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Tom Zirpoli

My first exposure to children and adults with developmental disabilities right out of college was the start of a lifetime career working with this population. My career track reflects the history of special education services from institutional settings to community-based services. Now, as coordinator of McDaniel's graduate program in Human Services Management, and CEO of the program's internship site, Target Community & Educational Services, I have the opportunity to watch my students blend knowledge with practice, academics with experience, and theory with reality.

My research in applied behavioral analysis, classroom management, and parenting, has allowed me to publish several books promoting the use of positive behavioral supports to teach appropriate social skills to children with a variety of abilities. Before coming to McDaniel over 23 years ago, I taught in Minnesota and Virginia.


Ph.D. in Special Education, University of Virginia
M.S. in Education and Psychology, Old Dominion University
B.S. in Psychology, Old Dominion University

Research Interests

  • Applied behavior analysis

  • Classroom management

  • Parenting

  • Special education

Recent Courses

  • RSM 550: Research Methodology

  • HSM 505: Introduction to Human Services Management

  • SED: Classroom Managment

Selected Publications

  • Zirpoli, T. J. (2016). "Behavior Management: Positive Applications for Teachers (7th edition)" Columbus, OH: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

  • Zirpoli, T. J. (2006). "Cures for Parental Wimp Syndrome: Top-Ten List for Effective Parenting." Berryville, VA: Berryville Publishing.

  • Zirpoli, T. J. (1995). "Understanding and Affecting the Behavior of Young Children." Columbus, OH: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Clubs and community involvement

  • Board of Directors for Carroll Hospital Center

  • Board of Directors for LifeBridge Health

  • Board of Directors for Carroll Lutheran Village

  • McDaniel College Faculty Development Committee

  • Carroll County Good Scout Committee

Awards and Honors

  • Carroll County Citizen of the Year, Rotary Club of Westminster, 2013

  • Paul Harris Award, Rotary International, 2004

  • Character Award, Carroll County Public Schools, 2004

  • Distinguished Partner in Lifelong Learning Award, Carroll Community College, 2004

  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Bishop Sullivan High School, Virginia Beach, VA, 1999

  • Faculty Book Award, McDaniel College, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2011, & 2015

Tom Zirpoli