Students studying Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) learn to affect socially significant behavioral changes in individuals with developmental disabilities—from those in regular educational settings to those who wish to improve performance or master skills in a variety of ways. Using a natural science approach, ABA professionals systematically collect and analyze data to validate incremental changes in observable behavior.
Students in the Chicago Campus' ABA master's program gain experience and exposure in a wide variety of ABA applications and specialties, including instructional design, precision teaching, and verbal behavior. Our program is distinctive in that students receive a solid foundation in the principles of clinical psychology, in addition to thorough training in ABA techniques—preparing them to work with a range of populations in both clinical and business/industry settings.
The Advanced Applied Project allows a student to demonstrate a level of competency that is necessary to be a successful professional applied Board Certified Behavior Analyst. The thesis option, the Advanced Research Project is targeted for individuals who are interested in conducting experimental research and pursuing a doctoral degree.
TCSPP has established partnerships with local public and private schools to provide students with the unique opportunity to gain professional preparation by applying what they have learned about ABA technologies to special education diagnoses and school administration.
Opportunities to gain real-world experience provide graduates with valuable skills to take with them into the work force. Each year an overwhelming majority of our Chicago School ABA students (96% last year) secure their first practicum placements by the end of the first semester, and the remaining students obtain placements by the time the second semester begins. Subsequent practicum placements also often reach 100%.
The ABA course sequence is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® and graduates are eligible to sit for national certification by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board®. Students may petition to take additional coursework to sit for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensure in Illinois.
Applied Behavior Analysis
Graduates are eligible to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analysts ® (BCBA).
1,000 hours of supervised field placements
Program Time to Completion
2 years full time, 2-5 years part time
Science and Human Behavior
Designed to enhance students' understanding of the application of behavior analysis to individual and social problems, with an emphasis on the philosophical bases of behavior analysis. Students read Skinner's seminal text, Science and Human Behavior, in which he describes behavioral and cultural analyses, as well as critiques and related articles. The major objective of the class includes understanding and critiquing Skinner's approach to the study and control of individual and group behavior. Topics include discussing individual behavior that seems difficult to study with a behavior-analytic approach (e.g., private events) as well as control of group behavior and the problems associated with such control. Students will be able to discuss the pros and cons of Skinner's perspective, identify the aspects of his beliefs with which they agree or disagree, and explain their own perspectives.
Organizational Behavior Management
Focuses on applying behavior analytic principles in the domain of behavioral consultation and management. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the various stages of successful behavioral consultation, identifying potential problems that may arise during the consultation process, and knowing how to overcome them. Other learning objectives include:
- Correctly identifying, explaining, and understanding the key concepts of behavioral consultation.
- Applying the key concepts of behavioral consultation to any targeted consultation population.
- Correctly identifying, explaining, and understanding the various stages of successful behavioral consultation.
- Successfully identifying potential problems that may arise during the consultation process and knowing how to overcome them.
Presents the basic principles required for the use of psychopharmacological agents. All major classes of psychotropics are presented, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anxiolytics and sedatives/hypnotics, psycho-stimulants, and atypical medications. Other topics covered include laboratory and physiological assessments pertinent to their use, basic neuron-chemical and anatomical concepts associated with their proposed mechanism of action, drug-drug interactions, adverse reactions, and pertinent aspects of differential diagnosis. Psychiatric aspects of general medical conditions, with particular attention to the diagnosis and treatment of delirium, are presented.
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