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Information for Applicants to GSAPP

Want to Pursue an Academic/Research Career?

If you want to pursue an academic/research career rather than professional practice you might consider the Ph.D. program offered through the Rutgers University Department of Psychology.

Doing a Practicum at the DDDC

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey is among the places you should consider if you want to develop a sophisticated grasp of the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) teaching methods for people with autism spectrum disorders. Tthe Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center is an on-campus facility that serves children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders. We use a broad range of ABA technology to serve those learners and their families. We support 3 Psy.D. students from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at the Center every year. The DDDC’s clinical faculty members teach a 6-course sequence in ABA that meets the academic requirements for sitting for the national certification board’s exam. The practicum also provides the opportunity to accrue the hands-on experience for ABA certification.

The training model for Psy.D. students who work at the DDDC involves primarily hands-on clinical work for two years. You would do some direct work with children, adolescents and adults, and classroom consultation to teachers about behavior problems. The role is very structured with ample supervision by clinical faculty members Robert LaRue, Ph.D., and Kim Sloman, Ph.D., both of whom are Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). Your hours with them would count toward the required hours to become Board Certified yourself. In addition to your contact with Kim and Bob, you would have the opportunity to work with Kate Fiske Massey, Ph.D., and Lara Delmolino, Ph.D., both of whom are BCBAs. Your academic advisor would be Sandra Harris, Ph.D.

In your 3rd and 4th years at GSAPP you would do practicum work in settings outside of the DDDC to ensure you have a breadth of training. For example you might do adult out- patient therapy, work in an inpatient unit at local hospital, or do assessments with very young children. The choices are many. In addition you would also get some good general clinical experience in GSAPP’s Psychological Clinic. It is a busy, very well planned, and very interesting four years from which you can emerge with your BCBA and have excellent preparation for doing clinical work with a range of people. By the 5th year a person is ready for internship.

Many Psy.D. students also do their dissertation research at the Center. In recent years they have addressed questions such as developing a parent training program to improve the home-school collaboration, providing services for adults with autism, teaching language to children with autism, the use of video modeling to address problem behaviors, and adapting functional assessments to a classroom setting.

We accept one or two new Psy.D. students for support at the DDDC every year. So if you want a career that focuses on the treatment of people with autism spectrum disorders and their families you should certainly consider us. Take a look at the GSAPP website for a detailed picture of the clinical Psy.D. program.


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