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National Victim Assistance Academy

Since its inception in 1995, the National Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA) has provided an academic curriculum that emphasizes foundations in victimology and victims' rights and services for more than 2,000 victim service professionals from every state and territory and 7 foreign nations. NVAA's primary goals are to—

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive, research-based, foundation-level course of academic instruction encompassing cutting-edge knowledge about victim assistance and the field of victimology.
  • Provide high-quality, intensive education and training to victim service providers, advocates, and other professionals from federal, state, local, and tribal settings.
  • Create a training model that can be adapted and integrated into institutions of higher learning and other venues.

NVAA offers a 40-hour research-based, interactive course of study covering more than 38 subject areas through lectures, working and discussion groups, exercises, computer laboratory modules, faculty mentoring groups, and self-examinations, blending theory and practice in an academic setting. The Academy has also developed educational videos and learning guides. For example, in 2002, NVAA created a live satellite training broadcast for victim advocates, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, and emergency responders. OVC sponsored the broadcast with the Victims' Assistance Legal Organization and Eastern Kentucky University.

A formal evaluation of NVAA was completed in 2003 that assessed the Academy model and its impact on students, institutions of higher learning, and the victim services field. Although findings were positive, evaluators recommended updating and developing a standardized curriculum. In July 2007, applications for the new National Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA) were made available online and in print. The redesigned Academy, which will be held December 9-14, 2007, in Baltimore, Maryland, focuses on three distinct tracks tailored to the level of each attendee's expertise:

  1. Foundation-level training provides a broad understanding of the victim services field and lays the groundwork on which to build a career.
  2. Specialized training focuses on specific, timely topics that have a direct impact on providers' work.
  3. A Leadership Institute helps participants develop the skills they need to move from a provider role into a managerial role.

The new Academy integrates the latest advances in skills, knowledge, and theory to offer an unparalleled educational experience. All courses are taught by teams of nationally recognized scholars, researchers, and practitioners with in-depth practical experience. Find out more about NVAA.

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