Curriculum: Master of Education in Foundations in Behavior Analysis

August 01, 2022
August 22, 2022
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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.

University Pass Rates

Program Highlights
  • Ten total courses (30 semester hours)
  • Graduate in as few as five semesters (20 months)
  • Three enrollment periods each year: 1 fall, 1 spring, 1 summer
  • Campus visits not required: 100% online
  • ABAI verified course sequence- BCBA/BCaBA Task List (5th ed.)

Applied Behavior Analysis I

This course, the first in a sequence of courses inapplied behavior analysis, provides an in-depth introduction to the philosophy, concepts, and principles of behavior analysis in general, and toapplied 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.

Ethics for Behavioral Practice and Research

The course examines legislation, regulations, court decisions, and ethical standards that impactpractice in schools and other community agencies. The course addresses the ethical and legal issues that professionals, including school psychologistsand Board Certified Behavior Analysts, may encounter in practice. The course will also reviewthe guidelines for professional conduct and ethical standards of the National Association of School Psychologists, Association for Behavior Analysis International, American Psychological Association, and Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The ethical responsibilities of those engaged in research also will be highlighted. Informed consent, protection of confidentiality, and selection of least intrusive, least restrictive behavior change procedures will be presented and discussed. Ethical decision-making processes will be emphasized and the relationship between ethics and law will be explored.

Behavioral Supervision and Management

As the influence of behavior analysis continues to grow, so does the need for high quality, effective supervision to ensure delivery of behavior-analytic services that benefit clients. This course will cover all content items from the personnel management and supervision section of the fifth task list of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Through applied examples and scenarios, students will learn critical skills in: developing and maintaining clear expectations for the supervisor-supervisee relationship, working with supervisees to establish appropriate goals in their skill development, and how to provide meaningful corrective feedback with opportunities for practice to enhance the supervisee skill set. Prior supervisory experiences will be studied and analyzed to identify common impediments that lead to ineffective supervision and compromised outcomes for multiple parties, including clients, as well as how they can be prevented or resolved. Students will learn and practice how to establish a culture of adherence to the field’s ethical code and culturally responsive practices in supervisee training.

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 prosocial behaviors in educational settings, including school-wide positive behavior approaches. Students will learn:basic principles of functional assessment of behavior problems, techniques of direct behavioralassessment 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 tomake 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 toanalyze related research to guide professional practice.

Applied Behavior Analysis-III

This course examines the application of assessments, procedures, and treatments used in the professional practice of applied behavior analysis. Specific attention is devoted to examining how services can be delivered in assessment and treatment to meet the specific, individualized needs of the client. The primary emphasis in this course is introducing students to the functional assessment of behavior problems and how this guides decision making for selection of evidenced-based applied behavior analytic interventions. Students will learn, through examination of case examples, that behavioral assessments can be comprised of indirect review, direct observation, and experimental assessment. Students will also learn and practice techniques in analyzing behavioral data for the successful design and implementation of interventions for social/behavior problems and demonstrate how to apply basic intervention procedures within functional interventions. Students will learn to map behavioral relationships using the four-term contingency comprised of motivating operations, discriminative stimuli, the behavioral response, and the consequence for that behavior. Interventions delivered will either impact single components of the four-term contingency or be a package whereby more than one component is impacted. Students will explain how using antecedent approaches, strengthening stimulus control, and using differential outcomes all influence the likelihood of engaging in a specific behavior. Assessments used to develop strategies to enhance adaptive academic or social skills are also covered. Students will practice writing treatment plans that offer functionally matched, desired replacement behaviors for the specific problem behavior of concern. Careful attention is given to socially valid behaviors which need teaching or strengthening, not just challenging behaviors that need reduction. The theory behind choice and behavior allocation is discussed with an emphasis on how behavioral practitioners engage in the ethical selection of evidence-based interventions for their clients.

Working with Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Schools

This course is designed to (1) develop school professionals' sensitivity and awareness of diversity factors related to culture, context, andindividual and role differences that influence values, beliefs, and behaviors, (2) gain an understanding of culturally-responsive data-based decision making, consultation and collaboration, and direct and indirect services for individuals, families, and schools with diverse characteristics, cultures, and backgrounds within a multi-tiered delivery system, (3) develop an understanding of how to provide cross-culturally competent and ethnically-valid instructional practices for all children, families, and schools in order to address disproportionate representation of diverse populations in educational categories, (4) promote social justiceand recognition that cultural, experiential, linguistic, and other areas of diversity may result in different strengths and needs and advocate for culturally responsive systems that ensure learning environments that are culturally relevant, respectful, responsive, and rigorous.

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, andpractice 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 parentingbehavior and its relationship to child development.

Behavioral Research and Accountability Methods

The course focuses on developing students' skills to apply the scientist-practitioner model to applied behavioral research and accountability in practice educational settings. Behavioral researchmethods and single case designs of relevance to the learning and behavior problems of children areexamined as is practical intervention evaluation for accountability. The course is designed for graduate students in school psychology, special education, and other educational professionals.

Frameworks for Disabilities and Disorders in Childhood

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 onimplications 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.

Functional Behavioral Assessment

This course examines advanced techniques in functional behavioral assessment and analysis of aberrant behaviors for individuals with severe disabilities. There is an applied experience requirement for students to conduct an actual functional assessment or analysis in an educational setting, including creation of a behavior support plan based on functional hypotheses. Introduction to curriculum planning for students with severe disabilities will be covered, focusing on meeting functional needs in least restrictive environments. Development of communication skills/social relationships for students with disabilities will be examined, especially in relation to positive reduction of aberrant behaviors.

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