Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) - M.A. or M.A.T.

Program snapshot

TOTAL CREDITS 37
AVERAGE COMPLETION TIME 2 years
COST PER CREDIT $635*
COURSE FORMAT Evening classes on campus
APPLICATION DEADLINE Nov. 1 for spring enrollment.
April 1 for fall enrollment.

*for the 2017-18 academic year

Overview:

  • Whitworth's ABA coursework and Intensive Practicum are verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®.
  • Combine the ABA course sequence with a special education endorsement and master's degree, or with a master's in behavior analysis.
  • ABA course-sequence-only option is available for those who already hold a master's degree in an approved area.
  • Work on-site to provide intensive behavior analytic treatment to children with neurodevelopmental disabilities at Northwest Autism Center's on-campus location.
  • Complete the program in as little as two years.

Whitworth’s BACB-verified course sequence can be completed by itself or as part of a master’s degree in either behavior analysis or special education. Over the course of the program, you’ll be trained to help better the lives of children and adults struggling with behaviors ranging from difficulty with everyday social interactions, to complex disorders such as autism spectrum disorder. If you choose to complete the coursework as part of the master’s degree, you’ll have the opportunity to put what you’ve learned to practice working on-site at Northwest Autism Center’s on-campus location, as you complete the Intensive Practicum requirements necessary to sit for the BCBA Exam.

M.A. IN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (37 credits)

Whitworth’s 37-credit ABA program allows you to complete a BACB-verified course sequence, Intensive Practicum (supervised by a university-affiliated BCBA), and a Master of Arts in Behavior Analysis.

Completion of this program will equip you with the degree, coursework, and supervised BACB-approved fieldwork experience requirements to meet eligibility to apply to take the Board Certification Behavior Analysis Examination®.

M.A.T., SPECIAL EDUCATION AND ENDORSEMENT (37 credits)

Certified teachers can earn a special education endorsement and M.A.T. in special education simultaneously while completing the ABA course sequence. Please speak with an academic advisor for details.

Completion of this program will equip you with the degree, coursework, and supervised BACB-approved fieldwork experience requirements to meet eligibility to apply to take the BCBA Examination.

BCBA Certification

In order to meet the requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®, students must complete the following:

  • a graduate degree in an approved academic area from an accredited university;
  • a verified course sequence; and
  • supervised BACB-approved fieldwork experience.

At the end of Whitworth’s 37-credit master’s program, students will have completed the above requirements.

Specific eligibility requirements to sit for the board examination are listed on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® website.

Candidates must pass the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Examination® to become certified. The BACB® is the only credentialing organization for professionals within the discipline.

Convenient Schedule for Working Professionals

Keep your daytime commitments with Whitworth's ABA program, designed specifically for those who work during the day. On-campus classes for this program meet during the late afternoon or in the evenings.

Serve Your Community

You'll have the opportunity to engage in social advocacy and public services that reinforce Whitworth's Christian call to serve humanity within our own community. Field experiences include providing intensive behavior analytic treatment to children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, at Northwest Autism Center's on-campus location.

Enhance Your Career Opportunities

Behavior analysts obtain specialized training to address behavioral challenges in children and adults by applying a systematic scientific approach that addresses mild to severe disabilities; this includes exploring everyday social interactions and moving on to more complex disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and substance abuse. Behavior analysts are well-qualified to work in a variety of environments in both the public and private sector. The majority of behavior analysts provide direct ABA services. However, others are employed to implement administration or supervision directly related to providing ABA services. Many other behavior analysts work independently as consultants.

According to the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts' 2014 U.S. Professional Employment Survey, about 97 percent of behavior analysts indicated that there was sufficient demand for their services. Among those who were employed full time, more than 30 percent reported an annual income from $65,000 to $85,000, and nearly 23 percent reported an annual income from $45,000 to $65,000.

Though behavior analysts are best known for advances in autism treatment and support, graduates trained in applied behavior analysis can also work as consultants and independent contractors, and as BCBA® professionals. Whitworth's ABA program is a good fit for those interested in teaching, social work, mental health and counseling programs, criminal justice, and other behavioral services.

