Daemen College’s traditional and online degree options in the high-demand field of applied behavior analysis have received approval from the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) for meeting coursework requirements for the national board certification examination.
This international designation makes Daemen the only college in Western New York and one of only four statewide to have an ABA program that is both New York State registered and has earned the ABAI Verified Course Sequence (VCS) classification. With this program distinction, Daemen’s ABA graduates will be eligible to apply for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination, a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis, without the need for individual education review even after the new exam requirements go into effect in 2022.
“No course review before taking the exam is a benefit to our ABA graduates and is also of particular significance given current challenges nationally caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in meeting professional experience hours required to be a certified behavior analyst,” said Dr. Vicki Madaus Knapp, ABA department chair. “To earn VCS approval from such a distinguished organization is a credit to the quality of our ABA program and a validation that we are adhering to the highest academic standards in our coursework.”
Daemen’s status as a VCS approved program verifies that courses for the college’s master’s degree in applied behavior analysis and the advanced certificate program have met the specific coursework requirements, content hours, and faculty standards for program graduates to take the BCBA exam.
The college’s master’s degree program provides training in applied behavior analysis, an intervention approach commonly used with individuals with autism spectrum or related disorders. The graduate-level program, which is taught by highly experienced ABA professionals, is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, social work, sociology, health promotion, or other related area of study. Program graduates are eligible to apply for licensure as a behavior analyst in New York State without the need for additional course review.
ABA graduate students are required to complete coursework in basic concepts and principles of behavior analysis, clinical procedures, ethics and professionalism, and other core areas, a capstone research project, and 150 clinical hours.
The 32-credit hour advanced certificate program offers post-graduate training for students who have earned a master’s degree in education, special education, or psychology. The certificate program is also open to professionals with a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis who are interested in taking New York State’s required coursework to be eligible for the state license in behavior analysis.
Daemen’s fully online master’s degree and advanced certificate ABA programs are designed to provide greater flexibility for working professionals. The same high-quality curriculum and requirements are incorporated in both the online and on-campus program options.
According to a 2010-19 report from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, the annual demand for professionals who hold BCBA or BCBA-D (doctoral) certification has increased each year since 2010, with an 80 percent increase from 2018 to 2019 alone. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics projects that employment in the psychology field, which includes behavior analysts, is projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Behavior analysts are typically employed in school districts, clinics, group homes, hospitals, and agencies that serve individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders.