Psychology Spotlight

kylee spotlight closeupPsychology Major, Kylee Merritts,  has been granted a competitive $22,000 COPPA grant to support her graduate study in the Adaptive Curriculum and Autism Masters program at the University of Georgia beginning in the fall of 2016.  This graduate degree, in special education, will also allow her to complete her BCBA.  Kylee stated that her interview with the graduate program began by asking her, “Have you ever heard of Applied Behavior Analysis?” 

Kylee is currently working on her third Applied Behavior Analysis course in our approved sequence of coursework at Berry.  She has taken special topics courses on Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and completed  an internship with adults through the DIGS program.  She completed a second internship at Rome High School in a special education classroom helping students transition from high school to work in the community.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the fastest growing careers in the helping profession. A scientific approach to helping people change their behaviors with strong empirical support, ABA is the primary evidence based treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The Psychology Department offers an approved 4 course sequence required for becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). 


Marcus Autism CenterBerry Students interned and received clinical supervision hours at the Marcus Autism Center in Decatur Georgia during the Summer (2016).  The Marcus Autism Center is a NIH Autism Center of Excellence.  Psychology majors Ainek Jenkins and Nicole Surla interned in the Severe Behavior Unit.  Psychology major Kirsten Gilbert interned in the Language and Learning Clinic.  Education major Emily Longino interned in the inclusion summer camp where Marcus Autism Center partnered with the Decatur YMCA. These Berry students are currently taking the Berry College Psychology Department's  4-course sequence of classes approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) Examination. Applicants must take the approved 4-course sequence along with 1,000 hours of clinical work supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) before sitting for the BCaBA examination.  The students interning at the Marcus Center received clinical supervision hours counting towards this certification requirement.