Three Hamilton juniors have spent the spring semester participating in the Hamilton-New England Center for Children (NECC) Cooperative Educational Program, in Southborough, Mass. Sociology concentrator Amanda Iturbe and psychology concentrators Jennifer Franco and Katherine Ribble have worked directly with children with autism or other developmental disabilities, while taking advanced courses in applied behavior analysis. In this program, Hamilton juniors spend a semester in full-time residence at NECC, where they earn full academic credit and work intensively with children who have special needs.
In addition to their work with the children, the Hamilton students are taking two graduate-level classes through Northeastern University, "Behavior Assessment" and "Advanced Learning." They will return to Hamilton with full academic credit for the semester.
Located in the Boston suburb of Southborough, NECC is a community-based residential school for children and adults with autism, behavior disorders, mental retardation and other related developmental disabilities. A dozen or more Hamilton graduates are employed at the facility, according to its founder and executive director, Vinnie Strully '69.
After participating in the NECC program, Hamilton students often pursue their psychology senior projects in related areas. For example, this year two NECC veterans have been researching employee support issues in similar programs that are part of Upstate Cerebral Palsy in Utica.
Professor of Psychology Jonathan Vaughan is the Hamilton contact for the NECC program. Additional information can be found at www.NECC.org and www.hamilton.edu/academics/Psych/necc.html.