Dear APS Learning Community,
During this uncertain time, and the social distancing we are asked to practice, the Academy of Peer Services wants to reassure you we are very much here to continue to support and connect the peer support workforce to resources and to one another.
Last week we announced that we were extending our current term end date from March 30 to April 6. In light of the need for most people to stay home and the benefit that could be found in taking our courses during this time, we decided today to keep Term 1 open for two more weeks, until April 20, 2020. This will allow APS learners (and others who may have an interest in learning more about the peer support workforce) to use this time productively. This will allow APS learners time to work on courses, attend some of our live support groups and webinars hosted by the APS Virtual Learning Community, and provide ample time to work on post-tests and earn certificates of completion for your coursework this term. You can visit the APS Virtual Learning Community here: https://aps-community.org/
We are on schedule to launch Term 2 2020 as scheduled on April 27, 2020. We know that many of you are eager to re-enroll in courses that you need to re-take and pass on your way toward earning the New York Peer Specialist Certification. Please note, we typically spend about four weeks working on course edits and fixes once the term ends. With this new plan to close for only one week, we are asking for your patience and feedback when the APS courses are re-launched for Term 2 2020. As always, we will do our best during this short break to ensure all courses function as they are supposed to, but our typical quality assurance process is not possible in one week.
News from the Virtual Learning Community
Our Virtual Learning Community is a vital way in which we connect people to each other and the wider peer support community. You do not need to be enrolled in the Academy of Peer Services to participate in the Virtual Community. There are resources and opportunities to participate. For instance, just last week a group of facilitators came together to create a new resource for those who hold peer support groups in person to be successful in offering groups online. The resource is on the Virtual Community website and freely available. Many have already found it to be very helpful: Tips for Facilitating Online Peer Support Groups.
During the outbreak, the Virtual Community has added new online group sessions for peer support providers and supervisors on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. For a schedule of times, click here.
Also posted on the Virtual Community are the times and phone numbers for the peer-run respite warmlines (so people can get support by phone) as well as announcements of interest to the peer community.
For instance, there is a conference, on Wednesday, March 25, on the Supervision of the Peer Workforce. The conference features 25 prominent presenters from around the world. It was moved online this week and it is completely free of charge to attend.
The Virtual Community Calendar lists the conference and live webinars within this region that are coming up every day, such as
- · Taking on the Challenge of Working Remotely and in Community during the Virus Crisis, by NYAPRS and the Coalition for Behavioral Healthcare
- · National Conversation on Community Participation in a Time of Physical Distancing, by Temple Collaborative on Community Inclusion
- · Treatment and Recovery Supports for Older Adults, by SAMHSA BRSS TACS
- · Supporting Older Adults Part 1: Honoring Their Strengths by Michelle Zechner, Clinton Green, Liz Breier, Shanti Vani, and Gayle Bluebird as part of our own APS Virtual Community, Faces and Places of Peer Support Series
For the latest Virtual Community news update, click here.
(Note: The Virtual Community does not post frequently on the APS Listserv to keep information that is unrelated to the online courses to a minimum. However, updates are shared more regularly to those who are members of the Virtual Community list. To get those you will need to “opt in” or join. It is free and you can “opt out” or unsubscribe at any time.)
If you’re not already receiving Virtual Community updates, join the free mailing list, click here.
The APS would like to welcome a new member to our instructional design team, Athena Anderson. Athena brings a wide array of life and professional experiences to the role of instructional designer and is excited to begin her work with us beginning with a new module on Tips for Success in Online Learning. Welcome, Athena.
We also welcome back Marshall Rosier to the role of Director of the New York Peer Specialist Certification Board. Marshall has extensive expertise in peer support and has over 14 years of experience developing and administering certification services globally. As a consultant, he was instrumental in the early development of the NYPSCB and directed the initial launch of the New York Certified Peer Specialist certification as Project Director from 2015-2017. <insert news release here>
Stay safe and be well,
The APS Team, Amy, Rita, Karen, Varsha, Athena, & Maryam
To provide announcements for the Virtual Community, send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For technical support on Academy courses, send email to: email@example.com