Dotson enrolled at SJU as an ASPIRE student with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, majoring in political science with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. But freshman year was tough — Dotson experienced quite a few growing pains as he acclimated to college life and he wisely reached out for support navigating through his first year
Whether you’re pursuing a career in an autism-related field, want to deepen your experience with the neurodiverse population, need additional support as an undergraduate student with ASD or would like a rewarding job while in college, the Kinney Center offers many paths to help you achieve your goals.
Majors, Minors, & Certificates
Saint Joseph’s offers an array of undergraduate degrees, coursework and certificate opportunities that will help you become a marketable job prospect. Whether you are studying to become an autism professional who is ready to meet the growing need for qualified, highly-trained providers of autism services or not pursuing a career in autism, but looking to differentiate yourself in an increasingly neurodiverse world, your Saint Joseph’s University coursework coupled with your practical experience as a Kinney SCHOLAR will set you apart amongst your peers. They also lay the groundwork for graduate studies if you choose to pursue an advanced degree in a related field.
This program is designed to meet the growing need for qualified, professionally trained clinicians, educators and researchers. Offers both a clinical track and a research and advocacy track covering interventions and support for individuals with autism.
An abbreviated version of the major, this program offers a rich curriculum in autism theories, techniques, treatment and therapies. It is designed for full-time matriculated students from relevant majors who wish to pursue a more in-depth study of autism.
This program prepares students to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA); this certification may be added to many undergraduate majors.
Beyond the autism major and minor, there are many fields of study that can benefit from knowledge gained at the Kinney Center. They include special education, business, sociology, MHC, biology, pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, nursing, mental health counseling, psychology (including an opportunity to participate in Kinney’s research lab under Academic Director Joseph McCleery, Ph.D) and more.
Arriving on campus early gave me an advantage freshman year. I felt prepared for both the social and academic aspects of college life."
Danielle Ederer '17
As an undergraduate student at either Saint Joseph’s or another local university, you can turn your passion for helping others into an opportunity to provide one-on-one support to individuals with autism. Gain experience with various populations and modalities of services through Kinney’s youth, transitional and adult programs. Even if your career plans don’t directly involve an autism-related path, the skills you learn as a Kinney SCHOLAR will set you apart in an increasingly neurodiverse world. Enjoy fun and meaningful work — and earn compensation while doing it!
Are you an incoming Saint Joseph's University student who is eager to get involved with the Kinney Center before the school year begins? The Apprentices Program gives you a head start on your future career in an autism-related field with extensive training and hands-on experience working with individuals with autism via Camp Kinney, which serves over 100 families. As a Kinney Apprentice, you will benefit from learning to navigate campus, taking a college course, building a community and being employed as a Kinney SCHOLAR. Applications for 2022-23 are coming soon.
Whether you’re an undergraduate student with ASD enrolled at Saint Joseph’s or another university, we can help you navigate your transition to college through our ASPIRE Program. As a participant, you’ll gain a network of friends and obtain the social and executive functioning support you need to enjoy a successful and satisfying college experience.
My time at Kinney taught me acceptance and how to teach someone skills that will better their lives. It has led to so many opportunities in my life and career."
In the News
Each year, Saint Joseph’s students working with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support undergo supervision as part of their overall training to become certified behavioral analysts. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that supervision is being done virtually.
Four undergraduate students from the School of Health Studies and Education co-authored a set of encyclopedia entries with Sally Kuykendall, Ph.D., interim chair and professor of health studies.