Professional Development

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. Most recently, 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 18 graduate certificate credits.

Current Programs

The Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Populations graduate certificate prepares educators for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board national licensure examination.  This 6-course sequence is offered intensively between September and July each year.

Trauma and Resiliency is a 5-course sequence designed to provide an awareness and understanding of, and ability to foster, trauma-sensitive learning environments.  Participants will engage in an action-oriented approach to assess organizational readiness, generate lessons and activities, and acquire skills and strategies that can be implemented in their own direct work with children, and with staff and families who support them. Experts from the fields of medicine, psychology, occupational and speech/language therapy, education, and social services will provide research and theory about trauma, the potential impact of traumatizing events, and ways to address the range of resulting challenges.

(For further descriptions of these programs, 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).


By the end of August 2015, approximately 430 educators, including teachers, behavior specialists, administrators, and support personnel will have earned the full 18-credit Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate. In addition, 150 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



Mary Brady

Program Director


Center for Social Development and Education

10th Floor, Healey Library,
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125 USA