MEd Foundations in Behavior Analysis

December 01, 2019
January 13, 2020

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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

Our comprehensive 10-course curriculum provides students with foundational knowledge in applied behavior analysis, education, and psychology related to practice in schools and other agencies serving children, including those with disabilities.

Our verified course sequence (VCS) has been verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International(ABAI)as meeting specific coursework requirements, content hours, and faculty standard.  Students are eligible to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements to qualify.

Program Highlights

  • Ten total courses (30 semester hours)
  • Graduate in as few as five semesters (20 months)
  • Students may take up to two courses per term with each course being offered every term
  • Three enrollment periods each year: 1 fall, 1 spring, 1 summer
  • Campus visits not required: 100% online
  • BACB verified course sequence

Child Development

This course provides an overview of theory and empirical research related to child development from infancy through adolescence. The course emphasizes the links between theory, research, and practice to promote positive outcomes for all children. The course also links child development theory to an in-depth examination of the research on behavioral interventions and prevention strategies to improve developmental outcomes. Also, from a behavioral intervention orientation, the course will review the literature on parenting behavior and its relationship to child development.

Applied Behavior Analysis I

This course, the first in a sequence of courses in applied behavior analysis, provides an in-depth introduction to the philosophy, concepts, and principles of behavior analysis in general, and to applied behavior analysis in particular. The conceptual foundations developed in this course will be the basis for understanding academic and behavior problems in applied settings and in the development and implementation of: behavioral assessments, functional behavioral hypotheses, intervention procedures directly related to problem function, and data-based decisions about intervention effectiveness.

Frameworks for Disabilities and Disorders

The course introduces students to the foundations for child development, disability, developmental psychopathology, and diversity within individual development from an ecological-behavioral and competence enhancement perspective. Emphasis is on implications for research-based intervention and practice in schools. The purpose of this class is to review patterns of typical child behavior and development as well as behaviors in children that are generally regarded as atypical (interfering with quality of life or life functioning). The course also reviews special education law and how it relates to classification and service delivery in schools.

Family Intervention and Early Intervention

This course focuses on building and enhancing collaboration skills with families to most effectively serve clients in home, school, and clinical settings.  Common issues in early childhood are discussed in reference to empirically supported prevention and intervention approaches and methods using a tiered model of service delivery.  Students will develop skills in performing function based interviews and direct observation to collect data that will be used to inform treatment.

Applied Behavior Analysis II

This is the second course in the applied behavior analysis sequence and provides instruction in applying basic behavior principles to resolve behavior problems and foster pro-social behaviors in educational settings, including school-wide positive behavior approaches. Students will learn: basic principles of functional assessment of behavior problems, techniques of direct behavioral assessment used in functional assessment; assessment of reinforcers to use in interventions, clinical applications of behavior analytic interventions to reach socially meaningful outcomes, the rudiments of repeated measurement to make data-based decisions about intervention effectiveness, and evidence-based strategies to promote social competence, including school-wide approaches. Students will acquire basic knowledge of research procedures within applied behavior analysis and will use these principles to begin to analyze related research to guide professional practice.

Working with Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

This course is designed to 1) develop professionals’ awareness and sensitivity to diversity which influences the values, beliefs, and behaviors that impact delivery of services to culturally and linguistically diverse clients. 2) Gain an understanding of culturally responsive data-based decision making, consultation and collaboration, and direct and indirect services for individuals and families with diverse characteristics and cultures. 3) Examine common organizational practices that contribute to ineffective delivery of services and identify ways to improve this. 4) Discuss the most recent literature devoted specifically to diversity in behavior analysis 5) Develop a toolbox of culturally responsive competencies to be used delivery of services across settings.

Ethics for Behavioral Practice and Research

This course addresses the most common legal and ethical challenges faced by behavior analysts in adherence with the current Professional and Ethical Compliance Code of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).  Multiple challenging situations are proposed which allow students to identify possible ethical violations and propose solutions that are incompliance with the ethical code.  Ethical dilemmas across settings are used to prepare students to communicate and problem solve around actions from parents, organizations, and fellow professionals.  Students are prepared to serve in roles that promote a culture of ethically based decision making including reporting unethical activities.

Functional Behavior Assessment

This course examines advanced techniques in functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and analysis of challenging behaviors.  Students will learn how to conduct a functional behavior interview and utilize a function based diagnostic system.  Multiple different types of assessments will be covered including a simple FBA, Full FBA, the classical functional analysis and variations of this such as the brief functional analysis.  Once the function of the behavior is identified, replacement behaviors will be selected based on that function.  Standard protocols will be used to select interventions which include methods for fading.

Academic Assessment and Intervention

The course reviews a variety of methods for assessing and improving the academic performance of students. Instruction includes practice with advanced techniques in direct and norm-referenced academic assessment for use in intervention planning and progress monitoring. The course also examines a wide range of research-based instructional and intervention practices promote student learning and development of academic skills.

Behavioral Research and Accountability Methods

This course focuses on developing students’ skills in evaluating behavioral research methodology with a focus on single-subject design.  Students will demonstrate proficiency in the use of various designs, accurate interpretation of data, and critique of study conclusions.  Students will also be able to make judgments as to acceptable validity and reliability present in research design.  The major goal will be for students to become informed consumers of evidence based research so that they may apply successful interventions to solve challenging behaviors.

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