“My MA program gave me more than education: it gave me many lifelong relationships and has set me on the path to career success.”
— Stephanie, MA (ABA)
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Working in the Niagara Region in support of individuals with varying abilities, I began to recognize and understand the need for expansion in services and supports providing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), not just in our community, but across the province of Ontario.
The desire to have the ability to bring the science of ABA to those who could truly benefit from it is what drove me to pursuit Brock University’s Masters of Applied Disability Studies program, Applied Behaviour Analysis stream.
Being a student in this program has provided me with a wealth of opportunities to learn and practice ABA, as well as to get involved with research, important in both the expansion of the applications of ABA, as well as the expansion of ABA across our province.
Brock’s program has provided me with the opportunity to work closely with faculty members, prominent researchers and practitioners across fields of ABA and disability studies.
The many partnerships between Brock’s Centre of Applied Disability Studies (CADS) and community organizations and agencies has allowed me to study and practice the applications of ABA in settings and with populations I previously did not have experience.
Through Brock University’s Applied Disability Studies program, I have been given the opportunity to develop a breadth of knowledge and experiences in both disability studies and ABA.
In September 2008, I entered the Master of Applied Disability Studies (MADS) program with a specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Having worked with children with autism and developmental disabilities, I was excited to work towards a professional degree that was unique, challenging, and directly relevant to my career. After a year, I decided to transfer to the Master of Arts program to pursue a more research-oriented curriculum.
Under the supervision of Dr. Maurice Feldman and Dr. Rebecca Ward, I am conducting research in the area of infants at risk for autism spectrum disorders. I am also researching behaviour management strategies used by parents of children with autism and developmental disabilities.
During my practicum placement, I had the opportunity to assist Dr. Kimberly Harris in conducting court-ordered assessments of families for which child protection was a concern.
I am very pleased with the level of support I have received from my supervisors, and I have learned so much from the faculty and from my peers. I am now in my final year of the MA program, and I am confident that my time at the Centre for Applied Disability Studies has prepared me well for a career as a scientist-practitioner.
In completing my MA through the Centre for Applied Disability Studies (CADS) at Brock University I was able to integrate my dual interests in applied work and research in the field of intellectual disabilities.
The courses were excellent but more than anything the MA program provided me with the opportunity to work closely with some of the preeminent researchers in behaviour analysis and intellectual disabilities.
I am absolutely confident that the experiences and skills I gained while in the programme are the primary reason for my continued success in my research, teaching, and academic work in my PhD Psychology programme at Queens College and the Graduate Center in New York.
While at Brock I was able to get involved with a number of diverse research projects that interested me and some of this collaboration between the CADS faculty and I continues to this day.
I absolutely loved my 2-year MA program. It provided me with lots of fun and valuable learning opportunities. I had an amazing support network: my fellow students, my advisor, my professors and the administration team. All of them by my side the entire 2 years making my education experience at Brock enjoyable, engaging and even a little less stressful!
Coming from this program has afforded me many career opportunities. The skills I learned are applicable in a wide variety of settings and populations. As I was finishing my degree, I had two casual jobs lined up in the mental health field and shortly thereafter – a full-time position as a consultant for a hospital program. My MA program gave me more than education: it gave me many lifelong relationships and has set me on the path to career success.