UMass Boston

Professional Development

In 1998, the Center for Social Development and Education began to expand its focus on research to include models of practice and professional development. These models came in response to changes in special education and growing demands on schools. CSDE has developed a graduate certificate program that links applied research findings to educators in our changing school environments, and a master’s degree option that includes the graduate certificate credits.

Current Programs

The Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Populations graduate certificate prepares educators for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board national professional examination.  This 7-course sequence is offered intensively between September and July each year.

(For a further description of this program, click on the link to the left.)

Interactive Learning

These professional development trainings are available through a number of flexible models such as on-site presentations to a cohort from a school, district, or geographic area. Online courses are also offered for those whose busy lives can more easily incorporate a technology-based presentation. The ABA program is offered live and simultaneously to additional sites through Interactive Television (ITV).


Approximately 535 educators, including teachers, behavior specialists, administrators, and support personnel, have earned the full Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate. In addition, more than 200 participants have continued into the master’s degree option.

Looking Ahead

CSDE is poised to expand its role in preparing educators to work with children and adults with disabilities in schools and agencies by responding to emerging validated practices and professional standards. CSDE will continue to reach out to educators and other staff in school systems throughout the Commonwealth by employing technology in ways that bring education to the educators serving children and adults in specialized settings across their lifespan. Drawing from corporate models of distance learning, CSDE continues to experiment with new approaches for preparing educators to meet the ever-changing challenges of the diverse learner in the urban classroom. Furthermore, CSDE will continue to find new ways by which to link research to practice, and most importantly, how research and practice activities can serve as a model for graduate students who, in their roles as educators, will serve as the next generation of change agents.

For more information, contact:

Jill Tilton
Program Administrator

Center for Social Development and Education

10th Floor, Healey Library,
100 Morrissey Blvd

Boston, MA 02125 USA