Applied behavior analysis uses laboratory-derived principles of learning to improve observable, socially significant behavior. A behavior analyst seeks to improve behavior through empirically valid methodologies while demonstrating reliable relationships between procedures employed and the behavioral outcomes.
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Many qualified behavior analysts work in clinical settings and residential and vocational programs serving persons with developmental disabilities or mental illness. To illustrate the need for trained behavior analysts, consider the treatment of autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders to be approximately 1 in 88 children. While the number of certified behavior analysts grows each year. Many children treated for autism are being treated by individuals without sufficient training. Of course, autism is only one of the diagnoses for which behavioral interventions have demonstrated their effectiveness - a fact which only serves to punctuate the need for qualified behavior analysts.
About the Certificate
The goal of the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) certificate program is to introduce students to the field of learning and behavior analysis, and to provide training to individuals interested in designing, delivering, and evaluating behavioral interventions. The 19-unit certificate program provides high-quality training in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. The coursework, along with appropriate practicum experience, will prepare individuals to sit for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst™ Examination.
The Certificate Program provides students with an academic and professional background in Applied Behavior Analysis. Students are prepared for employment in a variety of community and private agencies/settings. In addition, persons with behavior analytic training work as behavior support specialists in educational settings or in intensive behavior therapy programs for children with autism. The Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis will be particularly attractive to students in Psychology and Education Programs of study, or it may be completed on a stand-alone basis.
According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.®, an individual gaining Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst level certification (BCaBA) typically:
"Conducts descriptive behavioral assessments and is able to interpret the results and design ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions for clients. The BCaBA designs and oversees interventions in familiar cases (e.g., similar to those encountered during their training) that are consistent with the dimensions of applied behavior analysis. The BCaBA obtains technical direction from a BCBA for unfamiliar situations. The BCaBA is able to teach others to carry out interventions and supervise behavioral technicians once the BCaBA has demonstrated competency with the procedures involved under the direct supervision of a BCBA. The BCaBA may assist a BCBA with the design and delivery of introductory-level instruction in behavior analysis. It is mandatory that each BCaBA practice under the supervision of a BCBA. Governmental entities, third-party insurance plans and others utilizing BCaBAs must require this supervision." (www.bacb.com/index.php?page=4).
Completion of the Practicum and the Washington University Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate does not indicate that a student is certified in the field of behavior analysis and does not guarantee accruing a passing grade on the BCaBA certification examination, nor guarantee that the student will acquire all needed supervision hours in order to sit for the BCaBA exam.
The curriculum for the 19-hour certificate program in Applied Behavior Analysis includes:
Introduction to Behavior Analysis (U09 409) - 3 units
Applied Behavior Analysis I (U09 444) - 3 units
This course is the part one of a two-part course sequence. This course focuses on complex behavioral principles and issues surrounding the application of behavioral principles in the analysis and modification of behavior. Students will learn about assessment and intervention techniques addressing behavioral deficits. Assessment topics can include: baseline skill assessments, preference/reinforcer assessments, and the analysis of verbal behavior. Intervention topics can include shaping, chaining, discrete trial therapy, pivotal response training, natural environment training, incidental teaching, direct instruction, precision teaching, verbal behavior therapy, discrimination training, social skills and play instruction, group instruction, and generalization of behavior change. Ethical considerations also will be addressed. Prerequisite: Introduction to Behavior Analysis (U09 409).
Applied Behavior Analysis II (U09 445) - 3 units
Applied Behavior Analysis: Research Methods and Evaluation (U09 446) - 3 units
Applied Behavior Analysis: Practicum (U09 449) - 4 units
As part of the Certificate Program in Behavior Analysis students are required to complete one approved elective course. The elective course is intended to provide concentration on specific concepts and methods and/or a broader perspective on the issues of disability and/or psychology. These courses may include:
In order to be considered for admission to the Applied Behavior Analysis certificate program, you must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 in previous college course work, including at least one college-level English composition course and at least one introduction to psychology course, each with a grade of B or better. Non-degree students as well as students already admitted to a Bachelor of Science degree program at University College may apply for admission to the certificate program.
Below is a list of requirements for an application to the Applied Behavior Analysis certificate at University College. Your application will be reviewed once all requirements are received.