About Karl Schmitt

We know there are many different ways to measure success, but still, Karl Schmitt’s measurement is startling.

He remembers the moment when one of his students, who previously would only eat Goldfish crackers or Cheerios, was willing to eat macaroni and cheese or broccoli. That felt like an awesome success.

You see, Karl works with students who are on the autism spectrum and they present him with a myriad of challenges to overcome. Some insist on extremely limited food choices, some even as teenagers are not able to safely cross streets, and many find learning to read and write very, very difficult.

“So, I’m in a position to really help these kids,” Karl says. “There’s such a tremendous impact I can have. I can truly change someone’s life.”

Karl earned his M.S. in Applied Behavioral Analysis & Autism at Sage and is employed as a behavior technician at North Shore Psychological Services on Long Island, where he works with students in the local public school system.

He says he chose Sage in large part because of its reputation for helping students get through the New York State licensure process, and he ended up appreciating so much more about the program.

“The professors are pretty fantastic,” he says. “They’re all out there practicing in the real world as well as teaching, so they have so much of value to offer their students.”

The importance of academic studies being linked to practical work, according to Karl, can’t be overstated. “I didn’t get theoretical answers to my questions,” he says. “What I heard was — This is what I’ve done and it works.”

Karl feels a particular sense of gratitude towards Cheryl Davis, the program’s practicum coordinator. “She was amazing. When it was time for me to apply for jobs, she helped me every step along the way.”

“And then there was Sarah Russell,” he adds. “She was so on top of the licensure process. And Lori Finn was always ready to answer my questions and help me navigate the program.”

Karl started college as a history major, thinking he’d be a history teacher. But while in his various jobs and internships he found himself drawn to help those who needed extra help. The work can be overwhelming, he says, but the sense of accomplishment he receives more than makes up for it.

“I continue to use the principles I learned at Sage,” he says. “They prepared me well.”

“The professors are pretty fantastic. They’re all out there practicing in the real world as well as teaching, so they have so much of value to offer their students.”

Karl Schmitt