Hebrew Univ. Collaboration Recognized by Community Partner Awards

By | February 8, 2022

The 2021 Community Partner Awards – given by the Department of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Daemen – have been presented to honorees in Jerusalem, Israel.

Awardees are Sara Bauer, Neil Bauer and Eyal Cohen of the Seymour Fox School of Education at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

“They have been wonderful to partner with,” said Kellie Kotwicki, assistant professor and practicum director in the ABA Department.

“They helped our students receive invaluable field experiences – and progress in their studies toward professional licensure – by providing a unique educational solution,” added Kotwicki. 

Creating opportunity, half a world away

Daemen’s Masters and Advance Certificate Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis are New York State (NYS) license qualifying programs and require students to have a practicum course where they gain a minimum of 150 NYS-eligible fieldwork hours.

Many students enrolled in the program take classes online and sometimes temporarily live elsewhere in the country or overseas, which can create challenges for gaining fieldwork experience while meeting the requirements for NYS licensure in Behavior Analysis.

Specifically, these field experiences must be conducted under the supervision of a behavior analyst or health care practitioner who has behavior analysis within their scope of practice and is licensed in the jurisdiction where the supervision occurs. Currently, there is no professional license for behavior analysis in Israel.

Another unique barrier for students is providing services in a region that is primarily Hebrew-speaking.

The winners of the Community Partner Awards collaborated with Daemen to find a creative solution for ABA students to meet the necessary requirements. The ABA Supervision Program for English Speaking Students (ABA SPESS) was designed for English-speaking students currently living in Israel but completing their ABA coursework through the online ABA program at Daemen.

Neil Bauer, licensed under the Ministry of Health in Psychology (with behavior analysis within his scope of practice) and Sara and Eyal, both Board Certified Behavior Analysts, agreed to supervise ABA students during their field experiences and provided students with English-speaking placements.

“As part of our collaboration with Hebrew University, they structured their course semester to correspond with Daemen’s calendar so that students could take the required practicum course at Daemen while receiving a structured fieldwork experience through Hebrew University,” said Kotwicki.

Under the guidance of a supervisor, “students should be engaged in the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental modifications, using behavioral stimuli and consequences, to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior,” according to the New York State Education Department.

In past years, Community Award winners were invited to Daemen to receive the honor – a tradition that’s currently on hold given COVID-related restrictions.