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Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis Online | Certified Behavior Analyst CAGS

Applied Behavior Analysis (Certificate/MS/CAGS)

This is an Online Program

The Northeastern University Applied Behavior Analysis programs, which include certificate, Master of Science, and CAGS programs, are designed to develop teaching and intervention skills. Lectures are built around projects that can be completed either in the workplace or elsewhere in the community. These projects include functional analyses, preference assessments, intervention programs, and other procedures directly related to the practice of applied behavior analysis. Whenever possible, learning partnerships are formed between Northeastern University and students’ employers that incorporate work supervisors into the teaching processes. Workplace discussion groups and team projects link practice to studies.

Program Overview

Mastering behavioral teaching and treatment procedures prepares you to assist others in reaching their full potential. As a behavioral specialist, you can help people such as children and adults with autism to achieve independence in activities of daily living, communicate effectively with others, participate in community activities, acquire academic skills, and engage in positive social interactions.

The courses, which are both online and hybrid, fit contemporary lifestyles and make use of modern technology such as podcasts and Wimba classrooms. These features permit flexible schedules while creating increased communication with instructors and fellow students.

All Northeastern Applied Behavior Analysis programs contain the content students need to take the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) exam. Through our Learning Partnership Program, we also offer options through which students may fulfill the experience requirement necessary to take the exam.

Application Due Dates

Fall – August 1

Spring – Dec 1

Contact Information

Laura Dudley, MS, BCBA
Program Director
Applied Behavior Analysis Programs
404 Int’l Village
617.373.5150
l.dudley@neu.edu

Certificate Program

The Northeastern University Certificate Program in Applied Behavior Analysis is designed for post-master’s degree individuals who want to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs).

The course content is based on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Fourth Edition Task List and prepares students to take the BACB exam. The six semester-length courses (18 credits) include the courses listed under the Sample Program Plan.

Programs of instruction are designed to suit students’ individual requirements. The online aspects of the courses allow students to attend lectures and view supplementary material on their own schedules and to take advantage of technological advances that promote student learning and increase student-to-instructor and student-to-student communication.

Though project requirements, which are the foundation of the program design, students acquire competency in using fundamental applied behavioral procedures. A structured supervision program, which is available through the Learning Partnership Program, allows students to attain the supervision hours required to take the BACB exam.

While the program is designed for post-master’s students, courses are open to individuals interested in becoming Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs). For these students, only a bachelor’s degree is required. All applicants are expected to have 3.00 undergraduate GPA.

Sample Program Plan

Fall Year 1
CAEP 6327 Behavior Assessment
CAEP 6328 Research Design and Methods

Spring Year 1
CAEP 6334 Applied Programming 1
CAEP 6331 Advanced Learning 1

Fall Year 2
CAEP 6329 Service Administration
CAEP 6336 Systematic Inquiry in Applied Research 1

No Summer Classes

Apply

M.S. Program

The 30-credit Northeastern University Master of Science in Applied program extends the student’s knowledge of applied behavior analysis beyond basic principles and procedures to more advanced concepts. While retaining a practitioner focus, the program gives students in-depth knowledge of topics such as conditioned reinforcement, motivational influences on behavior, and errorless teaching procedures. With this background, program graduates are prepared to address the most complex behavior problems and learning challenges.

Students complete six courses that prepare them to take the Board Analyst Certification Board (BACB) exam. An additional four courses extends the students’ familiarity with clinical procedures and with the research supporting their use, and refines the students’ knowledge of basic behavioral principles.

In lieu of a master’s thesis, the students prepare a Professional Portfolio in which they compile evidence of the competencies they have achieved in the program. The evidence is gathered from the projects that are associated with their course work such as preference assessments, functional analyses, and intervention programs.

All courses, which are presented in an online or hybrid format, take advantage of technological advances that facilitate student learning. Though project requirements, which are the foundation of the program design, students become competent in using fundamental applied behavioral procedures. An optional structured supervision program, which is available through the Learning Partnership Program, allows students to acquire the supervision hours required to take the BACB exam.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, special education or a related field. The area of study requirement may be waived for applicants who have work experience with people with special needs. All applicants are expected to have 3.00 undergraduate GPA.

