FCIC - Florida Center for Inclusive Communities
Interdisciplinary Training: Trainee Program, header graphic


Teacher interacts with students.

If you’re on this web page, you are either a trainee or are interested in becoming a trainee within the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC).

Trainees include undergraduate, graduate or doctoral students in a discipline such as psychology, education, public health, medicine, social work, or related disciplines. The Interdisciplinary Training Program provides an integrated education program that relies upon the interdependent contributions of a collaborating team of people. Team members may include people with disabilities and their families, health and allied health professionals, community providers, and educators and researchers representing a variety of disciplines.

Participation in the program provides students with instruction, support, and mentorship from faculty and staff who are nationally recognized in the field of developmental disabilities. FCIC trainees are expected to be:

The benefits of becoming a trainee include:

FCIC encourages trainees to review and use the resources available through the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). AUCD not only provides resources developed by the UCEDDs and LENDs in the US and its territories, but also provides access to nationally developed resources and opportunities for trainee involvement, information about jobs in AUCD and other UCEDDs, access to webinars and other training, and information about fellowships and scholarships.

If you're already a trainee:
Congratulations on being admitted as a trainee in the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities. Take a look at the resources and materials available to you at FCIC. Visit the AUCD website. If you have questions, contact Michelle Kobus

If you're interested in becoming a trainee, complete the Trainee Enrollment Form and send it to Michelle Kobus

Programs & Activities

One of the missions of FCIC and UCEDDs is to expand and influence higher education curriculum to impart knowledge on developmental disabilities to accomplish a shared vision of ensuring that all Americans, including Americans with developmental disabilities, participate fully in their communities. Independence, productivity, and community inclusion are key components of this vision.  FCIC offers interdisciplinary training programs and activities that provide opportunities for students and professionals to learn more about how to promote the full inclusion and support of individuals with developmental disabilities within community through a core curriculum. For more information, contact Dr. Ferro.

FCIC’s interdisciplinary training programs and activities revolve around a core curriculum that includes participating in any of the following FCIC programs and activities.

Master of Science in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health

The Master of Science degree in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health (CABH) is designed to prepare professionals to serve in public and non-profit agencies and schools that work with diverse children and adolescents experiencing behavioral health challenges. The core curriculum focuses on evaluation and research, cultural competency, policy, and an introduction to child and adolescent behavioral health. The concentration in Developmental Disabilities provides interdisciplinary training as well as research and application opportunities to meet the critical need for practitioners and administrators who can provide services for children and adolescents with both developmental disabilities and mental health needs.

Graduate Certificate Program in Positive Behavior Support

This online certificate program offers a 12 credit hour course of study designed to prepare individuals currently working in mental health, school psychology, school administration, education, early education, and social work to implement Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) in school, early childhood, and community settings. The certificate program includes classes focused on providing consultation and guiding collaboration, implementing school wide positive behavior support, addressing behavior challenges in young children, and intensive individualized interventions.

Graduate Course: Issues and Trends in Developmental Disabilities

This exciting interdisciplinary course will provide students with a rich curriculum that addresses health, educational, social, cultural, and economic issues related to developmental disabilities across the life span. Further, it will address the latest trends in policy, legislation, and services that impact these very critical issues. This 3-credit course will be taught by interdisciplinary faculty, including guest speakers, individuals with disabilities, and family members involved in advocacy and policy efforts. Course components include: group projects focused on disability issues and improving the lives of persons with disabilities, interactive class activities highlighting current events related to class themes, a disability enriched curriculum with focused readings and lively class discussions.

Interdisciplinary Center for Evaluation and Intervention (ICEI) Clinical Rotation

The Interdisciplinary Center for Evaluation and Intervention (ICEI; formerly USF FDLRS) is funded by the Florida Department of Education to offer interdisciplinary evaluations and interventions to students between the ages of 3 and 22 who present with serious behavior problems and complex social/emotional, developmental, learning, medical, and other co-occurring conditions.  The primary focus of the clinic is to conduct functional behavior assessments and develop function-based support plans that are feasible and effective to be implemented in school and other settings.  A secondary focus is to provide exemplary, comprehensive evaluations for students at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental or psychological conditions.  The clinic services are no-cost to the community and attempts to reach underserved individuals.  Students can receive practicum experiences by participating on the clinic’s interdisciplinary team that includes professionals and graduate students representing the areas of psychology, behavior analysis, pediatrics, psychiatry, special education, social work, public health, and families.

