CHICOPEE — The College of Our Lady of the Elms has announced that its applied behavior analysis (ABA) course sequence was recently approved for the fifth edition by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
Applied behavior analysis is a leading science in the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior and skill deficits for individuals with and without disabilities. Most notably, behavior analysis is the leading treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders. Elms College’s 36-credit master’s program teaches students to work with children and adults with behavior problems or skill deficits.
BACB is a nonprofit established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services. Its certification requirements, exam content, and procedures undergo regular review according to international standards for organizations that grant professional credentials.
As a result of this review, every few years, BACB changes to a new task list outlining what programs should cover in courses. Elms has been working with the fourth edition since October 2012. With this approval, the Elms program has refocused five classes and added two courses, one in theoretical foundations and one in behavioral consultation, for the Verified Course Sequence.
“This early adoption allowed Elms College to revisit our courses and redesign them to ensure students are taking the most appropriate courses to become effective behavior analysts,” said Laura A Hanratty, Ph.D, BCBA-D, LABA, director of ABA and ASD graduate programs at Elms College. “The courses were redesigned with input from current adjunct faculty who are practicing behavior analysts in the local community, along with student feedback, to best meet the new BACB content guidelines.”
By refocusing its ABA courses, Elms now offers the opportunity for students in their second year to work more on research as research electives, or to take new electives focusing on additional applications of ABA that prepare students for work in the field.