Sample Program Plan

Fall Year 1
CAEP 6327 Behavior Assessment
CAEP 6328 Research Design and Methods

Spring Year 1
CAEP 6334 Applied Programming 1
CAEP 6331 Advanced Learning 1

Summer 1
CAEP 6336 Systematic Inquiry in Applied Research 1
CAEP 6329 Service Administration

Fall Year 2
CAEP 6332 Advanced Learning 2
CAEP 6337 Systematic Inquiry in Applied Research 2

Spring Year 2
CAEP 6324 Programmed Learning
CAEP 6335 Applied Programming 2

Apply

CAGS

The 30-credit Northeastern University Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) degree is offered to post-master’s degree individuals seeking to become a Board Certified Applied Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and to develop a specific area of clinical expertise within applied behavior analysis.

Students initially complete six courses that prepare them to take the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BABC) exam. Specialized clinical expertise is then developed through four three-credit advanced courses that focus on a single area such as Autism, Teaching Technology, and Early Intervention. The courses include an initial foundation course which provides the background for two intervention courses. The sequence is concluded with a capstone course in which the students complete a literature review that explores the research and clinical practices related to a single problem within the area of specialization.

All courses, which are presented in an online or hybrid format, take advantage of technological advances that facilitate student learning. Though project requirements, which are the foundation of the program design, students become competent in using fundamental applied behavioral procedures. An optional structured supervision program, which is available through the Learning Partnership Program, allows students to acquire the supervision hours required to take the BCBA exam.

Applicants must have a master’s degree in psychology, special education, or a related field and experience working with individuals with special needs. It is expected that students will be employed either in an educational or the human services agency concurrent with their enrollment in the program.

Sample Program Plan

Fall Year 1
CAEP 6327 Behavior Assessment
CAEP 6328 Research Design and Methods

Spring Year 1
CAEP 6334 Applied Programming 1
CAEP 6331 Advanced Learning 1

Summer 1
CAEP 6336 Systematic Inquiry in Applied Research 1

Fall Year 2
CAEP 6329 Service Administration
Foundations in Specialization Area

Spring Year 2
Behavior Intervention 1: Specialization Area
Behavior Intervention 2: Specialization Area

Summer 2
CAEP 6337 Systematic Inquiry in Applied Research 2

The capstone for the program is the Professional Portfolio. This portfolio, which is complied electronically, documents the student’s acquisition of critical behavioral procedures.

Apply

Learning Partnership Program

The Northeastern University Applied Behavior Analysis Programs on based the concept of learning communities that include not only the students and instructors but also members of the educational and human services organizations in which the students work. Partnerships are formed between Northeastern University and the students’ workplaces that integrate work supervisors into educational process. Each partnership is individually designed based on workplace resources.

In cases where several students work at one location, courses may be offered in hybrid formats that allow on-site instruction and supervision of project requirements. Project requirements may also be tailored to incorporate students work responsibilities and to teach competencies that address immediate workplace needs.

Workplace supervisors may participate in the Northeastern University ABA Supervision Program which provides structured projects that guide students’ practical experience. This program is designed to meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Board requirements; therefore, participating supervisors must have a BCBA.

Importantly, each partner program may select an employee to serve on the Northeastern University ABA Programs Professional Advisory Board. This board provides an on-going source of information regarding the Northeastern ABA programs content and design and informs their revision.

Organizations interested in participating in the Learning Partnership Program may contact Dr. Karen Gould for more information ka.gould@neu.edu

Students are accepted into the program based on undergraduate grades and GRE or MAT scores, which are reviewed by the program director. Applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution and whose native language is not english must also take the TOEFL or IELTS.

Professional Portfolio

The Professional Portfolio is the capstone for both the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) programs. This portfolio documents the student’s behavioral competency in critical clinical skills. These skills, each of which is associated with a specific project, include:

Intake Assessment    Functional Analysis    Task Analysis   
Preference Assessment    Antecedent Intervention    Discrimination Training   
Reinforcer Assessment    Consequence Intervention    Literature Review   

Course assignments assist the student in designing and executing the projects associated with the skills, and in preparing the documentation required for their inclusion in the Professional Portfolio.

A faculty member reviews and signs each project in the Professional Portfolio. The signature indicates that student has achieved the faculty established standards for the project. Graduates are encouraged to use their Professional Portfolios when applying for employment.

Although a thesis is not required for graduation from either the Master of Science or CAGS program, students interested in research may combine two or three of the Professional Portfolio items into a research project. For example, the student may complete a literature on stereotypical behavior, then conduction a functional analysis and intervention with a participant who exhibits that behavior. The research project is then prepared in journal format for inclusion in the Professional Portfolio.

Projects may be submitted for inclusion in the Professional Portfolio at any time during the graduate program. When the student has completed all Professional Portfolio requirements, the program director should be notified so that a final review may take place. A complete Professional Portfolio is required for graduation.

Apply to the Applied Behavior Analysis Program.
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