Name: Gereen Francis (Gereen R. Francis, M.S. BCBA)
Date graduated: December 2020
Degree graduated with: Master of Science Applied Behavior Analysis
Where are you now [city, state]: Snellville, Georgia
What did you like about the program?
I’ve had a very long journey to completing graduate school to further my education in Applied Behavior Analysis because life happens! When I envision going to school, I see myself in a classroom alongside my classmates with the professor standing in front of the room. Before attending Georgia State, I attempted an online program, but it was so expensive, and I did not feel like I was getting much out of the courses. When I realized that the stars were aligning for me to attend Georgia State, I immediately jumped on the opportunity and applied to their ABA program. Not only were the classes offered in-person, but it was affordable, and the class times allowed me to continue to work full-time while attending classes. Although the pandemic forced us to take the remainder of our coursework online, I enjoyed bonding with my classmates and professors while we were in person.
Where are you working now? What are your job duties?
I currently work full-time as a district-level board-certified behavior analyst at a public school system in Atlanta. I also started my behavior consulting business, Tangerine Behavioral Consulting LLC. My primary focus is on coaching and training families to understand the communication behind their child’s challenging behaviors and how to manage them over time effectively. I also provide social skills training to motivated adolescents and young adults in the community.
Words of encouragement for current students?
Find your passion, and love what you do! I encourage you all to maximize your opportunities while you are a student. Ask a lot of questions, figure out how to apply these behavior analytic concepts at your job and in your personal life, and don’t be afraid to try new things. The more experiences you have in various areas will help you discover your passion and niche in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Do you remember a favorite course or project that you worked on while studying?
I am an ABA nerd, so all of my behavior analytic coursework was my JAM! The one course that stands out for me was my “Methods of Teaching Students with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders” with Dr. Lauren Boden. Dr. Boden made the class super interactive, and everything we learned applied to our work. It was a refresher of terminology and procedures, but I enjoyed collaborating and learning from my classmates from different educational backgrounds. Getting their perspective on applying these concepts to their students in the classroom helped me further my understanding of how to collaborate effectively with other professionals. I highly recommend taking this course!