Online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

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Earn the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and concurrently fulfill all course requirements for the highly demanded Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential and partial course requirements for the Pennsylvania Behavior Specialist License (BSL).

This 24-credit fully online program prepares graduates to be successful practitioners trained to enhance the educational outcomes and lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or other related disabilities using applied behavior analysis (ABA).

Program Highlights

  • Ranked 16th in Top 40 ABA Graduate Certificate Online Programs
  • Ranked 15th in the 20 Most Affordable Online ABA Graduate Certificate Programs
  • First Christian university program worldwide, with extensive autism training, that has been verified to meet coursework and experience requirements for eligibility to take the BCBA Exam®
  • May be started any semester and completed in as few as four semesters
  • 50% tuition discount for educators working in Christian schools
  • Unique 5th edition course sequence verified to meet coursework requirements for the 5th edition BCBA exam and 4th edition BCBA exam (if SPE 726 is replaced by SPE 731)
  • Advance standing for Bible/theology credits available
  • Can be completed as non-degree program or part of MS in Special Education (ABA) program or MS in Education program
  • Requirements of two other credentials fully or partially met as listed below; does not lead to Special Education certification
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential
  • BCBA credential eligibility requirements include a Master’s degree in Education, Psychology, or ABA; meeting coursework and experience requirements; and passing the BCBA exam. Visit bacb.com for details and other requirements.
  • The 4th edition exam is available through November 2021 and the 5th edition exam is available starting January 2022.
  • Completing this program does not lead to BCBA exam eligibility. Other requirements must be met including:
    • Experience requirements:
      • May fulfill by completing supervised independent fieldwork (SIF) (no affiliation with University)
      • Or fulfill by enrolling in optional SPE 891 ABA Practicum Group Supervision course for up to three semesters to receive online group supervision while accruing intensive practicum (IP) hours at a self-arranged site per University approval.
      • During each semester of IP, individual supervision must also be provided by onsite or self-hired BCBA supervisor. Or take optional SPE 892 ABA Practicum Individual Supervision course at additional credits beyond the program.
      • 750 IP hours required for 4th edition exam and 1500 IP hours for 5th edition exam.
      • For experience requirement details and SIF required hours, visit BACB’s Experience Standards for 4th edition and Experience Requirements for 5th edition.
    • Master’s degree in Education, Psychology, or ABA requirement: Students who do not already meet this criterion are recommended to enroll in the MS in Special Education (ABA) program
  • Graduate Certificate in ABA indicates completion of the ABA program but not certification in behavior analysis; awarded only to matriculated students successfully completing the program
  • Document of Completion awarded to non-matriculated students successfully completing the 7 SPE-coded courses
  • Students holding a master’s degree from another institution are responsible to verify if their degree and the institution meet BACB’s current standards. Click here for details.
  • Students are responsible to verify if this program meets the ABA licensing or certification requirements of the state and/or country where they intend to practice.
  • BCBA exam pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.
Pennsylvania Behavior Specialist License (BSL)
  • Most BSL coursework requirements fulfilled; remaining course requirements may be met through courses provided by PA State at no cost (availability per PA State).
  • Coursework requirements fully met upon obtaining BCBA credential
  • Experience requirements partially met through practicum courses
  • See the BSL Application for details on the above and other requirements.
Portrait of a girl on a school bus.

Career and Ministry Enhancements

  • Become a behavior analyst and enter a profession in high demand globally.
  • Apply ABA in diverse fields such as education, autism, and developmental disabilities.
  • Work in schools, residential and home programs, clinics, hospitals, and other settings.
  • Develop Christian services and ministries for individuals with autism and their families.

Why Applied Behavior Analysis?

  • Best research-supported scientific treatment for autism
  • Effective for individuals with other disabilities as well
  • Demonstrated to be effective in many areas including:
    • Communication, social, self-help, play, and work skills
    • Reading and other academic skills
    • Positive and safe behaviors
    • Family life

Typical Program Curriculum

Semester 24 Total Credits = 21 Required Credits + 3 Bible/Theology Credits
Fall #1 SPE 721 ABA for Autism and Other Disabilities I
SPE 722 ABA for Autism and Other Disabilities II
Spring #1 SPE 723 Interventions for Autism/Other Disabilities
SPE 725 Principles of Behavior
Summer #1 SPE 726 Secondary Transition Assessment and Intervention (1 cr.)
SPE 727 Supervision/Management (2 cr.)
SPE 728 Ethics for Behavior Analysts
Fall #2 SPE 724 Single Subject Research
THE 601 Overview of Christian Theology

Requirements

To enter the program, the candidate will:

To complete the program, the candidate will:

  • Successfully complete all required coursework with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

For more information about the online MS in Special Education (ABA) degree, contact Luke Gibson, Admissions Counselor, at lgibson@cairn.edu.

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