Briar Cliff University, Pier Center for Autism Partner to Serve Siouxland

Briar Cliff, Pier Center for Autism Partner to Serve Siouxland

Pier CenterSioux City, IOWA – Briar Cliff University and the Pier Center for Autism, Sioux City, are pleased to announce their partnership to increase services for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families by filling shortages of board-certified behavior analysts in Siouxland and the surrounding area.

“Briar Cliff’s partnership with the Pier Center is a great example of BCU’s Vision 2020, which includes a focus on teaching, partnering and researching to produce systemic change to improve the lives of individuals and families in the region,” said Dr. Paul Olson, chair, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences at BCU. 

To address the shortage of board-certified behavior analysts, Briar Cliff will offer a new Applied Behavior Analysis track through BCU’s Master of Arts in Education, beginning in June. Also in June, Briar Cliff will offer a graduate certificate for professionals who need additional coursework for BCBA certification.

“This new partnership will provide a high quality, relevant and meaningful education for future behavior analysts in the region to help the Pier Center serve a larger population on the autism spectrum,” Dr. Olson added.

As part of the partnership, students enrolled in BCU’s Applied Behavior Analysis Program will complete practicum experiences and conduct research at the Pier Center. BCU faculty and Pier Center staff already have begun collaborating on grant writing projects that, if successful, would allow the partnership to be at the forefront of autism research and evaluation of treatment best practices.

“The Pier Center for Autism is elated to have a local partner the caliber of Briar Cliff,” said Josh Cobbs, president, Pier Center Board of Directors. “We believe graduates of BCU’s Applied Behavior Analysis Program will have opportunities to make great impacts on the region,” Cobbs added.

Located at 709 Iowa Street in Sioux City, the Pier Center for Autism was founded out of a desire to deliver compassionate services for individuals with autism in Siouxland. The Pier Center delivers a comprehensive approach focusing on individuals, caregivers, siblings and the community. The Pier Center also provides a network of support for individuals with autism while connecting the spans of life.

Briar Cliff University is a Catholic institution with an enrollment of more than 1,100 students from 31 states and 11 countries. Students are educated in the Franciscan tradition of excellence in the liberal arts and career preparation in an environment of care, compassion and service. For more information, please visit


Tags: Campus, Academics, sociology, Justice, Social Work

partnership, applied behavior analysts, BCBA certification, Josh Cobbs, Paul Olson