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Mercyhurst ABA program rated among nation's best

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) program at Mercyhurst University, designed to educate teachers and other professionals in creating the best possible learning environment for students with special needs, has been rated among the best in the country.

An offering of the Special Education and Applied Disability Studies graduate program chaired by Dr. Phillip Belfiore, Mercyhurst’s ABA certificate program is directed by Tom Kitchen and was identified as one of the top 32 programs nationwide by AppliedBehaviorAnalysisEDU, a professional organization that evaluated curricula at more than 200 colleges and universities to determine its top picks.

There are a number of paths educators can take when making the decision to add ABA to their list of skills, and most involve meeting the qualifications for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

According to AppliedBehaviorAnalysisEDU: “Mercyhurst University knows a thing or two about how to structure a program to fit the scheduling needs of working teachers. Courses in the MEd in Special Education and Applied Disabilities Studies, ABA, are primarily held in the evenings, freeing up students to continue working. The program includes all the courses you need to qualify for the BCBA exam. Plus, since courses are offered year-round students have better access to the courses they want to take, allowing them to more easily custom tailor the program.”

Enthused by the recognition, Belfiore said, “One strength of our graduate Special Education-ABA program is our applied-clinical experiences, allowing our graduate students the opportunities for graduate assistantships and clinical hours through our service contracts, among them the Erie School District Autism Program, R.B. Wiley Community Charter School-Supplemental Mathematics and Reading Tutoring program (SMART)], and our OASIS program on the North East Campus.”

Of the 32 chosen schools, six are in Pennsylvania. Besides Mercyhurst, recognition also went to the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Temple University, Cairn University and California University of Pennsylvania.

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ABOUT AppliedBehaviorAnalysisEDU: We are an independent online publishing group that saw an opportunity to provide future and practicing ABAs with the first and only dedicated resource on state licensing, education options, earning potential, practice domains and more. Since we have no affiliation with professional associations, lobbying groups, or government bodies, our only interest was to create a comprehensive resource that provides the kind of unbiased information aspiring and practicing ABAs have been looking for.