. Mentors/Mentees will be expected to send a quarterly mentor/mentee update (check-in report completed through Qualtrics) to the VP SEREMA at the end of each quarter. A yearly report summarizing the number and nature of interactions and activities for the year will also be requested. The goal of collecting information is to provide support, as needed, to program participants and help improve this new initiative based on participant feedback and the open exchange of ideas and best practices. Although there are recommended activities and a few requirements, mentors and mentees will set goals and guidelines based on their individual relationship. A document with engagement activities and mentor/mentee expectations will be provided to each participant following the pairing.

Group Meetings: VP SEREMA will coordinate virtual meetings with mentor/mentee dyads. The topic for the first meeting will be a Q & A on the TEAM Program and introductions. Virtual meetings will be offered on other relevant topics.

Additional TEAM Activities: Lifeline Mentors and mentees will have other opportunities to engage with other professionals via group discussions (The TEAM Conversation Series, i.e., In the Room), interviews of key school psychology leaders of color (Our Legacy Interviews), and future honor society (Sigma Psi Epsilon) for high school and undergraduate students of color interested in school psychology and advancing the Division’s anti-racism work. The TEAM Program committee (VP-SEREMA taskforce) will determine initial topics and presenters; however, SASP and ECP will provide feedback on future topics and presenters. The SASP Diversity Action Co-Chairs will assist in identifying the list of interviews of key school psychology leaders of color.

Mentors/Mentees Discussion Topics: A list of recommended activities is provided below:

Highly Recommended Activities:

  • Discuss issues of diversity in relation to psychology as a whole, and specifically to School Psychology
  • Discuss issues including research and offer advice on successfully completing the thesis/dissertation process
  • Offer advice on the internship process and how to successfully obtain an internship
  • Discuss relevant articles on multiculturalism and diversity in school psychology
  • Discuss how multicultural competence in the workplace is important and ways that it can be implemented

Optional Activities:

  • Offer advice on how to join other psychological associations that promote diversity
  • Discuss possible ways that students can advocate for diversity within the field.  Some ways include getting involved with leadership in SASP, NASP, APA, etc.
  • Students can also discuss the state of graduate students and how they feel about diversity within the field and how it can be addressed
  • Possibly Team Up on research projects

The TEAM Conversation Series (In the Room-where it happens): To support students, reviewing relevant concepts and providing support, we will host a virtual meeting every month. Speakers and topics will be determined as per student needs. Topics for early career school psychologists will be determined when that portion of the mentor program is built. Tentative topics have been identified:

Understanding Yourself and Others: The Connection Between Cultural Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence and Self-Preservation and Well-Being

Historical Interviews (Our Legacy Interviews): As a way to document our history, we will arrange interviews with key figures in our field to be shared via our website.

Sigma Psi Epsilon: As a future plan, we will create an honor society of students of color committed to the study and application of socially just, anti-racist practices, research and service, creating both high school and undergraduate chapters. The goal is to begin creating peer mentoring links. Bylaws and structure of the society will be created in the future.