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Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Behavior Education Assessment and Research Center relocation provides greater opportunities

BEAR Center provides behavioral, learning support to community members.
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Molly
NEW FACILITY — Department of Psychological Sciences opens Behavior Education Assessment and Research (BEAR) Center on Presque Isle Avenue. New space allows for more learning experiences for students and more adequate treatment for clients.

The Behavior Education Assessment and Research (BEAR) Center is now located on Presque Isle Avenue, near the Superior Dome and next-door to Rice Paddy. 

The BEAR Center is a facility run by the Department of Psychological Sciences that aims to provide behavioral and learning support for a multitude of community members with developmental and intellectual disabilities, as well as traumatic brain injuries. 

“Our mission starts with being a training facility and being a part of the university. We have three main pillars,” said Jacob Daar, director of the BEAR Center. “Our objectives are to train students to the highest standards we can to conduct research that helps expand our understanding and evidence-based practices in the areas in which we work, and the other part is to help serve the community.”

The BEAR Center moved to this new location in January, and they have been taking advantage of the increased opportunities this new space provides. 

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“The new facility has allowed us to expand our capacity, both in terms of the number of clients we can potentially see at a time, but as well as the sophistication of the treatment we can provide,” Daar said.

The new facility has expanded resources to better serve its clients, along with the NMU students involved. Included in this new, large and open space, are several treatment rooms as well as classrooms and offices for students and faculty. 

The expanded facility is yet another achievement of the BEAR Center in its couple of years of operation. 

“Originally the BEAR Center was one laboratory room in Weston Hall,” Daar said. 

It has grown to encompass more treatment opportunities for clients and more unique learning experiences for students. 

Students, mainly psychology and education graduate students, are able to get paid jobs doing fieldwork related to their degree through the BEAR Center. 

“We have 15 employed students right now and all are paid. They are required to become a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), which is a national certification before they can work directly one-on-one with clients,” Daar said. “From there, depending on their course of study, they can take the curriculum needed for the master’s level.”

Along with becoming RBT certified, many students are working towards becoming licensed behavior analysts. To work towards this, the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is used to treat clients and teach students.

“ABA is the application of learning theory to helping people address socially significant issues, which in this case are clinical issues, such as the behavioral deficits associated with developmental disabilities,” Daar said.

The practices of ABA, and other treatment practices, provide valuable resources for their clients and the community, as well as greatly benefiting NMU students.

While students are supervised, they conduct most of the work and treatments done at the BEAR Center, creating a unique learning experience.

“We spend a lot of time working with students to develop their clinical skills and their consultant skills, as well as giving them the time and space to develop programs for the clients, which you normally wouldn’t get outside of the university setting,” Daar said. “This clinic is a very important and unique facet of our program that not all universities have.”

Daar encourages students who are interested in working with individuals with developmental disabilities to apply to the BEAR Center – regardless of their field of study. Positions are available on Handshake, but applicants are also encouraged to email Daar ([email protected]).

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About the Contributor
Rachel Pott
Rachel Pott, News Writer
I am a marketing major about to start my second year at Northern Michigan University, however, this will be my third year in college. I previously attended a small community college near my hometown, Charlevoix, Mi. In high school, I was a part of my school’s journalism program and helped to produce bi-weekly student newspapers. In my free time, I enjoy outdoor activities like skiing, boating, fishing, and biking. I also love to work out, read, paint, and bake.