The BEAR Center began development in 2016 when the Department of Psychological Sciences received a PIF grant from NMU. This grant’s purpose was to develop the ABA programs and establish a center for ABA services. Upon Dr. Daar’s arrival to the UP in 2016, there were only 4 BACB certified behavior analysts in the entire region. Service access was limited, especially for those outside of Marquette.The region's ability to train and retain Applied Behavior Analytic professionals was minimal. He recognized the need for a focused training facility and quality field experience as part of the ABA masters and UG programs. Thus, development of the BEAR Center began as a university-based facility that focused on providing students with meaningful field experience. Simultaneously, the BEAR Center also focused on creating service opportunities for children and families from the community. 

The BEAR Center's first program, the Early Intensive Language Learning Clinic, opened in 2017 and was a free to the community ABA service. This focused on verbal behavior therapy for children ages 2-5 years with deficits in language and social skills development. The BEAR Center's students and faculty supervisors also began working with Community Mental Health facilities across the region to support individuals of all ages with adaptive learning and behavioral difficulties.  In 2019, work began with local schools to develop enhanced Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Support Plans for students experiencing skill deficits and difficult to manage behaviors. In 2020, service programming expanded to include the Comprehensive Behavior Support Program which now sees children of all ages. The students and faculty supervisors of the BEAR Center have engaged in a variety of initiatives to support professional development and scientific activities of behavior analysts in the UP. An online Registered Behavior Technician training program was developed by faculty of the BEAR Center and is currently free to UP residents. This group also founded the Upper Peninsula Association of Behavior Analysis (UPABA). UPABA is a non-profit professional association that hosts an annual conference, continuing education webinars, and supports a professional network.