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Michael Dorsey Receives First Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure granted Michael F. Dorsey, Ph.D., license Number 1 as the first Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA) in the Commonwealth. Dr. Dorsey is a Professor of Education and Director of The Institute for Behavioral Studies at Endicott College.  


In January 2007, Dr. Dorsey and State Representative John Scibak of Hadley drafted and filed the first licensing bill in the United States to create a professional license for individuals practicing Applied Behavior Analysis.  With the support of the Massachusetts Association for Behavior Analysis (MassABA) and the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT), combined with numerous advocacy organizations throughout Massachusetts, the bill passed and was signed into law in January 2013 by then Gov. Deval Patrick.  There are now over 20 states with similar licensing laws across the United States, the focus of which is consumer protection. 


In 2014, Dr. Dorsey was named by Gov. Patrick as a member of the Division of Professional Licensing Board of Allied Mental Health that oversees Licensed Applied Behavior Analysts in Massachusetts.  Dr. Dorsey is the Director and Co-Founder of  the Institute for Behavioral Studies at Endicott College that provides Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral programs in Applied Behavior Analysis.


Michael F. Dorsey earned his Ph.D. in psychology, with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis, from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1979. Dr. Dorsey is a licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  Dr. Dorsey is the past Chair of the Practice Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.  During his career, Dr. Dorsey has had the unique privilege to serve on the faculty of several prestigious universities and colleges including The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


He is an author/co-author of many professional publications, including participating in the development of the Functional Analysis/Assessment methodology. Dr. Dorsey has been a Gubernatorial appointed member of the Developmental Disabilities Councils of both Florida and Massachusetts, and chaired the Governmental Affairs Committees for Massachusetts for over six years -- testifying on numerous occasions both at the federal and state level concerning proposed legislation, policies and budgets.  Currently Dr. Dorsey spends much of his professional time conducting Independent Educational Evaluations for parents and school districts. He has testified as an expert witness in numerous Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) cases, as well as an expert witness in various Probate, Superior, and Federal Court cases involving the education and treatment of individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities. 


For more information about the Institute for Behavioral Studies at Endicott College go to or to reach

Mike Dorsey contact: or 978-232-2599.