University Series 029 - Rutgers University

Join Operant Innovations as we speak to Rutgers University and Dr. Sungwoo Kahng. Learn how Rutgers has been growing over the recent years and the exciting new faculty and practicum opportunities that they have brought on!

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Behavior Analysis @ Rutgers -


Shauna Costello (00:01):

You're listening to operant innovations, a podcast brought to you by ABA Technologies this week on the university series, we're talking with Rutgers University and Dr. Sungwoo Kahng. Dr. Kahng is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at Rutgers University and director of academic programs in autism and ABA. Prior to his current position, he was an associate professor at the University of Missouri (MU) where he was also the chair of the Department of Health Psychology, the founding director of the MU Graduate Programs in applied behavior analysis, and director of the Applied Behavioral Intervention Service of the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Prior to moving to MU, he was a faculty member in the Department of Behavioral Psychology and a senior behavior analyst on the Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as well as an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis where he also served on the Board of Editors. He is a board-certified behavior analyst and a licensed behavior analyst in the state of Missouri. The focus of his research and clinical work has been on assessing and treating behaviors exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities. So without further ado Rutgers university.

Shauna Costello (01:27):

So today we are talking with Rutgers University and Dr. Sungwoo Kahng. So thank you for joining me today.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (01:34):

Thanks for having me, Shauna.

Shauna Costello (01:36):

And I am going to pass it over to you to just give a little general overview of the program.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (01:43):

Great. Thanks very much. I'm really excited to be here and thanks for the opportunity to talk about our graduate programs at Rutgers. So first of all Rutgers University, we're located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which is essentially central New Jersey, and the graduate program in ABA depending on which program you're looking at is still relatively new. So historically there's been a master's program that was run in coordination with our graduate school of education. I'm actually in the graduate school of applied and professional psychology or GSAPP. And so historically this master's program with the graduate school of education has been around for quite some time and they've trained a lot of high-quality master's level clinicians.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (02:33):

And so you'll see that throughout the state of New Jersey there, that there are a lot of Rutgers trained behavior analysts there. But I think over the last few years in part because of the emphasis of autism that Rutgers has developed an interest in, I guess, expanding ABA training, clinical work, as well as research. And so what we've seen and what's happened is that Rutgers has brought in a lot of exceptional behavior analysts over the last couple of years and me being one of them, I've only been here for a little bit over two years. So, you know, my history of Rutgers is still relatively new. And so over the last couple of years, we've been working on additional graduate training programs in applied behavior analysis so that students have many different options there.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (03:27):

And so one of the first programs that our school GSAPP had created was a master's in applied psychology or MAP program with an emphasis in ABA or an ABA track. And that provided high-quality clinical training so that people would go on to be practitioners in applied behavior analysis. The last year I should say this fall, I apologize, we just started a new master's in applied behavior analysis or MABA program. And this one is different from that MAP program in that we're also not only placing an emphasis on clinical training, but we're also placing an emphasis on participating in clinical research so that students in our MBA program will have to do a thesis which involves an original research question and we think that there'll be students who will either want to go into a very purely practitioner-oriented tracks, so they may be interested in our MAP program.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (04:32):

And then we have other applicants or prospective students who are interested in getting more research experience. So they'll go into our MABA track where they can do that, a research thesis. And I think that you know, one of the great things for me as a behavior analyst at Rutgers is that they really are supporting what we're doing. And they're asking they're essentially asking us what else can we do? In terms of academic training at an ABA at Rutgers. And so we're working on a Ph.D. program in ABA we're trying to offer more bachelor's level training for behavior analysis because Rutgers is a very large university. And New Jersey actually has the highest prevalence of autism in the country. So there's a really strong demand for behavioral analysts in New Jersey, as well as obviously as other parts of the country.

Shauna Costello (05:20):

Well, and I'm glad that you really differentiated between the programs because I know that even when I was searching, you know, I found myself on both of them. One thing that is really neat though, are the types of potential courses that your students could be taking. I actually ended up looking at the course list for even all the electives and things. So what are some of the types of courses that the students could potential students could be taking?