Disability Training for Medical Students

Beginning in 2005, FCIC faculty have worked closely with their colleagues in the Department of Family Medicine (USF Morsani College of Medicine) to provide 3rd year medical students with innovative, interdisciplinary training about the health care needs of patients with disabilities. USF is one of a handful of medical schools to offer this training. FCIC faculty deliver lectures, participate in panel discussions, and assist in evaluating students' clinical examinations. Since Summer 2013, the disability content has been expanded and infused throughout the 3rd year as part of the Doctoring 3 class. The curriculum has also been expanded to the Doctoring 1 class. FCIC faculty provide lectures to first year students within their first six weeks in medical school. The introduction of this topic earlier in their medical school training allows more time for students to become familiar with the health issues and disparities experienced by people with developmental disabilities. More advanced clinical content can now be undertaken in the third year. For more information about FCIC's collaboration please contact Dr. Liz Perkins

Project ABA: Preparing Related Services Personnel in ABA for Children with Autism

Project ABA is a 5-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Its purpose is to prepare highly qualified school-based behavior analysts who can work collaboratively with educators and families to provide services for high-need children with autism at all grade levels. The project will prepare 4 cohorts of 5 students on a 2-year cycle to implement evidence-based practices in applied behavior analysis (ABA) and positive behavior support (PBS). Students will graduate with a master’s degree in ABA, a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst certification (BCaBA), a PBS certificate, and be eligible to sit for the BCBA certification examination.
Director: Kwang-Sun Blair

Project TSBA: Preparing Tiered System Behavior Analysts

Project TSBA: Preparing Tiered System Behavior Analysts is a 5-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The purpose of Project TSBA is to prepare highly qualified behavior analysts who can work collaboratively with educators to provide Tier 3 behavioral interventions to high-need children with disabilities and who can provide leadership in implementing the multi-tiered systems of Positive Behavior Support (PBS) in schools. By blending the ABA Master’s Program and PBS Graduate Certificate Program, the project will prepare 4 cohorts of 4 students on a 2-year cycle to graduate with a master’s degree in ABA as well as with a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst certification and a PBS certificate.

Applied Behavior Analysis Program

The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program and faculty are affiliated with FCIC. The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Program is designed to meet growing needs in Florida and nationally for practitioners who can work effectively in the fields of developmental disabilities, education, autism, child protective services, rehabilitation, mental health, and business and technology. ABA provides an approach for developing, implementing, and evaluating practical strategies to produce changes in socially significant behaviors of individuals in the context of community settings. This interdisciplinary program was designed to create a comprehensive, cohesive degree program in applied behavior analysis to train students to become practitioners and researchers and as such provides coursework and practical supervision across three colleges (College of Behavioral and Community Sciences College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education) with faculty expertise in applied behavior analysis, psychology, and special education.

Training and Research Mentorship

Interdisciplinary trainees are mentored by FCIC faculty through individual studies, internships, practica, and thesis and dissertation committees. FCIC faculty represent a variety of disciplines, including psychology, education, special education, nursing, and public health. Find out more about FCIC core and affiliate at our web site. If you are interested in working with a particular member of the FCIC faculty, please contact them directly. If you are interested in more information about mentorship, FCIC programs, or becoming a trainee, contact Dr. Ferro.

Trainee Resources

Trainee Enrollment Form

Trainees must complete a form to provide us with the information needed for enrollment in the national database. If you’re interested in becoming a trainee, click on the enrollment link and complete the application or contact jbferro@usf.edu.  Completed applications should be send to jbferro@usf.edu

PBS Graduate Certificate Forms

If you are interested in the PBS Graduate Certificate, please contact Michelle Kobus. If you are already in the PBS Graduate Certificate program, complete the following forms needed for your program of study. Email questions and the completed forms to Michelle Kobus

1. PBS Graduate Certificate Plan of Study

The Plan of Study should be completed as soon as you are accepted into the program. In this form, you will detail the classes you want to take and the semester in which you plan to complete them

2. PBS Graduate Certificate Elective Substitution Form

One elective is required in the PBS Graduate Certificate Program plan of study. Acceptable electives are listed on the PBS Graduate Certificate web site: http://pbs.cbcs.usf.edu/courses/index.cfm. If you wish to take a course that is not listed, you must request permission.

Application for Conference Funding

FCIC has limited resources to fund some costs for trainees who are presenting at conferences. Funding is limited to trainees who are actively involved in FCIC programs. Those trainees who are involved in more than one FCIC activity are given priority. To apply for funding, please contact jbferro@usf.edu.

