The New England Center for Children and Simmons University Celebrate 30 Years of Special Education

More Than 1,200 NECC Staff Earned Master's Degree from Simmons University Applied Autism Research Graduate Program

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. - BostonChron -- This fall marks 30 years since The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in autism education and research, has been partnering with Simmons University to train the next generation of autism educators and researchers. NECC, whose commitment to the professional development of its employees has been a cornerstone of its mission, offers full-time staff a free on-site master's degree program from Simmons University. Since 1992, 1,270 NECC employees have earned degrees through this partnership and enhanced the quality of special education in Massachusetts and beyond.

"A cornerstone of The New England Center for Children's mission, and one of its core values, is training and developing the next generation of autism educators and researchers," said Dr. Jessica Sassi, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA, executive director of NECC.

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All courses are taught on-site at NECC in Southborough and provide staff practical training and experience, enabling them to have a wide variety of job offers in both public schools and private agencies upon completion of the program.

During the last 30 years, the Simmons program at NECC has grown to serve the organization's many facets. In 2019, Simmons added the autism specialization to its degree to reflect students' field-based experiences using applied behavior analysis (ABA). Students have the option to continue with a post-master's degree program in ABA through Western New England University, which is offered on-site at NECC and at a discounted rate.

Hundreds of NECC staff alumni who have graduated from the Simmons master's program have gone on to make a difference in the field of autism education, both in the U.S. and across the world.

In the fall of 2021, Simmons was approved to begin its first international master's program at the Mohamed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children (MRC-NECC) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. For more information on NECC's graduate programs, please visit the

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About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is an award-winning autism education center and research institute. Committed to creating a world where autism is not a barrier to happiness, growth, and independence, our community of teachers, researchers, and clinicians provide comprehensive services including day and residential programs, partner classrooms in public school systems, consulting services, and the ACE® ABA Software System ( The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at

Kim Ruscitti

Source: The New England Center for Children
Filed Under: Education

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