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (05:47):

Right. So I think one of the advantages of being in a school of psychology that GSAPP program is that obviously we're offering ABA courses and we're creating more courses as we can create the demand but then we can also offer psychology courses throughout not only, I'm in the department of applied psychology, so not only psychology courses in our department, but we also have as a part of our professional psychology school, we have a clinical psych society program, as well as a school psych society program there. So students have the option of taking elective courses in those other programs as well, that's assuming that there's space in those seats, so that if they wanted some more school experience, they can take some courses in the school psychology program. If they like that clinical psychology experience, you know, perhaps they want to go and get their clinical psych doctorate they can kind of gain experiences in that area. So for example, they might take cognitive behavior therapy courses there or dialectic behavior therapy courses there. So I think that we're really trying to emphasize, you know, you've got these wonderful ABA experiences but then you could also kind of branch out and see if you're interested in taking these other courses with these other wonderful faculty in other areas of psychology

Shauna Costello (07:03):

Well, and I like that a lot because you can kind of then, you know, a student could potentially kind of tailor what they want to do because that dissemination is a huge part of behavior analysis. And being able to kind of pick those different areas, to get some extra training in to then if you're going to go work in maybe not necessarily a traditional clinical setting. I know I get that question all the time. They're like, how did you get your job? But cause mine's a very untraditional job. But yeah, it's really neat to look at some of the courses that are there that are, that potential students could take. I found myself getting interested in them too.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (07:46):

That's great. That's great. And I agree. I think it's really important. So obviously there's behavior analysis, it's important that the students get high-quality training and behavior analysis. But I think it's also very important for them to understand and appreciate what other either areas of psychology or the disciplines have to offer there. I think that sometimes as behavior analysts, we kind of get stuck in our own little behavior analytic world, which is great, I love hanging out with my behavior analysts colleagues but I've also realized that there's also like other disciplines who are involved in care for example of individuals with autism. So we need to learn essentially how to play nice with other disciplines. And that's, I think having contact with students in other programs is a great way to kind of get to know people and make those types of connections. And then obviously taking courses from professors with other disciplines are also a very important way to kind of contact these other people

Shauna Costello (08:40):

Who are some of the faculty that Rutgers has?

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (08:44):

So there are a couple of faculty who have been here much longer than me Dr. Bob LaRue as well as Dr. Kate Fiske. And the three of us are, I guess, essentially the core faculty. Lara Gatley has also been here for quite some time, but now she's the associate Dean so she doesn't have as much involvement in our graduate program with the students. So she's, I did more administrative tasks but then we've also brought in, Rutgers as a whole has brought in lots of other amazing faculty to the Rutgers community. So for example, Dr. Cathleen Piazza who's probably the foremost expert on pediatric feeding disorders is now a faculty in our department and teaches a course on pediatric feeding disorders, which is, I hear amazing all the students love it.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (09:35):

And then she's also affiliated with children's specialized hospital, which is a hospital that's separate from Rutgers, but still affiliated with Rutgers and where she is developing an outpatient clinic for pediatric feeding disorders. No big surprise, obviously. And then we also have Dr. Wayne Fisher who's recently come to Rutgers and although he's not affiliated with our department or our graduate school he's over at the hospital side of things. He is directing or developing a severe behavior clinic and outpatient clinic for people with severe behavior problems. And Wayne and Cathleen have brought with them a lot of exceptionally talented younger, maybe early-career behavioral analysis is probably a better way to put it. So like Brian Greer, Kate Peterson, Vivian Ibañez, Dan Mitteer and Ashley Fuhrman.These are all really young, not young, early-career people who obviously really eager, they're gung ho they're excited. And so they are, most of them are teaching as well in our courses. And then we expect that for a MABA program that we'll have graduate students who are doing their thesis with those guys, either in a feeding disorders clinic with a severe behavior disorders clinic there. So we're really excited to have their whole group of people. It was amazing. So I think that Rutgers for the longest time had a very small group of doctor-level behavior analysts. So, Bob, Kate, and Lara were here for a long time. And then I came a couple of years ago. And then I think the January or maybe last fall, all of a sudden you see this explosion of behavioral analysts coming in with Wayne and Cathleen there. So that's been great for me to see just the behavior analytic community at Rutgers, just growing almost overnight there.

Shauna Costello (11:33):

Well, I was going to say that's a pretty stacked deck of faculty and behavior analysts. So it's very exciting to hear. And I know that you mentioned again, the thesis and stuff. So what are some of the research projects that are going on with all of those faculty members?

