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 two 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.
Behavior Analytic Theory
Participants will learn to analyze human performance problems and to identify their causes by applying behavior analytic theory. Successful participants will demonstrate mastery to: (1) Explain the effects of environmental and genetic influences on human behavior according to the principles and processes of operant and respondent learning and the ABC model to behavior (2) Discriminate between the philosophical truth criteria used by behavior analysts to evaluate changes in human behavior and truth criteria used in other theoretical frameworks (3) Identify environmental variables that may influence a specified behavior (4) Perform a functional analysis of a specified problem behavior.
Measurement, Evaluation & Ethics
Participants will learn to pinpoint human performance problems, collect valid measures of current behavior and results, and evaluate the current measure of behavior and results with the objective of identifying problems worth solving. Successful participants will demonstrate mastery to: (1) Define client problems in behavior analytic terms at the organizational process, and individual levels (2) Design valid behavior analytic measurement procedures and collect data on critical dimensions of behavior (3) Present data using graphs, standard charts, and cumulative records (4) Use data to evaluate current results, performance, and procedures so as to guide practice with data (5) Apply ethical guidelines to support decision making around the selection of a problem to solve.
Participants will learn to develop and design interventions that best address the client's performance problems in a systemic way including training, management, and resource solutions. Successful participants will demonstrate mastery to: (1) Recommend the best behavior analytic solution to a client's performance problem based on appropriately collected and analyzed data, the best interests of the client and other stakeholders, and BACB guidelines for best practice (2) Distinguish between correct and incorrect implementation of teaching and management procedures with regard to appropriate teaching of prompting and fading, discriminations and generalizations, shaping, chaining, fluency, reinforcement and reinforcement schedules, extinction, and punishment (3) Design and implement each procedure correctly.
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