Behavior analysts help people with developmental disorders or those struggling with low productivity at home or work. Many work in schools, helping individuals who have autism or other disabilities; other are found at job sites, helping individuals improve their job performance.
There are two types of credentials and corresponding certificate programs. The Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certificate is a post-bachelor's degree program. To be eligible for a BCaBA credential, applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree in a field related to behavior analysis. The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certificate is a post-master's degree program. Applicants to the BCBA certificate program must hold a master's degree in a related field of study, such as psychology, sociology, criminal justice, or anthropology.
To become certified as either a BCaBA or a BCBA, applicants must first complete their desired program of study, including passing all classes and documenting the necessary internship hours. Coursework can be completed entirely online. However, both the BCBA and BCaBA certificate programs also require a substantial amount of contact hours to be completed through internships, which then must be documented with the university.
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Certificate
The post-bachelor's BCaBA certificate program can be completed online in less than a year. Students learn how to conduct and analyze behavioral research as well as how to apply it to a broad range of individuals, including people with autism. Participants also learn how to interpret results, carry out interventions, teach others how to carry out interventions, and assist the BCBA in any way.
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Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certificate
The online portion of this program can also be completed in less than a year. Students earn about 18 credits through coursework, spend some time on campus, fulfill required internship hours and may complete an optional practicum. This curriculum prepares students to diagnose behavioral problems in various populations and to work with people to improve their productivity through behavior modification. Classes typically attract those in the helping professions, such as teachers, psychologists, speech pathologists, school counselors and occupational therapists.
How Online Programs Work
A number of schools offer these certificate programs with online coursework, in which classes are conducted through the use of Blackboard or another Web-based course management system. Tests, homework and attendance can all be monitored, and professors can be reached through e-mail or phone conferences.
There are several online training programs that cover behavioral analysis leading to two different credentials. Students can choose between BCaBA and BCBA certificate programs based on their previous educational experience.