About The New England Center for Children (NECC)

Since its founding in 1975, The New England Center for Children (NECC) has remained true to its original mission: providing state-of-the-art education and individualized treatment—with care and respect—for children with autism and other disabilities.

As a private, nonprofit corporation, our commitment extends to creating a positive, professional environment for our staff so that they can work cooperatively toward achieving NECC’s goals.  We strive to be at the forefront of conducting and publishing research to further the understanding and treatment of autism and related disabilities.

About the Cooperative Learning Program

The program includes both didactic course work and supervised practicum experiences.  Trainees will learn theoretical and practical applications of behavior analysis techniques, how to develop educational curriculum and behavior management programs for students who have a range of needs.

Trainees will attend two courses offered on-site by Northeastern University and Simmons College.  These courses will count as electives within the psychological science department at UMW. Trainees will also spend about 30 hours each week gaining hands-on experience as student teachers. This experience will result in six internship credits.

Students will enroll at UMW and pay for full time tuition and fees (in state or out of state as appropriate), as well as the current cost of double occupancy housing.  NECC will provide housing in close proximity to the Center; the student is responsible for the cost of their own food.

What are the prerequisites?

  • Must meet all the UMW internship requirements
  • Must be a degree-seeking student at UMW
  • Must have completed at least 12 credit hours at UMW (at the time of enrollment in the NECC program)
  • Must have a GPA of at least 2.0 (at the beginning of the semester in which you’ll be at NECC
  • Must have junior standing
  • Must have completed at least 12 credits in psychology beyond PSYC 100 – General Psychology (by the start of the semester in which you’ll be at NECC)
  • Must have taken the following required courses (before beginning your semester at NECC)
    • PSYC 231 – Developmental Psychology: The Infant and Child or PSYC 232 – Developmental Psychology: The Adolescent and Adult
    • PSYC 253 – Fundamentals of Learning and Motivation
  • Students are recommended to have also taken either PSYC 211 – Abnormal Psychology or 320 – Psychology of Exceptional Children and Youth

Why participate?

  • Gain valuable work experience working with children with autism, under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
  • Receive full semester academic credit (12 credits) from UMW.
  • Receive waiver for some graduate program requirements if you work at NECC in the future.
  • Trainees will receive special consideration for employment at NECC upon graduation.

How can I get more information?

Interested students should consult with the chair of the Department of Psychological Science, Dr. Miriam Liss ( or the faculty supervisor of the UMW-NECC collaboration, Dr. W. David Stahlman (

For information about NECC and the Cooperative Learning Program, contact Ellen Graham ( or (508) 481-1015).

For more information, please watch this video of an information session done on 11-10-2021: NECC Information Session Recording

How do I apply?

In order to be considered, you must email the NECC Application to Dr. Stahlman; letters of recommendation are required also. Applications are due before Fall Break for Spring admission and before Spring Break for Fall admission; letters of recommendation must be emailed to Dr. Stahlman, with “NECC Application” in the subject line, before Fall or Spring Break also.  By applying for this program, you give permission for a copy of your transcript to be shared with the admissions staff at the NECC.