ABA Course Sequence (22 credits)

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants must meet additional requirements to qualify.*

Students interested in earning a special education endorsement and/or master's degree while completing the ABA course sequence must meet additional program requirements.

ABA training culminates in the successful completion of a capstone project. Capstone projects are socially significant, behavior-analytic projects that allow you to assume a leadership role while integrating the skills you acquired during field experiences with what you learned throughout the ABA coursework.

Fieldwork Experience (15 Credits)

Whitworth’s supervised BACB-approved fieldwork experience and ABA course sequence were designed to be closely integrated so you can effectively apply the knowledge and skills you acquire during coursework to your practicum experience. As part of our commitment to your success, we’ll even match you with a university-affiliated BCBA supervisor and site placement.

The department-facilitated field experiences include a combination of ABA-related research opportunities and internship experiences, and meet BACB requirements for an “Intensive Practicum” experience.* (The Intensive Practicum requires 750 hours supervised experience, while the Practicum alone requires 1,000 supervised hours).

The fieldwork experience requirements include 25 hours of work per week for three semesters, totaling 750 hours of experience supervised by a university-affiliated BCBA supervisor.

*Requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination include a graduate degree in an approved field, successful completion of a BACB-verified course sequence, and supervised BACB-approved fieldwork experience. Please see the BACB website for more information regarding exam eligibility.

What is applied behavior analysis (ABA)?

Applied behavior analysis is the application of behavior-learning principles, including the understanding, explanation, and prediction of human behavior in order to apply interventions systematically to improve an individual's social behavior.

Can I work while in the program?

Yes. This program is designed for working professionals. Classes meet on campus only once per week and are scheduled in the evenings for your convenience.

Can I transfer coursework from a different program?

Up to six credits of approved coursework may be transferred. In the instance that a previously completed course is the same in content and structure, students may petition to be excused from the course at Whitworth. Please speak with an academic advisor for details.

What does "BACB-verified" coursework mean?

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® has verified the coursework in the Whitworth program as fulfilling the coursework requirement to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination.® Completion of the course sequence alone does not fulfill all requirements to sit for the exam. Please see the BACB® website for more information regarding exam eligibility.

How can I use this after I graduate?

Graduates trained in ABA often accept positions working in school districts, private schools, consulting companies, and other organizations that provide behavioral services to children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. However, you may choose to continue your education with a Ph.D. program in behavior analysis, psychology, education, or social sciences.

How is Whitworth connected to the Northwest Autism Center?

Whitworth University has partnered with Northwest Autism Center to provide an on-campus clinic providing intensive, behavior-analytic treatment to children with neurodevelopmental disabilities from the local community. Students in Whitworth's MAT Special Education Program will have the opportunity to apply for internships through Northwest Autism Center.

How many practicum hours do I need to take the BCBA Exam?

750 hours of work at the university-affiliated site placement which would include 75 hours of direct supervision by a BCBA supervisor are required and distributed as follows:

EDU 585A - 250 practicum hours (25 supervised hours)

EDU 585B - 250 practicum hours (25 supervised hours)

EDU 585C - 250 practicum hours (25 supervised hours)

I work more hours at the hosting agency than are required. Can I log them all?

No. Students may only log the required 250 practicum hours per semester (25 of which are supervised) to ensure the correct number of hours are directly supervised, per BACB guidelines. Please visit www.BACB.com for more information.

How do I find a BCBA supervisor and placement?
Whitworth matches students with their BCBA supervisors and site placements, which are already approved by the BACB. Students enrolled in Whitworth’s master’s programs are required to use the university-affiliated agency as their site placement. Please speak with an advisor for more details.

Can I take the fieldwork experience sequence in any order?
No. The fieldwork experiences were designed in sequence to build upon a knowledge base and work-related training opportunities that increase with each successive course.

OUR MISSION

Whitworth's mission is to provide its diverse student body an education of mind and heart, equipping its graduates to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.

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