Online MS in Special Education (ABA)

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This biblically-centered program equips professionals with teaching and intervention skills based on ABA principles. ABA is the most research-supported scientific treatment for autism and is highly effective for individuals with other disabilities as well.

Earn the MS in Special Education degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and concurrently fulfill requirements for the highly demanded Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential and meet partial course requirements for the Pennsylvania Behavior Specialist License (BSL).

Program Highlights

  • Ranked 5th in Top 15 Best Online ABA Programs
  • First Christian university program worldwide verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) that integrates extensive autism training
  • May be started any semester and completed in as few as seven semesters
  • 50% tuition discount for educators working in Christian schools
  • Advance standing for Bible/theology credits available
  • 39 credits (42 if prior to Fall 2018)
  • Two tracks:
    • Intensive Practicum Track:
      • Fulfill all 9 elective credits by enrolling in ABA Practicum Group Supervision course for three semesters to accrue 750 intensive practicum hours at a self-arranged site per University approval (prior to Fall 2018, this meets 6 out of 12 elective credits).
      • Must receive concurrent individual supervision either via self-arranged onsite BCBA supervision or enrollment in Individual Supervision course (requires additional credits effective Fall 2018).
    • Coursework-Only Track.
      • No practicum required. Fulfill all elective credits through Special Education electives.
      • Does not lead to BCBA exam eligibility
  • For either track: 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 includes meeting coursework and experience requirements and passing the BCBA exam. Visit bacb.com for details and other requirements.
  • Cairn’s 4th Edition course sequence is verified by the BACB as meeting coursework requirements for BCBA exam eligibility.
  • Cairn’s new 5th Edition course sequence (pending BACB verification by May 2018) is also available starting Fall 2018
  • Cairn’s intensive practicum courses are verified by the BACB as meeting experience requirements for BCBA exam eligibility.
  • Intensive Practicum Track fulfills all coursework and experience requirements to apply for BCBA exam eligibility (optional Individual Supervision courses if selected require additional credits beyond the program)
  • Coursework-Only Track fulfills only BCBA coursework requirements; additional experience requirements can be met through supervised independent fieldwork.
  • 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
  • Coursework requirements fully met upon obtaining BCBA credential
  • Experience requirements partially met through practicum courses
  • See BSL Application for details and other requirements.

Typical Program Curriculum (for Summer 2018 enrollment only)

Semester 24 Credits of Required Courses + 6 Bible and Theology Credits + 12 Elective Credits = 42 Total Credits
Summer #1 SPE 682 Behavior Intervention in Autism
SPE 781 Advanced Ethics and Supervision
Fall #1 SPE 681 Behavioral Analysis and Autism Assessment
SPE 661 Foundations of Special Education
Spring #1 SPE 683 Behavioral and Instructional Models for Autism Intervention
SPE Elective*
Summer #2 THE 601 Overview of Christian Theology
SPE 684 Behavioral & Instructional Systems for Autism Support
Fall #2 SPE 782 Behavior Measurement and Experimental Design
SPE Elective*
Spring #2 SPE 793 Special Education Research Project
BIB 621 Biblical Integration for Educators
Summer #3 SPE Elective*
SPE Elective*

*Take ABA Intensive Practicum courses if Intensive Practicum track

Typical Program Curriculum (effective Fall 2018)

Semester 24 Credits of Required Courses + 6 Bible and Theology Credits + 9 Elective Credits = 39 Total 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 Sec Transition Assessment and Intervention (1 cr.) 1
SPE 727 Supervision/Management (2 cr.)
SPE 728 Ethics for Behavior Analysts
Fall #2 SPE 724 Single Subject Research
SPE Elective2
Spring #2 SPE 793 Special Education Research Project
SPE Elective2
Summer #2 THE 601 Overview of Christian Theology
SPE Elective2
Fall #3 BIB 621 Biblical Integration for Educators

1If taking 4th edition exam, replace SPE 726 with SPE 731 ABA for Daily Life.
2Take SPE 891 ABA Practicum Group Supervision for up to 3 semesters if Intensive Practicum Track.

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Applying

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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