Frequently Asked Questions: EdAT

What Is the EdAT?

The Education Advocacy Trust (EdAT) is a legal structure within the American Psychological Association’s companion organization, the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) — a 501(c)(6) tax status organization. The mission of the EdAT is to promote the mutual professional interests of psychologists in advancing education in psychology and psychology’s role in other areas of education through advocacy activities that cannot be conducted legally within the APA, an organization that is tax exempt pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Why is the EdAT necessary?

APA cannot legally engage in any form of political campaign activity, even for candidates who support our initiatives. Yet if we are to build influence and convince members of Congress to champion the issues on our advocacy agenda we must increase the visibility and influence of the psychology education and training community. Garnering champions in Congress is critical to efforts to expand on the Education Directorate’s earlier advocacy successes (i.e. Graduate Psychology Education funding through the U.S. Health and Human Services Resource Administration and the inclusion of psychologists in the National Health Service Corps), but it is extremely difficult to develop this level of support without the kind of coordinated effort allowed by a 501(c)(6) structure.

Is the Education Advocacy Trust a Political Action Committee (PAC)?

No. The Education Advocacy Trust is not a political action committee (PAC). The Association for the Advancement of Psychology (AAP) is a psychological organization providing campaign support to federal political candidates. AAP operates a bipartisan political action committee to support candidates who are sympathetic to the concerns of psychologists.

Why Can't My APA Dues Be Used to Support Those Education Advocacy Efforts?

Since APA is a 501(c)(3) organization, it would be illegal for APA dues or funds to be used to support activities related to political campaigns, or to give funds to a 501(c)(6). The EdAT must be funded independently of any APA funding.

How is the Education Advocacy Trust Funded?

The EdAT is supported by voluntary contributions from psychologists in the education and training community to a designated fund. There are also plans to develop other revenue generating products and services that cannot be carried out within the APA due to its tax status.

Why Should I Contribute to the EdAT?

Without your support the psychology education and training community’s efforts to build legislative support for quality psychology education, including the allocation of funds to federal grant programs that directly support psychology education, will continue to be hindered. In addition, access to key policymakers in an effort to promote psychology as an essential health profession and integral to an efficient, effective, integrated approach to health care will be limited, as Education Directorate staff cannot fully engage in the political process necessary to advance psychology’s agenda without this legal mechanism in place.

How Does Contributing to the EDAT Relate to Payment of the Practice Assessment?

The EdAT is not a substitute for the Practice Assessment that licensed psychologists pay to support the practice activities of the APAPO. It is vital that those members who are engaged in both education and training activities and practice activities support both. The activities of the EdAT are unique from the practice activities of the APAPO; however, if psychology is to be successful in promoting its overall advocacy agenda it is important that all facets of the diverse psychology advocacy agenda be fully supported.

Who Oversees the Education Advocacy Trust?

The activities of the Trust are overseen by its Trustees, who are the same people who serve on the APA Board of Educational Affairs, and the APAPO Treasurer, who is the same person as the APA Treasurer.

What Is the Relationship of the Education Advocacy Trust to APA?

The EdAT is part of the APA’s companion organization, the APAPO, but is staffed by people who also serve as APA’s Education Directorate staff. The EdAT is wholly supported by a separate source of revenues and only engages in activities that will advance APA’s agenda and not compete with APA for revenues.

What is the Relationship of the Education Advocacy Trust to APAPO?

The EdAT is a grantor trust of the APAPO. The people who serve on the APA Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) also serve as the administrative oversight group for the Education Advocacy Trust and report to the APAPO Board of Directors, which is made up of the same individuals as the APA Board of Directors. The EdAT is governed in a structure parallel to that in which the members of the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP) serve as the administrative oversight group for the practice activities of the APAPO. The EdAT has a separate source of revenue and a separate bank account from that maintained for the Practice Assessment and does not engage in activities that will compete with the APAPO for revenues.