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (11:52):

I gotta be honest our master's in ABA, our MABA program, just started this fall. So we had a couple of, we had a handful of students transfer from our other MAP program, the clinical focus program into our MABA program because they really wanted more research experiences. We kind of have this small group of second-year students who've come in, who are now working on their thesis there. So they're still in the early stages, they're still writing up their proposals. For example one of the graduate students that I'm working with it really wonderful student Swati. She came up she developed an interest in staff training, so she actually does a practicum outside of Rutgers. And so she wanted to figure out ways to support staff as they're working with very challenging children who engage in problem behaviors, right. It's a very stressful group of individuals to work with. And so she has just finalized her proposal for using ACT acceptance commitment therapy to help the frontline workers, direct care staff I guess manage this stress and all the challenges of working with individuals with problem behaviors. And so the idea is will ACT help improve treatment integrity of implementation of treatments by these staff.

Shauna Costello (13:15):

That's really neat. I really liked that a lot. ABA Tech just got done reading the happiness trap together too. So that's yeah, that's really neat. And what are, I mean, whether they're a thesis topic, or even just faculty research interests yeah. What else is going on at Rutgers?

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (13:35):

Well, so yeah, so we've got, obviously, we've got what Wayne and Cathleen had been doing, and I would assume that they're going to do research on feeding disorders and you know, problem behaviors given that, you know, what they're famous for, but Rutgers also has actually these programs are part of GSAPP our graduate school here. There's a Douglas Developmental Disabilities Center, the DDDC and that is an actual school for children with autism. It's actually on the Rutgers campus. And it's, I think it was actually one of the first ABA-based autism schools in the country. They started almost 50 years ago. Dr. Sandy Harris started it. She's recently retired. And so they've been that's been one of the key training sites for those students who have received ABA training at Rutgers there.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (14:25):

And so obviously a lot of the students who are going to that program now are students that their home public school districts can't serve because of the problem behaviors. We tend to see a lot of problem behavior in the students that they work with, but that's great because they're in a school in a classroom environment. And so they get to focus on challenging behaviors in this classroom environment there. But they're also doing a lot of research on skill acquisition given the fact that it's a school and they have to provide education as well. So that's one really awesome opportunity for research. Another one is again, this has to do this is related to Rutgers emphasis on autism and ABA. So I think it was two or three years ago, maybe four years ago, I forget. They started a, We Rutgers, started the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services or the RCAAS program. And Dr. Chris Manente is the executive director of that program. And their focus is on both employment support for adults with autism as well as college support for college students who are also on the spectrum there. And so they are getting ready to open up a brand new building. I think they're scheduled to open maybe next month they've been working on it pre-pandemic shutdown there. And so a lot of their research has focused on strategies to help support people in the work environment, cause all of the participants have jobs in the community, but it's also, it's not only just, you know, how to do their job, it's also how to, how to live or survive in an employment environment.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (16:08):

So, you know, how do you socialize with other people? How do you, you know, engage in professional behavior so that you don't lose your job and things like that. So they're doing that, which is awesome. And then the other side that the college support program because Rutgers is such a large university, I think somewhere about 50,000 students, there are a lot of students who are also diagnosed with autism that amount of trying to figure out, well, how do we support these students so they can successfully graduate. But also how do we support them so that they not only get the degree but they also get jobs within their career or their field of study there. And so we've been doing some research with the college students in terms of trying to prepare them for getting jobs. So for example, we just finished the study teaching the college students how to successfully complete a job interview. Right. And so like all of us have to complete job interviews in order to even get through that front door of getting a job. But unfortunately what we saw is that these college students with autism had no skills of actually sitting down in an interview and being asked questions by a strange person on topics that related to their particular field of interest there. So that's the project that we just finished up and we're really excited about those data.

Shauna Costello (17:33):

That's really exciting too because I know my next question is usually about practicum opportunities, but I think we just got a really good overview of those as well. And I mean, the types of experiences that the Rutgers students could be, or the potential students could be getting, it sounds immense. You have anywhere from like the school setting with behaviors, you have adults which you don't normally get, and also not only in real life jobs, but you also have college, which I'm so happy. I've been starting to see a lot more of those programs come out lately. And that's really neat to know that, you know, Rutgers has really been like a cornerstone in doing that now as well, and then feeding behaviors, severe problem behaviors, and this and that. So those are some really very unique practicum opportunities.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (18:31):

Yeah, I agree. And I think that's one of the things that really excited me about coming or that I found very exciting about coming to Rutgers is all the possibilities there. Right? So the fact that I've known about the DDDC for quite some time, the school for children with autism, for quite some time, because I knew about Sandy Harrison, she was one of the early pioneers in ABA and autism education. But then learning about this RCAAS program you're right. I agree. It's like, there are very few behavior analysts, really like very few people in general who actually focus on adults either in employment settings or in the college as well. And that's just for me in terms of research, that was just an amazing opportunity to start doing work in an area where there are very few people, but there's clearly a huge need for that. But there's just not a whole lot of behavior analysts. So I think that autism the adult autism experience, yeah, that's something that we're also really excited about getting our graduate students interested in because that would be obviously a great research opportunity for them, but we're all we also want to help build the capacity. So that more behavior analysts are working with adults on the spectrum because we need more people doing that.

