Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a discipline that uses principles of learning and motivation to promote positive behavior change in children and adults. ABA practices have been proven to be effective in areas of organizational behavior, sports performance, and early childhood education.
ABA is often used to treat people who have behavioral disorders, particularly autism spectrum disorder. The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) states that professionals who have studied ABA can help people with autism improve social interactions, maintain positive behaviors, lessen interfering behaviors, and even learn new skills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that behavioral disorders are becoming more prevalent in the U.S., meaning there could be a growing need for the services of applied behavior analysts in the future.
5 Online Applied Behavior Analysis Courses
A Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis is an advanced degree that combines high-level scientific and research training with practical clinical experience in behavioral assessment and treatment. The program is tailored for students with backgrounds in health science who are pursuing leadership roles in the field of behavioral therapy.
The online applied behavior analysis courses offered as part of this master’s degree program help students achieve a deeper understanding of the principles, methods, and leadership skills that are essential in ABA-related careers.
For example, the following are just a few of the courses that may be offered in an online ABA master’s program:
● Concepts and Principles I: Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
This is an introductory course designed to give students an overview of applied behavior analysis and its treatment goals. The course covers behavior analysis theory, literature, and key scientific concepts and procedures.
● Treatment Evaluation
This course provides students with a working knowledge of systems for measuring behavior, presenting patient data, and analyzing behavioral changes in graphic displays. These methods are essential for evaluating the effectiveness of treatments, a critical step in applied behavior analysis interventions.
● Behavior Assessment
In this course, students receive an overview of the major issues, methods, and ethics involved in behavioral assessment. In targeting behaviors for change, behavior analysts utilize methods, such as descriptive assessments, functional analyses, indirect assessments, and skill assessments throughout the treatment process. Students are also taught how to prepare for any unwanted side effects of function-based interventions.
● Behavior Intervention
Professional behavior analysts use behavior interventions to reduce negative behaviors and increase positive academic and social behaviors. This course shows students strategies for identifying, applying, and maintaining these interventions. An emphasis is also placed on training and supervising the application of behavioral intervention plans.
● Ethical Practices in Applied Behavior Analysis
Students pursuing a career in this field must understand the ethical and legal issues relevant to applied behavior analysis. This course uses the ethical principles supported by the BACB as guidelines. Ethical scenarios are presented to students who must evaluate them and then design proper courses of action to address them.
The ABA master’s degree program offers a full curriculum of online applied behavior analysis courses that help to build the strengths and skills that health science professionals may later utilize throughout their careers. Taking the step toward an advanced degree helps prepare students for certification and may help open doors for a number of higher-level careers.
Acquiring the Tools for High-Level Careers
Behavior analysts work in a variety of organizations, from schools and child care centers to hospitals and residential treatment facilities. Earning a master’s degree assists these professionals in developing the tools they need to help parents, teachers, and health care administrators evaluate the behavior of children, students, and patients. Courses in behavior assessment and treatment evaluation, for example, provide graduates with the skills necessary to develop effective plans to treat their future clients.
In addition to completing their coursework, students pursuing this degree practice skills such as leadership, communication, analytics, cultural awareness, time management, and conflict resolution during their clinical experience. These experiences are facilitated by the school, with faculty providing feedback to the student throughout the term. During this experience, students can build a strong resume to prepare for their desired career after graduation. There are many career paths that an ABA program graduate can pursue, some of which require advanced credentials such as the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification. Some popular occupations for professionals who have earned a master’s in ABA include:
● ABA training coordinator
● Board Certified Behavior Analyst®
● Clinical director
● Clinical supervisor
● School-based therapist
● University/college professor
While ABA coursework and practicum experiences provide the foundational knowledge for behavior analysis professionals, employers will often look for additional years of experience for supervisor and director level positions.
Pursuing an advanced education online makes earning a master’s degree more accessible and flexible for the working professional by offering freedom of location and the ability to match curriculum intensity to lifestyle. Regis College offers the online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program remotely with no in-person attendance required. Communication with faculty and classmates is also easily facilitated through the online platform. Earning a degree online provides professionals with the opportunity to achieve their goals and advance their careers while balancing the possible demands of work and family life.
If you are interested in developing a deeper understanding of human behavior to prepare for your future career or excel in your current one, learn more about the MS ABA degree program at Regis College today.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2014”