Autism Studies Minor Earns Behavior Analyst Certification

Students completing minor can now sit for career-enhancing examination

Monday, February 27, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (February 27, 2011) —As the autism field grows, future care providers are seeking the proper training and credentials from their undergraduate coursework to give them a competitive edge. Saint Joseph’s University’s Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support recently applied for and received approval for its minor in autism studies from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB). Now, SJU students who complete the requirements for the minor will be eligible to sit for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) examination®, an important certification for professionals in the field.

“There are only 77 programs nationwide and only five schools in Pennsylvania,” notes Katharine Croce, director of programs, training and service at the Kinney Center. “Saint Joseph's University students are going to go have a huge advantage over their peers in becoming BCaBA’s.”

Applied Behavior Analysis is a well-developed evidenced-based discipline among the helping professions and is used especially in treating individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Applied behavior analysts can help individuals with ASD through assessment and planning of behavioral, academic and social interventions. The BACB requires that applicants complete a minimum 135 hours of coursework in behavior analysis plus field experience before taking the exam.

“ASD is considered the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the country,” says Michelle Rowe, Ph.D., executive director of the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support.  “Saint Joseph’s University is committed to empowering the families, caregivers and educators who are on the frontlines.”

The minor in autism studies offers a rich curriculum in autism theories, techniques, treatment and therapies, and is designed for students from relevant majors who require a more in-depth study of autism. Students interested in sitting for the exam are required to take five core courses and one elective. The minor provides education and training as well as preparation for work and advocacy in the autism field.

Media Contact

 Kelly Welsh, Director of Communications/College of Arts and Sciences, University Communications, 610-660-1385,

Expand this section