Online M.A. in Psychology, BCBA Foundation Concentration
The BCBA Foundation concentration within the M.A. in Psychology program equips graduates with a broad, foundational knowledge of psychology while providing them the opportunity to learn behavior analytic theories and procedures. Students are introduced to ABA interventions and learn how to design appropriate approaches to behavior modification related to developmental disabilities, geriatric conditions, behavioral and learning difficulties, and mental illness.
The BCBA Foundation concentration may also provide a bridge to more advanced study and certification in this specialized area. After successful completion of the program, students planning to sit for the BCBA exam can, upon acceptance, enter the BCBA Respecialization online program and can complete three additional courses, along with supervision, to prepare to sit for the BCBA certification exam.
Students in the M.A. in Psychology program take 18 credit hours in foundational psychology (core courses), six credit hours in an applied research project, and the remaining 12 credit hours taken within their concentration.
There are 36 total credit hours for the program with 12 credit hours of concentration
Students complete an Applied Research Project, which puts psychology in action, integrating program learning and applying this learning to an authentic workplace situation.
- Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Two or more years of post-baccalaureate work experience preferred
Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis
Behavior analysis is a natural science approach to studying behavior, wherein behavior is a legitimate subject matter in its own right, and is not the result of processes occurring within the individual. This course instructs students in the basic principles of operant and respondent conditioning and selection by consequences, and the research literature from which the principles were derived. The course also addresses the philosophical assumptions of behavior analysis (i.e., radical behaviorism).
Observation and Measurement
This course addresses behavior definition, data collection, inter-observer agreement, and data display. Students learn to evaluate various measurement and display techniques and to interpret data displays.
Professional Ethics and Issues
Professional, ethical, and legal issues related to the practice of behavior analysis are critically examined. Students read ethical guidelines relevant to behavior analysis and apply those guidelines to ethical scenarios and dilemmas. Supplementary materials illustrate or elaborate on various issues, including the history of ethics in behavior analysis and current ethical and professional issues.
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Dr. Bianka Hardin
“Ask questions. Push yourself to learn. It's ok to be uncomfortable, that's when you are at your learning edge.” -Dr. Bianka Hardin, associate professor, Clinical Psychology, Chicago Campus
Dr. Breeda McGrath
“A parent who is dealing with job loss may be using all of his cognitive resources just to cope, and has very little left over for the kids. And while kids don’t understand all of it, they...feel a sense of loss.”-Dr. Breeda McGrath, Dean, Academic Affairs
Dr. Michele Nealon-Woods
“Students need more than just technical tools; they need to be guided in understanding how their own belief systems and their level of psychological self-awareness influence their current and future competencies.” -Michele Nealon-Woods, National President, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology