A Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis, which educates students in behavior philosophies, methods and evidence-based interventions in special education and psychology, can be earned entirely online. This graduate certificate prepares students to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam and, alternatively, can be used as preparation for the undergraduate version of the BCBA, which is the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) exam.
Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis
Beyond preparation for BCBA and BCaBA testing, a graduate certificate program in applied behavior analysis (ABA) provides students with valuable knowledge and skills for working in psychology and special education fields. An average of six to seven classes in this 18-21 credit-hour program will emphasize the observation, evaluation and implementation of the science of applied behavior analysis and its techniques.
Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis
A common course in the graduate certificate program, foundations of applied behavior analysis typically consists of coursework delving into the basic principles, philosophies, concepts and processes of applied behavior analysis. This course is designed to provide knowledge and techniques for developing and encouraging positive behavior as it pertains to special education. Commonly, students will examine the basic tenets and models for evaluating programs of behavior change in the classroom.
Advanced Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
In courses like advanced principles of applied behavior analysis, emphasis is often placed on established procedures and principles in the science of ABA. Course content usually includes advanced theory, philosophy and methods in applied behavior analysis. Students can examine best practices for developing positive behavior support for individuals with significant behavioral challenges. A variety of contexts (not just the classroom) are explored.
Behavior Assessment and Management
Assessing and managing behavior is usually paramount in the graduate certificate program, and the class behavior assessment and management teaches students the principles necessary to achieve these ABA techniques. This course is designed to provide information on behavior change procedures and supports, as well as the development of skills for interpreting behavior, creating behavior goals, and making evidence-based decisions. Students will undertake the observation, measurement and analysis of behavior in this class. Commonly, students also learn to apply appropriate interventions and redesign learning environments.
Classes like single-case research provide an examination of special education research and analysis for a single subject. The topics of focus include methods for planning, implementing, and evaluating studies. Oftentimes, students have a chance to examine real-world cases, analyze data and draw conclusions.
ABA Ethics and Professional Conduct
ABA ethics and professional conduct courses offer information on the ethical and legal responsibilities of special educators and behavior analysts. Special educators and behavior analysts are held to high standards regarding informed consent, due process, confidentiality and more.
Entrance Requirements for Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Applies Behavior Analysis
Admission to a graduate certificate program in ABA for students ultimately seeking a BCaBA credential often requires a bachelor's degree in the field of education, psychology or applied behavior analysis. Typically, schools also require official transcripts displaying a minimum GPA (often 3.0), a statement of goals and intent, references, and a resume for admissions. The GRE is not often required, but the TOEFL exam is required for non-native English speakers.
Because many students pursue a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis with the ultimate goal of achieving the BCAB credential, it is important to note that some schools require a master's degree or the concurrent enrollment in a master's degree program for admission. A Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program can often be combined into a master's degree program of study.
An online program for a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis can be completed on a full or part-time basis in approximately six to nine months and about six or seven classes. Courses in programs like these typically tackle topics like ethics, behavior assessment and research.