2020’s Top Online Graduate Certificates in Applied Behavior Analysis
If you want to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or pursue similar careers helping those with behavioral issues, you’ll first need the proper education. Earning an online applied behavior analysis (ABA) graduate certificate is a popular way to get it, especially for those wh. With so many programs now available online, it’s important to find a school that is properly accredited, aligns with your learning preferences, and prepares you to successfully take the BCBA exam. In order to help you weigh your options, we’ve identified the best online ABA graduate certificate programs in the country. Continue reading to learn what makes these schools stand out from the rest.
Colleges with online graduate ABA certificate programs on this list meet the following standards:
- Holds programmatic accreditation or Verified Course Sequence (VCS) approval (Fifth Edition) from the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), and fulfills coursework eligibility requirements to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam.
- Holds institutional accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
FAQs About Online ABA Grad Certificate Programs
When you’re looking for the right online ABA grad certificate program, you’re most likely going to have several questions. How long does it take to complete these programs? How much will I have to pay to get this credential? What will I learn when I enroll? In order to help you better understand what an online ABA certificate entails, we have compiled answers to some common questions below.
ABA Grad Certificate vs. Master’s Degree: Which Is Right for You?
Although ABA certificates and master’s degrees cover a lot of the same course material, these programs are somewhat different. While certificate programs allow students to get a glimpse of applied behavior analysis in order to familiarize themselves with topics like assessments, behavioral modification plans, and appropriate consequences for behaviors, master’s degree programs go more in depth on the topics covered in the curriculum. In addition, people who earn ABA master’s degrees may have the opportunity to choose a concentration to focus on. Another key idea for prospective ABA students to keep in mind is that if they want to take the BCBA exam, a certificate program may not be enough to qualify them for the test unless the curriculum includes supervised clinical experiences.
Reasons to Choose an ABA Graduate Certificate
- You want to complete your studies quickly.
- You want to complete the required coursework for BCBA certification.
- You want to expand your knowledge of special education.
- You already have an advanced degree in psychology, special education, or a related subject.
Reasons to Choose an ABA Master’s Degree
- You want the opportunity to choose a concentration—such as autism spectrum disorders, substance abuse, or emotional and behavioral wellness—in order to become an expert in a specific topic related to applied behavior analysis.
- You want to ensure hands-on training during your program that satisfies BCBA fieldwork requirements
- You want to gain expertise in applied behavior analysis research.
- You’re coming straight from a bachelor’s degree.
Accreditation & Verified Course Sequences (VCS) for ABA Online Grad Certificates
In order for prospective ABA students to ensure they are getting the quality education they need to achieve their career goals, they should enroll in a school that has been accredited. A college or university itself can receive accreditation through organizations like the Accrediting Commission for Schools, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Higher Learning Commission, or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For ABA programs specifically, however, accreditation is granted by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). This organization reviews ABA programs on the quality of their curriculum, administration, faculty, amenities, and student outcomes.
However, those who want to earn an ABA certificate should keep in mind that the ABAI does not accredit graduate certificate programs directly. Instead, they approve certificate programs through their Verified Course Sequence (VCS) designation—a process that is designed to certify that the curriculum of a program meets the eligibility requirements to sit for the BCBA exam. Currently, in order to receive a VCS, the content of programs must cover ABA professional and ethical conduct, behavior analysis principles, data analysis, experimental design, assessment, specific behavior change procedures, interventions, and management and supervision. These standards are set to change in 2022, however. Under the new Fifth Edition requirements, ABA programs will be required to cover professionalism, concepts and principles, measurement, behavior assessment, behavior change procedures, and personnel supervision in order to receive a VCS.
Information on programs that have received a VCS from the ABAI can be found here, and accredited schools can be found on the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education’s website.