Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence

Signature Projects

The University of Scranton

With the funding from the AllOne Foundations, The University of Scranton seeks to address the growing need for highly trained and motivated professionals in autism services in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania who hold Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credentials.

Drawing inspiration from the well-established Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI), the University’s Center for Autism Education & Training will address the critical shortage of skilled professionals who can offer behavioral intervention, which is an evidence based intervention, in the successful treatment of autism.

By recruiting and training local students majoring in education, counseling, psychology and related fields we plan to provide education at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels in applied behavioral analysis. Development of these programs is critical to the future of our community where more highly educated and skilled providers of autism services are needed to help our children and family members reach their full potential.

The first phase of the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) program was recently approved by the University’s curriculum process and will be offered through the Counseling and Human Services Department in the Panuska College of Professional Studies. The 18-credit graduate certificate program is designed to provide professionals in psychology, education, child care, speech and language disorders, counseling and human services with a mastery of the therapy methods and treatment of children and adults with autism and related developmental disorders. The intensive practicum hours required by ABAI will be integrated into each course.

  • In the realm of workforce development, this part of the project addresses the need for highly trained professionals and educators who hold Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) credentials.
  • It is important that the care and education providers in this project hold a BCBA to ensure that they have completed rigorous course work with intensive supervision and have demonstrated their skills in order to assist children and adults on the autism spectrum achieve their dreams and goals.
  • BCBA’s are required to demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skill in behavioral principles and concepts that are supported through scientific and evidence based practices. 
Education & Training

The University of Scranton intends to implement the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst graduate certificate program by Fall 2019. Part of this funding will be used to attract and retain a top rated BCBA program coordinator who will facilitate the program. Students will perform supervised clinical rotations in the appropriate locations of members of ACCE. These post-graduate students will offer their services while gaining valuable clinical experience.

Additionally, the University, in collaboration with ACCE, will facilitate an annual meeting in conjunction with the U.S. Conference on disAbilities, highlighting various advancements and innovation in independent living, assistive technology, and employment for individuals living with disability and their families.

Our vision is to expand the annual conference to focus on aspects of ASD. This conference will be offered free of charge to health care professionals, educators, administrators, government employees, practitioners and especially individuals with autism and their families. The conference will feature a renowned ASD speaker at a lecture that is open to the public, especially residents of the 13 counties of our region served by this initiative.


Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania represents a geographic area that is in need of ASD services and has the professional talent, facilities and desire to establish a model of excellence in care and education for those individuals with ASD-- similar to the successful model in place at the Princeton Child Development Institute. With support from the Allone Foundation, we can establish our region as a model of excellence in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. 

For more information contact:

Lori A. Bruch, Ed.D, CRC, LPC
Chair, Department of Counseling & Human Services
The Panuska College of Professional Studies
The University of Scranton
(570) 941-4308