Application for Poster Funding

FCIC has some resources to fund posters for conferences or presentations. Funding is limited to trainees who are actively involved in FCIC programs. Those trainees involved in more than one FCIC activity are given priority. To apply for funding, please contact jbferro@usf.edu.


National Resources

Trainee Welcome Cover

AUCD Trainee Welcome Guide

This Trainee Welcome Guide is intended to welcome new trainees to the AUCD network, help them understand the depth and breadth of the network they are a part of, and outline some of the many benefits and resources available to them so they can maximize their time as a trainee in one of AUCD's member programs. A membership card is included to solidify trainee identification as a "card-carrying member" of AUCD.


AUCD Interdisciplinary Trainee Handbook cover image

AUCD Interdisciplinary Trainee Handbook

The AUCD Trainee Handbook is intended to be used to support AUCD network trainees with a variety of learning goals. This document will provide a consistent approach to accessing information about the network, its history, our federal partners, and the rich resources available to trainees.


Tool Kit of Pre-service Curricular Materials website image

Trainees on AUCD

Learn about the national opportunities available to trainees including resources, conferences, trainings, scholarships and employment opportunities.

Description: Subscription

AUCD Trainee Listserve

Subscribe to Trainee listserve to discuss issues related to training!

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AUCD Trainees on Facebook

Become a Fan of "AUCD Trainees" to get the latest updates from AUCD.

Training Modules

Core Curriculum Training

Our Training Modules were designed to be part of the CORE Curriculum for FCIC Trainees. However, the modules are also a resource for those seeking more information about developmental disabilities. Modules may be completed by students, staff, members of the community, family, and persons with disabilities. Please direct questions to Michelle Kobus or Dr. Ferro.

Danielle Ardizzone attends NTI's Friday Toolkit sessions

Module 1: Introduction to Positive Behavior Support

The Interdisciplinary Training Program is pleased to announce the first of three core curriculum online training modules.  The training includes a survey and certificate. Once you’ve completed both the module and survey, you can download the certificate.

Register for this module Here

Featured Trainees:

CABA Poster 2014 Anna Garcia
Anna Garcia

Sindy Sanchez
Sindy Sanchez

Trainees Attend Association for Behavior Support International (ABAI) Annual Conference

Anna Garcia and Sindy Sanchez attended the ABAI Annual Conference in May 2014. Both students are current trainees and are doctoral students in the ABA Ph.D. program.

Danielle Ardizzone attends NTI's Friday Toolkit sessions
Danielle Ardizzone attends NTI's Friday Toolkit sessions

Trainee Attends National Training Institute (NTI) for Addressing Challenging Behavior

Danielle Ardizzone, a recent graduate from FCIC’s PBS Graduate Certificate program, attended the NTI Conference in April 2014 along with a pre-conference workshop on Prevent-Teach-Reinforce techniques for young children.

Samantha Spillman giving her poster presentation
Samantha Spillman giving her poster presentation

Trainee Attends Precision Teaching Conference

Samantha Spillman attended the International Precision Teaching Conference in December 2013 . Be sure to congratulate Samantha and let her know that you’ve seen her presentation!

Left to Right: Dr. Liz Perkins, Heather Williamson, and Richard Glaesser
Left to Right: Dr. Liz Perkins, Heather Williamson, and Richard Glaesser

Heather Williamson, FCIC Trainee Liaison (left) with Dr. Liz Perkins, FCIC Associate Director (right)
Heather Williamson, FCIC Trainee Liaison (left) with Dr. Liz Perkins, FCIC Associate Director (right)

Trainees Attend the AUCD onference

Two FCIC Trainees attended the 2013 AUCD Conference in November. They are Heather Williamson and Richard Glaesser. Heather is our Trainee Liaison and had a poster presentation at the conference. Listen to a summary of Heather’s presentation and some information about the conference.

Richard Glaesser also attended the conference to gain further insight into his research on siblings from a life course perspective. 

Featured Training Resources:

Improving Child and Family Outcomes: Systems change through the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC)

This is a webinar from AUCDís Early Intervention/Early Childhood (EIEC) Special Interest Group. The purpose is to describe the core components of multi-tiered system of technical assistance for early childhood personnel preparation and scaling up for systems change. It has recently been archived and so is available through the AUCD website. Itís an interesting summary of needs in early childhood professional development and is only an hour long and can be found at: https://aucd.adobeconnect.com/_a1005431686/neurobiology_adhd/

The three presenters are well known in the fields of PBS and early childhood: George Sugai, PhD; Mary Beth Bruder, PhD; and Jane Squires, PhD.

Program Areas


Community Supports

Early Childhood




Interdisciplinary Training

Public Policy