Shauna Costello (19:44):

Yeah, we definitely do. And I know that a lot of times, you know, I've worked in like with Medicaid and private insurance and things like that, but, you know, sometimes they get to that certain age and then they just age out and then it's like, well, what now? What programs, what resources do they have now? But there, you know what I mean? Like there, the skills, the skill acquisition, the need for it does not stop just because they age out of insurance or these services. So I would love...

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (20:17):

Yeah. The age they age out of school. So like, you're right. So you people talk about this, you know, cliff, you know, like once they graduate high school the services just drop, but it's not like, you know, the autism has gone away they still are diagnosed with autism. And they probably need even more support to kind of broaden their skills there. And so it's you know, we're, we're, again, you know, really trying to meet that need for, you know, not only more providers but also like better quality of care for adults too.

Shauna Costello (20:47):

Yeah. That's really exciting to hear. I always really enjoyed working with my older clients that are in that age group. You know, you can just slightly push those grad students into doing that. Right.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (21:02):

Yeah. But they're choosing to do it because they see that there's a huge need for that. And especially that the college support program, like what's like a lot of students who are not on the spectrum, don't realize that there's a college support program for college students on the spectrum, once they hear about it, like they, they really liked that idea and they really they want to volunteer. They want to be peer mentors. They wanna help support these guys. And you know, we talk about, you know, adults with autism, how there's, there are very few supports, very few people who are actually training to work with these people, but then even as a small subset of that is college support programs, and there are even fewer people who are working with that and in looking at the data it is really very little research on college support programs. And so again, that's something that we're hoping to do is how can we make these college support programs better and more database and more evidence-based for the college students there so that they actually will have long-term success.

Shauna Costello (21:59):

Yeah. And I like that a lot, because one thing too, that I noticed, because I never worked in the college support system, I worked from the other end with, you know, trying to get my clients into one. But one thing that I kind of saw with the parents or the caregivers was this like a light bulb going off, they're like, wait, my child could go to college. Like it's, it's, it's like, they, they kind of, you know, kind of sh like just pushed it to the side because they're like, that might never be a thing. And then when you're like, no, this, they're actually this, this program that you can it's, it's so neat to also see just how it positively impacts the whole family unit as well, not just like a client. So it's really neat. I know we talked about, you know, a lot of the sites, which I assumed are also probably going to be practicum sites. But are there any other practicum sites or any other ways that the Rutgers students are getting their experience?

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (23:04):

There are so there are those four sites, so the DDDC the school, the RCAAS the adult program, and then the pediatric feeding disorders clinic, and then the severe behavioral clinic. So those are all, we consider those all Rutgers affiliated sites there. But we also give our students the option of doing non-Rutgers affiliated sites or practicums there. And so we have, I don't know, I probably should figure this out, but I'd say maybe about half of our students, maybe a little more do them at Rutgers but then the other half or so, I will do them with outside organizations. And so, we've got students who work for private consulting companies who are doing a lot of in-home consultation or maybe doing consulting with public schools. We've got new collaborations with public schools.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (23:52):

So yeah, new Jersey's is wonderful. And it still amazes me is that a lot of the public school districts are actually hiring their own behavior analysts or BCBAs. And coming from the places that I've been over the last year, it's like, that's very unusual for me to see, but I love it. They probably need to hire more behavior analysts, but that's a different question. So then a lot of the public school districts also want to take on graduate students because it's a way for them to train and then hopefully hire them once they finished. And then New Jersey also has a lot of private schools for children with autism and related disabilities. So we've got students in those types of settings there. So, you know, we don't require that our students do Rutgers-based practicums or Rutgers affiliated practicums. We obviously giving them an option to do that. But then if they want to do it somewhere else and do the consulting company, that's fine with us. As long as they've got, you know, high-quality experience, high-quality supervisors we're okay with that.

