Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy

Faculty Achievements

$1 million to grow on

Our Rehabilitative Counseling program has been awarded its second consecutive five-year, $1 million grant in Fall 2019 from the Rehabilitation Services Administration to fund the education of eight first-year students and eight second-year students annually.Dr. Amy Knopf

Our aim is to help increase the number of rehabilitation counselors available to meet the growing demand in vocational rehabilitation programs.

Students who earn their master's degree in rehabilitation counselor education with the awards commit to two years of paid employment with the Minnesota Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for every year of assistance. That means jobs in workforce centers, state agencies and the department of economic development.

"We were a great program without the grant, but now we’re even better," said Dr. Amy Knopf. "The reputation of graduating counselors, who are competent and who deliver effective services with state agencies and rehabilitation facilities, has made SCSU a strong competitor in recruiting highly capable potential scholars. With this grant we will be able to recruit the best and brightest graduates to pursue a degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.”

Our faculty also work closely with students to plan and carry out research either where they work or in our research labs. Many present and publish their research.  

Dr. Benjamin Witt’s Research Lab centers on three primary areas of research:


  • We are exploring the assessment and treatment of infantile colic through a community partnership with Sartell Pediatrics.
  • We are conducting translational research in gambling behavior, notably in relation to slot machines and poker.
  • We are exploring general process research in the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.

Of course, we cover every other topic students are interested in, including conceptual foundations in verbal behavior, behavioral analyses of pop music, nutritional decision-making, behavioral cusp analyses, and many more.

Here are examples of publications that resulted from collaborations with students, agencies and faculty:
  • SCSU Behavior Analysis lab. Witts, B. N., Loudermilk, K., & Kosel, D. (2014). Adult samples suggest slot machine and casino characteristics are possible sources for investigating the illusion of control. Analysis of Gambling Behavior, 8, 79-85. 
  • SCSU and Lazarus Center. Lood, E., Cotton, S., Rudrud, E., & Witts, B. (2014). Reducing errors on progress notes using Microsoft Excel. OBM Network News. 28, 2-6. Kim Schulze
  • SCSU and UK Young Autism Project. Holmes, E.J., Eikeseth, S., & Schulze, K.A. (2015). Teaching Individuals with Autism Receptive Labelling Skills Involving Conditional Discriminations: A Comparison of Mass Trial and Intermixing before Random Rotation, Random Rotation Only, and Combined Blocking. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 11, 1-12. 
  • SCSU and Autism Matters-Minneapolis, MN. Koehler-Platten, K.A., Grow, L.L., Schulze, K.A., & Bertone, T.S. (2013). Using a Lag Reinforcement Schedule to Increase Phonemic Variability in Children with Developmental Delays. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 29, 71-83. 
  • SCSU and Autism Partnership-Seal Beach, CA. Kassardjian, A., Taubman, M., Leaf, J.B., Edwards, A., McEachin, J. Leaf, R., Rudrud, E., & Schulze, K. (2013) Utilizing Teaching Interaction to Facilitate Social Skills in the Natural Environment. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 48, 245-257. 
  • SCSU and Autism Partnership-Hong Kong. Cheung, Y., Schulze, K.A., Leaf, J.B., & Rudrud, E.H. (In Press). Teaching community skills to two young children with autism using self-managed activity schedule. Exceptionality: A Special Education Journal.Connor
  • University of Minnesota and Midwest Community Development, Inc. Connor, J., Hunt, S., Finsaas, M., Ciesinski, A., Ahmed, A. & Robinson, B.   (in press).  Sexual Health Care, Sexual Behaviors and Functioning, and Female Genital Cutting: Perspectives from Somali Women Living in the U.S.  Journal of Sex Research.
  • University of Minnesota. Anderson, K., Rueter, M., Koh, B., Connor, J., Koerner, A., & Damario, M.  (2014).  Twins conceived using assisted reproduction: Parent mental health, family relationships, and child adjustment at middle childhood.  Human Reproduction, 29, 2247 – 2255.