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BCBA Degree Programs

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) degree is a graduate-level program that helps students learn about behavior analysis. Behavior analysis is the process of studying behavior in order to determine appropriate behavioral interventions. BCBA degrees and certifications will allow graduates to become practitioners who provide behavior analysis services as a form of treatment. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is commonly used to treat adults and children with autism, but it is not exclusive to that. It is a very documented, researched, and effective method for individuals with Autism or other disorders. Applied Behavior Analysts can work with individuals ranging from infants to adults and those older in age. They may work in schools, homes, and businesses.

To become certified as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, it is necessary for prospects to complete a BCBA program or graduate coursework in behavior analysis as well as meet a specific supervised experience requirement. Other degree options are a BCBA-D, leading to a doctorate level degree and a BCaBA, which qualifies students to be an assistant behavior analyst. It is possible to find accredited BCBA programs at local universities or colleges. There are also many available BCBA programs online. A few of the best BCBA programs online include Western Connecticut State University, University of Southern Maine, Ball State University, Brandman University, Cairn University, Penn State University, and Texas A&M. These programs will lead to an MS in Behavior Analysis. If a prospective applicant has already completed an accredited graduate-level degree program, they can pursue a 19 credit BCBA certification online program. Before the candidate takes the BCBA certification examination there is an additional requirement of fieldwork experience that must be completed. Candidates may be given the options of supervised independent fieldwork, practicum, or intensive practicum. After completing the experience requirements, the candidate will then be qualified to take the BCBA certification examination.

The master's program consists of around thirty credits and will take around three to four semesters to complete. During the program, students will learn how to measure observable behavior, how to interpret the data, and how to maintain, increase, or decrease the behaviors. Some of the common coursework in online BCBA certification programs include ethical and professional conduct, experimental design, and elements of behavior change.

In order to apply for a BCBA degree, applicants typically need to have a bachelors degree from an accredited institution, as well as a minimum grade point average depending on the school. It may be necessary to check with the school of interest for the specific requirements. The school will also require the student to submit a copy of their official transcript included all earned grades.

Individuals with a BCBA degree will have a great employment outlook due to their high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to see a 30% growth by the year 2020. Applied Behavior analysts are in high demand by organizations that work with individuals on the autism spectrum. Other employment options can be found in education and social service.