Salvador “Sal” Ruiz

Doctoral Lecturer
Tuesday 3:30 to 4:30 pm

Salvador “Sal” Ruiz is a behavior analyst and precision teacher since 2013 and has worked in a variety of educational settings including public schools, clinics, and home services. His interests include the implementation of basic principles of behavior analysis in higher education, precision teaching, and novel uses of the Standard Celeration Chart. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Standard Celeration Society. Additionally, he works with organizations and clinicians interested in implementing the Standard Celeration Chart (SCC) into their practice.

Sal received his Ph.D., from Penn State University in 2018. His dissertation focused on the use of a modified SCC to establish the function of severe challenging behavior. He has presented at local, national, and international conferences. He has published research in the areas of higher education, basic principles of behavior analysis, sex education curricula, and severe challenging behavior.

  • Ph.D. Penn State University
  • M.A. Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • B.A. William Paterson University

Teaching is the most important task a faculty member can provide for their students. The foundational skills learned in behavior analysis and special education shape graduates’ careers for years after a degree is completed. That is why it is critical to meet students where they are by providing individual support when required and creating lessons that teach core learning objectives that work in conjunction with previous courses taken. Providing those supports require three critical steps.

First, assess students frequently by asking questions that require group responses. Group responding provides an educator with the ability to determine if a concept has been understood and individual students with checks for understanding. The pacing of the class is important for student engagement and success. Additionally, group responding allows for opportunities for further discussion and clarification.

Second, the availability of the instructor to their students is important in a field where learning opportunities are frequent. There are several ways one may become available to their students outside of the class period. An instructor should hold office hours and develop email policies that provide students with an estimated wait time for a response from their instructor. This provides students with the knowledge of when to expect to hear a response to a question. Lastly, highlight opportunities to attend additional academic functions (e.g., conferences, study groups) to allow students to continue learning outside the class period.

Third, create opportunities for students to participate in science and scholarship. The field of behavior analysis is an applied science, and it is critical for students to understand and practice science to understand the content. The process of understanding science takes place in and out of the classroom. Therefore, our approach must be to foster scientific inquiry through scholarship.

My goal within education is to support my students so that they can be successful and happy in their lives. I have been fortunate to receive that support from a teacher and hope to be able to support others in that manner.


Sal’s current research interests include the use of behavior analytic principles in higher education classrooms, novel applications of the Standard Celeration Chart, and Precision Teaching.

  • Ruiz, S., Myers, A.M., Morano, S., & Barry, L.M. (2021). Impact of guided notes on graduate students retention of facts. College Teaching.
  • Kubina, R. M., Ruiz, S., & Kostewicz, D. E. (2021). Quantifying function with the functional analysis celeration chart. Behavior Analysis in Practice.
  • Riden, B. S., Markelz, A. M., Ruiz, S., *Kent, S., Pavelka, S. K., & Chitiyo, A. (2020). The nature and extent of component analyses for improving or mitigating behavior a systematic review. Behavior Modification. doi: 10.1177/0145445520971256
  • Riden, B. S., Taylor, J. C., Ruiz, S., Lee, D. L., & Scheeler, M. C. (2020). Using a daily report card to reduce off-task behaviors for a student with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Behavioral Education 3(30). doi:10.1007/s10864-020-09382-6
  • Wolfe, P. S., Wertalik, J. L., Domire, S., Gardner, S., & Ruiz, S. (2019). Instructional strategies for socio-sexuality education. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 54(2), 186-195.
  • Wolfe, P.S, Wertalik, J., Domire, S., Gardner, S., & Ruiz, S. (2018). Socio-sexuality curricula content for individuals with developmental disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Ruiz, S. & Kubina, Jr., R.M. (2017). Impact of trial based functional analysis on challenging behavior and training: A review of the literature. Behavior Analysis Research and Practice.
  • Morano, S., Ruiz, S., Hwang, J., Wertalik, J., Moeller, J., & Mulloy, A. (2017). Meta-analysis of single-case treatment effects on self-injurious behavior for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. Autism and Developmental Language Impairments.