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Contact Information

Horton Hall 108
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg University
Shippensburg, PA, 17257
(717) 477-1502
(717) 477-4050 fax 

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Post-Master's Coursework in Behavior Analysis
at Dixon University Center in Harrisburg

The prevalence of autism is often quoted in the popular media as affecting at least 1 in 100 children. Autism is a pervasive development disorder affecting communication and social behavior. In the most severe cases, aggression and self-injury can be observed. In addition, autism is a life-long disorder; while early and intensive intervention is paramount, adults with autism receive far less attention, though their needs may be even greater, due to a lack of resources and supports.
Applied behavior analysis endeavors to use the principles of behaviorism to remediate the behavioral deficits (lack of language and eye contact, for example) and excesses (aggression and self-injury) observed in those diagnosed with autism. The focus is on the systematic study of observable behavior and the surrounding environment. First, behavioral assessment is undertaken, to determine the factors maintaining behavioral excesses (why the challenging behavior is occurring). Then, using this knowledge of function, a treatment plan is designed to address these behaviors. Treatment plans are also designed to foster behaviors that are deficient using positive reinforcement. Further, this type of intervention is not limited to children; adults with autism can benefit from behavioral assessment and treatment, as can individuals with intellectual disabilities, other forms of psychopathology, or any person who would like to change their behavior.

The Shippensburg University Department of Psychology is pleased to offer graduate-level coursework in behavior analysis via evening classes at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg beginning July 2013. These courses are designed to provide training for individuals who have earned Master’s degrees in Psychology, Special Education, Counseling, and Social Work (or a related human services field), leading to certification in behavior analysis.* 

All courses will be taught by certified, doctoral-level behavior analysts with clinical experience, and approval of these courses as an official course progression for certification is currently being sought. In addition, in order to serve the needs of working professionals, all courses will meet in the evenings, and it will be possible to complete all five courses within a ten-month time frame.

Click HERE for Program Info Sheet

*Certification in behavior analysis requires a supervised field work component in addition to coursework. Shippensburg University does not provide the opportunity for supervised field work for Post-Master’s students. For additional information on these requirements, visit