Shauna Costello (24:52):

Great. And yeah, I mean, New Jersey is sounding better and better.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (24:57):


Shauna Costello (24:59):

Just hearing you talk about it.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (24:59):

It's a great state. Yeah. It's funny is that so I'm not from New Jersey I grew up in Michigan and You have talked about Michigan. I grew up in Michigan. And then I lived in Baltimore, Maryland for a long, long time. So that's kind of became home for me there. But my wife and I were joking that like the only thing that we knew about New Jersey was the New Jersey turnpike. I 95, which was us going from Maryland to somebody someplace else like New York or Boston to visit my family, my sister. And really that was it. It's like, what's the New Jersey, the turnpike. Well, why when the opportunity came for us to come back out East and actually live in New Jersey, it's it turns out in New Jersey was quite a nice place to live.

Shauna Costello (25:39):

And I was going to say, I've visited New Jersey, but what it was was my sister was a collegiate bowler. So I would follow her around to her tournaments with my mom. And so we were in, we were down by Philly, but right over the border in New Jersey. But what I, what I found out though is that we didn't really do much in New Jersey. We would just go back down Philadelphia instead. So I was like, there's just so much to do here. Let's go explore. So I did not get the full New Jersey experience, but I mean, what can people expect from New Jersey, and it's not all necessarily the Jersey shore.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (26:19):

Ahh jeez haha

Shauna Costello (26:19):

I know, I know. haha

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (26:22):

Well, and I've got to admit, I never watched that show nor will I ever watch that show. But I do remember seeing little snippets and all the little characters on their show there. And that was my, I have to admit that was my perception of New Jersey. I was like, wait, we're going to go there. But no it was actually very different than that the New Jersey I found yeah, it really has grown on me. Yeah. Rutgers University is in central New Jersey. And we live not too far. So we live in central, New Jersey and geographically it's a perfect place for us to live for my family. I have to live because you know, number one, we love hanging out in the big city. So New York City is about a 45 to 50-minute train ride from Rutgers and so there's a commuter train that goes straight from Rutgers New Brunswick into Penn Station in New York city there. And so for my wife and I, and my son, but we're able to just do day trips or even just go there for dinner which is just amazing to me in New York City really is a wonderful city. But then you also have Philadelphia, as you said, that's only about an hour, hour, and a half away. So what else is a pretty nice city as well? It really is my city, but then you've got other things like the shore is the beach in New Jersey. And they've got amazing beaches in New Jersey. So from New Brunswick, the beach is probably less than half an hour away by car. And so if you want to go on a day trip to the beach that's there.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (27:52):

And again, they've got really nice beaches and it's all up and down the East coast of New Jersey. But then if you go North, you know, they've got you know, my friends from out West would call, they would laugh, but they've got, I guess, mountains or maybe like big hills in, in Northern New Jersey. And so you see a very diverse I guess, diverse geography that gives you a lot of different things. It's a big city, you've got you know, lots of hiking trails, you've got the beach. But then it's also close enough to, you know, like Washington DC. I think that's about maybe a three-hour trip. Boston is about a three, three, and a half-hour trip. So it's being in New Jersey. It gives you the opportunity to explore not only the state but that really the whole Northeast as well.

Shauna Costello (28:36):

Well, and I really liked the time that I've spent on the East coast were talking about it. And I had started saying like, oh, I haven't really spent much time out there. And then I just started naming all of them, it was like, Oh I've actually spent more time out there than I remember apparently. But I mean, I really enjoyed it. There was always something to do, always something to explore. And it's like you said too, it's so eclectic. There are so many different areas and like there's food, music scenes. Like you can really find your own little niche.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (29:12):


Shauna Costello (29:12):

Is what I have found in a lot of these areas as well.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (29:16):

Yeah. And, and it's, you know, again, it's great as a behavioral is being here because, you know, there are so many behavioral analysts. And so, you know, one of the attractions for us to come back to the East and, and live in the New Jersey was that there's so many of our friends or behavior analysis friends were in this area and in New Jersey and then surrounding States. And so now it's like, wow, you know, it's like we came back home because now we can visit with our friends that we hadn't seen in a little bit of time there.

Shauna Costello (29:44):

But yes, let's see, we have talked about a lot. How about the application process and potentially the interview process?

