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An ABA student studying at table Applied Behavior Analysis

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Online
  • Full-Time
  • 1 Year (depending on field supervision availability)

Helping students develop mastery of applied behavior analysis principles, The Chicago School’s online certificate program in Applied Behavior Analysis prepares students to sit for the examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Guided by practitioner faculty, students will be encouraged to share their experiences in class discussions to help develop real-world strategies for solving unique challenges. […]

Helping students develop mastery of applied behavior analysis principles, The Chicago School’s online certificate program in Applied Behavior Analysis prepares students to sit for the examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Guided by practitioner faculty, students will be encouraged to share their experiences in class discussions to help develop real-world strategies for solving unique challenges.

Best known as the most effective evidence-based treatment for autism, Applied Behavior Analysis has applications in a wide variety of environments that include:

  • Special and regular education programs both public and private
  • Business and industry (teaching precise job skills, enhancing job performance and job satisfaction, and improving safety)
  • Residential and day treatment settings
  • Parent training
  • Consulting in homes, schools, and businesses
  • Skill acquisition; habit reduction
  • Quality of life enhancement in all populations
  • Sports and fitness
  • Gerontology
  • Traumatic brain injury

Applied Behavior Analysis Online Certificate Program: Student Experience

Through the convenience of The Chicago School’s online programs, your life remains intact. Our online Global Student Dashboard is where you will find all of the components to successfully complete your program. There, you’ll find your coursework and assignments, interact with fellow students, and are ask questions from your instructor.

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The Chicago School is not currently accepting applications for the online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program from individuals who live in or who intend to complete their practicum or internship at a site located in these states: Delaware, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Washington.

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Applied Behavior Analysis I

Applied behavior analysis is a discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. This course teaches students how to produce socially significant behavior change in applied settings using basic concepts and principles from the experimental analysis of behavior.

Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis

Behavior analysis is a natural science approach to studying behavior. A key operating assumption is that 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, selection by consequences, and the research literature from which the principles were derived. The course also addresses the philosophical assumptions of behavior analysis (e.g., radical behaviorism).

Assessment and Intervention

In this course, students learn how to conduct assessments, review assessment data, develop function-based interventions, and make data-based decisions.

Group Supervision

While completing The Chicago School’s approved field experience the students meet online with a BCBA supervisor one hour per week and prepare portfolio exhibits. Students remain enrolled until both minimum field experience hours and minimum supervision hours have been successfully completed. Supervision hours are counted toward the total number of experience hours required.

 

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is aligned with coursework requirements for eligibility to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®).  Applicants for BCBA® certification must meet additional requirements established by BACB® including completion of an approved master’s degree, supervised experience, application, examination, and background check.

There may also be state professional licensure requirements to practice applied behavior analysis.  A state’s licensure board determines the specific requirements for candidates seeking professional licensure and those requirements are subject to change.  The following is state professional licensure information as of the date of publication:

  • BCBA® certification aligns with certification requirements for professional licensure in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • Graduates who have obtained BCBA® certification may be eligible for licensure in Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, and North Dakota if their master’s degree program aligns with state degree requirements.  Note that candidates for professional licensure may be required to meet additional state requirements such as application, examination, and background check.
  • A professional license is not required to practice behavior analysis in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. State laws on professional licensure are subject to change by their legislatures.

A professional license is not required to practice behavior analysis in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. State laws on professional licensure are subject to change by their legislatures.

Due to recent and ongoing changes in state professional licensure of applied behavior analysis practitioners, students should contact the state board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure.  To assist with this research, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysists (APBA) publishes information regarding state licensure.

Students may complete the BCBA® Supervised Practicum Experience required by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® through TCSPP’s BACB® approved University Practicum option. This option requires fewer field experience hours than the Supervised Independent Fieldwork option. BCBA® Respecialization students must complete a minimum of 10 hours per week and a maximum of 30 hours per week of a combination of documented work implementing activities of applied behavior analysis plus supervision meetings to meet the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®.

Applicants in the Online and on-ground programs are encouraged to gain experience in multiple sites and with multiple supervisors. See www.bacb.com for appropriate experience activities and for more information about practicum requirements.

Online practicum courses are not required to earn the Certificate, so students can choose to either complete their experience independently, or to enroll in the university practicum courses to meet the experience requirements to sit for the certification exam. An applicant may start accumulating Independent Supervised Experience hours after he or she has begun the coursework required to meet the BACB® requirements, but students of ABA Online at The Chicago School must have completed AB520 and AB550, and have either completed or be concurrently enrolled in AB547 in order to enroll in the Approved University Practicum. Students wishing to complete the Approved University Practicum option in the Online program must secure a practicum position at an approved site. Students must submit an application for site approval to the department for review and approval. Sites must meet BACB® criteria for approved activities and hours (see bacb.com). They then have two options: 1) If the student has a supervisor holding the BCBA® credential on-site, and that supervisor is willing to provide individual BCBA® supervision to the student, the student must obtain and document that individual supervision and must also enroll in one additional 1-credit online course per term for five terms (Group Supervision); 2) If the student does not have a supervisor on-site holding the BCBA® credential, the student must enroll in two additional 1-credit online courses per term for five terms (both Group and Individual Supervision). All students must complete a minimum of 10 hours per week (hours in excess of 30 hours per week will not count toward the practicum requirement) of documented work with clients plus individual and group supervision to meet the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®.

Send materials to:

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
350 N Orleans ST STE 1050
Chicago, IL 60654-1822

Students applying to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Applicants to this program should ensure their resume illustrates relevant work experience.
  • Essay
    • Please write a two page essay stating why you are interested in becoming Board Certified in Applied Behavior Analysis, and your experience in Applied Behavior Analysis.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
  • One Letter of Recommendation
    • Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. Letters should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal.

Applicants to the Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis must possess a Master’s degree from an accredited institution, that was conferred in behavior analysis or other natural science, education, human services, engineering, medicine, or related behavior analysis field approved by the BCBA®. It is recommended that students contact the BCBA® to confirm acceptance of their degree prior to beginning coursework. A practicum site approval form is also required from students seeking to complete Practicum supervision requirements through the program’s BCBA® approved Practicum Experience.

In addition to the admission criteria, applicants to the online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis must also have access to a computer that is less than three years old, a broadband internet connection, and the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook and, at minimum, the following computing skills:

  • A comfort with basic Internet technology
  • The ability to open and attach files from and to emails
  • The ability to send and receive email
  • The ability to save documents

 

International Application Requirements

The Chicago School is dedicated to keeping our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid Department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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