Cresson, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College is expanding its graduate programs to meet emerging community need in treating clients with autism-spectrum disorders. Their new Master of Science in Behavioral Specialist Consulting consists of 36-credits and offers students a path to obtain needed licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a Behavioral Specialist.
Statistically, today one in 83 births result in a child potentially needing treatment for an autism-spectrum disorder. The Mount Aloysius College Master of Science in Behavioral Consulting allows students to enter this needed field faster.
Mr. Brian Nagle, director of autism services at Alternative Community Resource Program said that many programs are being designed now for clients affected with autism-spectrum disorders and so the need for trained clinicians is growing. Officials at Alternative Community Resources are leading the charge on autism awareness and treatment. “More Behavioral Specialists are needed now,” said Mr. Nagle. “And the Masters in Behavioral Specialist Consulting at Mount Aloysius College is ideal because it addresses clinical education in a way that is tailored to real community need. This degree program includes applied personality theory, associative psychology and cognitive treatment. Completion of this coursework will make for a very well-rounded clinician,” he said.
Nagle noted that as of January 2014, clinicians will need licensure before they are allowed to work with clients. “The MAC coursework offers the required training in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), clinical documentation and treatment data analysis. It will be obvious to any managed care company that—with these graduates— the credentials are in place for licensure. Graduates of this Master’s program will be welcomed into the clinical workforce.”
Nagle noted that licensure requires 1000 hours of background working in the autism-spectrum field in addition to one year of functional behavioral assessment. “Anyone reviewing the transcripts of this degree requirement will assess these graduates as very likely to achieve licensure,” he said.
Dr. David Haschak, N.C.C., L.P.C., assistant professor of counseling at Mount Aloysius College agrees with Mr. Nagle’s assessment. “Certainly the intent of the new Masters program is to expose students to a very practical subgroup of psychology—behavioral specialist—that is growing throughout the mental health field. The intent,” added Dr. Haschak, “is to expose students to research, theory and practical applications in psychology; while giving them a solid foundation in research methodology, and a grounded knowledge-base in social, developmental, cognitive and personality psychology.”
Dr. Timothy Fulop, vice president for academic affairs at Mount Aloysius noted that the new Masters of Science in Behavioral Specialist Consulting degree is convenient, flexible and very practical. “We have arranged for classes to be held year-round in the evening,” he said. “Students can take the program at their own pace. The MS in Behavioral Specialist Consulting is an excellent credential with which to build a solid future in this expanding field of service.”
In addition to the ability to work with autism-spectrum affected clients, the Mount Aloysius College MS in Behavioral Specialist Consulting degree will be applicable to patient care in a variety of social service settings including mental health centers, correctional facilities, drug and alcohol treatment t centers, hospitals and health care institutions and even certain business settings.