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (29:53):

So both of them require letters of recommendation, we actually used to require the GRE, but we as a department decided you know, because of the many inequities of the GRE that we're no longer going to include that in the admission process. And so normal things like transcripts, the personal statements, I think I as someone who reviews applications I find the personal statement very important just because it gives me an idea like what they're actually interested in and how well they can actually describe their interests. So that's actually, I think when I review applications, you know, my usual processes, I'll go to the personal statement first. If it's something that's way off mark, I kind of will just quickly scan everything else. But if it's something that that really hits me, that, that I'll spend do a much deeper dive in their application there.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (30:51):

And so in terms of application due dates, they're different. So our MABA program that's the one with the thesis, more research-focused, that application deadline is February 1st. And the MAP program, which is the clinical program, the more clinically oriented program that one, we essentially do a rolling admission. So we're, you know, we're, we're taking most of our students start in the fall. And I think we technically have, I think July 30th as of the deadline, but we'll admit students as we get the completed applications. But then we'll also take a smaller handful of students in the spring as well. Although this spring, we're not just because of COVID and lots of other things going on there, normally in normal years for our MAP program, the masters in applied psychology program we would take students both in the fall and spring, but most students will start in the fall as you might expect there.

Shauna Costello (31:47):

And then just because it is a newer program, you know, well, one of them is a newer program when students are applying, are they applying to work with a faculty member or is it they're applying for the whole program in general? And then once they get in things will

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (32:04):

They're applying to the whole program as a whole. But if there's someone they want to work with they can specify it in their personal statement. You know, I really like, you know Dr. LaRue's area research and I really liked to work with him and we'll do everything that we possibly can to make him the student's advisor there. So then they can just, you know, start working together. I think, you know, we, we, again, we try to offer as much flexibility to the students. You know, particularly in the MABA program, they're talking about the thesis, you know, we want the students to start thinking about the thesis, like what their research question is, but then we also want to make sure that they're able to figure out well, who's the best professor across all of our programs to kind of help mentor the student during that thesis process.

Shauna Costello (32:49):

Perfect. Yeah. Cause I know that's kind of different with every program that you talk to. Sometimes it's the whole program, sometimes it's a faculty member, so I like to make sure I clarify that. Okay. Let's see. We have a general overview. We have courses, faculty, research, practicum, New Jersey and New Brunswick area, and the application and interview process. Is there anything else that we have not covered yet?

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (33:18):

Probably funding, right? Funding is always a question.

Shauna Costello (33:22):

That's a great point. Yes,

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (33:22):


Shauna Costello (33:22):

That would be great.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (33:22):

Although our graduate program doesn't have funding for the students, we have, we have small scholarships that are available. But, but really I think what we find is that the practicum sites will offer some type of funding. So I think probably all of our students will work either part-time or full-time as staff at either at the Rutgers affiliated sites or our, our non-Rutgers sites as well. So our students are generally working during the day. So our classes are either in the afternoon or evening at 3:35 or 6:15. And so depending on the program, those programs might offer some type of tuition assistance as well. So for example, at Rutgers university one of the benefits is that all employees full-time employees get tuition remission, which is a really nice benefit there. So if someone is working with a full time at the Douglas Developmental Disability Center, they will be able to access that benefit of full tuition remission, which is obviously very, very important for students. And I, I don't know about like non-Rutgers based sites. But I do just knowing other companies that they do offers sometimes tuition assistance as well. I just don't know the specifics of all the different sites.

Shauna Costello (34:45):

Well, and that's really exciting because a lot of times that's not necessarily something that's always guaranteed or it's sometimes can be very hard to find as well. So it's really nice to know that and definitely a big selling point. So what else about Rutgers the program or New Brunswick in general?

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (35:06):

Yeah, I think you have, for me, the final thing for me is that you know being a new program, I think it's a great opportunity for students to come in and help shape the direction of the program as well. And so, you know, we want students to provide input about how courses should look and what type of training they're offering. And, you know, we're trying to offer obviously as many opportunities for the students. But the students are also an important part of the development of our new graduate programs. And obviously being very important parts of like like future programs that we're developing as well. So that's one of the things that we're, I guess it talking to students about it as being a strength is that you can come in and help, you know, create and get this program up and running there.

Shauna Costello (35:56):

That's really exciting because, you know, there's always the halfway through the semester end-of-semester evaluations and feedback. But to hear that the students have a big hand in what's coming next for future students and for Rutgers, in general, is really neat to do. Well, if you don't have anything else, that is all I have for you.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (36:19):

Thanks very much, Shauna

Shauna Costello (36:19):

Yeah. I've enjoyed talking to you and learning more about the program and you know, how much the program has grown as well, which is very exciting.

Dr. SungWoo Kahng (36:29):

Yeah. And thanks for your thanks again for having us and letting us talk about Rutgers.

Shauna Costello (36:34):

Of course, thank you. Thank you for listening to this week's episode of the university series. And as always, if you have questions, comments, feedback, or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us at

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