Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate (ABAC)
This 18-credit certificate program is designed to increase the professional training of individuals responsible for designing, implementing, and monitoring behavioral treatment and verbal behavior training programs in schools, private practices, and agencies such as psychiatric hospitals and training centers. Certificate does not meet teacher licensure.
Applied Behavior Analysis is a discipline devoted to understanding human behavior and the variables to which it is related, and to bringing about improvements in human behavior and the quality of life that are significant to the individuals involved, through application of empirically validated, scientific methodology to real-world problems and solutions. Applied Behavior Analysis has applications in business and industry; autism, mental retardation, and intellectual disabilities; education at all levels; treatment of psychiatric disorders and family relationships; geriatrics; general and specialty medicine; and numerous other areas.
The Certificate Program in Applied Behavior Analysis prepares students to become competent practitioners of behavior analysis, and contributors to the discipline. Content of the courses in this program is derived from the Task List published by the national Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) as well as the Board's Guidelines for Responsible Conduct. It is approved to meet course requirements to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Examination, administered semi-annually. For more information on the Board and the examination, please visit the Board's website at www.bacb.com. Activities are varied, depending on the types of student behavioral repertoires being shaped in the context of particular activities.
Coursework (18 Credits)
- EDSE 619: Applied Behavior Analysis: Principles, Procedures, and Philosophy (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 621: Applied Behavior Analysis: Empirical Bases (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 623: Applied Behavior Analysis: Assessments and Interventions (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 624: Applied Behavior Analysis: Applications (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 625: Applied Behavior Analysis: Verbal Behavior (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 664: Ethical and Professional Conduct for Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)
Eligibility to sit for the BACB certification examination requires completion of coursework and experience requirements. Students may complete all of the hours needed to satisfy the BACB's supervised experience requirement through Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis.
GMU provides both the training and practicum requirements through the 18-credit ABA Certificate program and the 15-credit ABA Practicum. Once enrolled into the ABAC program, individuals who intend to sit for the national certification exam, can opt for the following: (a) supervised independent fieldwork*, (b) standard practicum track, or (c) intensive practicum track. Individuals can be supervised on-the-job if the placement meets BACB requirements. GMU also provides paid and unpaid practicum placement options (see application date for placement). Individuals completing practicum through the university must obtain professional liability insurance and provide proof of coverage to their practicum supervisor and site personnel prior to starting the practicum. The price of professional liability insurance ranges from $10-$59 for the year.
*Supervised Independent Fieldwork is for students who have appropriate employment settings. This option is not taken with George Mason and instead, the student will work with a qualified BCBA certified supervisor and will report directly to BACB. For more information on this, visit the following site: http://www.bacb.com/index.php?page=69.
Tuition Assistance and Grant Funding
VA-ABA Consortium Cohort: The VA-ABA Consortium is comprised of four universities: George Mason University, Lynchburg College, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. The cohort is open to Virginia residents. With sufficient enrollment, students are eligible for tuition at discounted rates. Classes are offered through face-to-face meetings using a combination of video conferencing, web conferencing, and Blackboard. Students will travel to the nearest university that is providing the courses. Students who meet the distance requirements may be permitted to take courses from home. All courses are offered in the evenings to meet the needs of those who are working full time.
Paid internships: In order to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Examination, students must meet coursework and supervised experience requirements. Through collaborative agreements with third party agencies (e.g., schools, non-profits, families), George Mason University provides funding opportunities for students to meet these supervision requirements. Internship experiences and tuition assistance are available for students who commit to a 1 or 2 year practicum experience working with sponsoring agencies. Students may complete these internships either in conjunction with the ABA certificate coursework at George mason, or after completing George Mason's ABA certificate coursework. Internship experiences offered by George Mason University have been granted Approved Experience status by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (www.bacb.com).
Cohort program: The Special Education program works collaboratively with a number of school divisions in Virginia to offer special education certificates and degree programs to school employees using a cohort model. This model provides convenience to the students and forms a better link between academia and school realities. Additional benefits of the cohort model include tuition discounts, classes located in the students' school divisions and course scheduling in alignment with school division calendars.
Graduate Research Assistantships: Part time positions are available for students interested in providing research support to faculty.