Forest - St. Louis Partners with Special School District

The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute – St. Louis is proud to partner with the Special School District of St. Louis County to formally train its employees to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts® and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts®.

"Forest Institute recognizes that the Special School District is a nationwide leader among public school systems, offering applied behavior analysis (ABA) services to children and young adults,” said Dr. Brian Nedwek, Director of Forest Institute – St. Louis.

For this reason, Forest Institute is offering reduced tuition to employees within the district in order to meet the growing needs of ABA services in St. Louis County.

"Programs like those at Forest are things we need quite a bit when dealing with the growth of autism and the push for behavior analytic services,” said Donald McCary, Director of Applied Behavior Analysis for Special School District.

SSD says having a training school that is local and in touch with what is going on in St. Louis County makes the partnership invaluable.

"We can bring people in and give them training and background, but to allow them to have that class time and the ability to sit and focus on the behavior analytic end of things is a key to having quality programming for us,” said McCary.

Forest Institute says there may also be a future option for students to gain the necessary supervised experience for board certification through the context of their current employment with SSD, which already provides expertise in the classroom.

"For the students from SSD who enroll in Forest’s programs, their professors are the people they already work with on a daily basis,” said Program Director Dr. Michele Williams.

Dr. Williams has more than two decades of experience working in ABA, and was trained in the experimental analysis of behavior. She is currently a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral® and a Licensed Behavior Analyst.

Forest Institute’s Applied Behavior Analysis program kicked off in St. Louis in the Fall of 2011.Forest currently offers a Master’s in ABA, as well as BCBA® and BCaBA® certificate programs. Two SSD employees are already students of the master’s program.

"Being in on the ground floor and being part of the genesis of the program excited me. I didn’t know what to expect from a graduate program, but it’s everything I hoped it would be so far,” said student and SSD employee Steve Schwenke.


Forest Institute – St. Louis will hold an open house March 2, 2012 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at its site located in the Golfview Building at 11477 Olde Cabin Road, Creve Coeur, MO63141. The open house will celebrate our partnership with Special School District and will be a chance for the community to see what programs we offer.All media are welcome to attend.


  • For more information on partnerships like the one between Forest and SSD, contact Dr. Brian Nedwek at (314) 997-3447.
  • For information on the all programs offered in St. Louis, including the Applied Behavior Analysis program, please contact Forest Institute’s admissions team at 1-800-424-7793 or at