Missouri Southern State University officials will gather to celebrate the opening of the ACACIA Center for Applied Behavior Analysis with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21 at the ACACIA Center in the Gene Taylor Education building.

The former MSSU Child Development Center was renovated to serve as the ACACIA Center using grant money awarded last September and planned through the collaboration of the current MSSU Lion Cub Academy and the psychology department.

The ACACIA Center will provide valuable resources to families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as other behaviors.

“We are excited to be opening our doors at the ACACIA Center to provide innovative behavioral, educational, and social services to our community. At the ACACIA Center learning has no limits and we want our services and opportunities to reflect the diversity of the learners we work with,” said Dr. Ayla Schmick, ACACIA Center director.

“The ACACIA Center is a fantastic opportunity for our students here at MSSU, as they will be able to engage in a hands-on learning environment, gaining valuable work experience that will set them up for future success.”

The public is invited to tour the ACACIA Center at an open house event from 12 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22.