Shenandoah University and Commonwealth Autism are collaborating on an initiative to deliver graduate instruction to professionals in Central Virginia who seek advanced skills in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is the science and technology behind improving human behavior and helps improve the lives of individuals living with various disabilities, including autism. Careers that require post-graduate degrees in ABA are in high demand and outnumber the available professionals with graduate degrees.
“A decade or so ago, no one heard of ‘applied behavior analysis’ or even knew what a behavior analyst was,” said Coordinator of Shenandoah University’s ABA Program and Associate Professor of Psychology Brandon Greene, Ph.D. “Now, ABA is cocktail conversation—there is a worldwide community of about 18,000 practicing professionals with advanced degrees in ABA. Here in the United States, Commonwealth Autism has been at the forefront of initiatives incorporating ABA in the service of children and adults with autism, employing some of the most talented behavior analysts in the profession. It’s an honor for us to be a partner in this initiative.”
The new educational initiative will allow individuals residing in, and around, the greater Richmond region to earn a master’s degree in ABA, or take the necessary coursework to become eligible to pursue Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification. An informational seminar will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1, at Commonwealth Autism’s Richmond offices (4108 E. Parham Road, Richmond, Virginia).
The seminar is designed for individuals who are working with human service agencies or are interested in working in this area, hold a bachelor’s degree and are interested in a master’s degree, or hold a master’s degree in education or psychology and wish to pursue BCBA certification. Classes will begin in the fall of 2016.
“For 20 years, Commonwealth Autism has worked to grow services across the state of Virginia in a strategic and systematic way, making the most of limited resources,” said Commonwealth Autism President & CEO John Toscano. “Partnering with Shenandoah to offer pre-service training to young professionals will no doubt enhance our ability to carry out our mission and improve services for Virginians with autism.”
Registration is not required, but appreciated. To register for the informational seminar or if you have any questions, please contact Autumn Kaufman or call Commonwealth Autism at 804/355-0300.
Commonwealth Autism was formed in 1995 by a visionary group of parents of children with autism who recognized significant service gaps in Virginia for people with autism. The mission of the non-profit organization is to build the capacity of the autism service provider network through partnership and collaboration. For more information on Commonwealth Autism, visit autismva.org.