Assumption Launches Applied Behavior Analysis Programs

Jan 04, 2019

Behavior analysis is a field with an increasingly growing demand. According to a 2015 study conducted by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the demand for behavior analyst jobs more than doubled between 2012-14. Though this is a national trend, the increase was most heavily concentrated in Massachusetts, California and New Jersey. In order to help meet this societal need, Assumption is launching Master of Arts and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) programs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), beginning fall 2016. Upon completion of the degree program, graduates can apply for ABA licensure in Massachusetts and sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam—a credential that is in most demand among behavior analyst positions.

ABA is the science of learning and behavior used in order to solve socially significant problems (to influence changes in behavior that are meaningful to individuals and those around them). ABA emphasizes the influence of the environment in behavior change and involves direct observation of behavior, data collection and analysis, and systematic changes to the environment in order to understand the cause of socially-significant behavior and improve that behavior. By first understanding the cause, analysts are able to develop more effective, long-lasting and socially acceptable methods of changing our own behavior and the behavior of others.

“There is currently a great need to address challenges related to human behavior, not only in the area of intervention for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, but also in aspects that directly affect people’s lives,” said Karen Lionello-DeNolf, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, director of the ABA programs at Assumption. “The Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis program at Assumption gives students the power to create positive and significant changes in the lives of the clients they serve and their families. Our students will be able to effectively apply the principles of behavior to solve socially significant problems in a wide variety of situations.”

ABA is the only evidence-based intervention available for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Given the increase in the number of individuals diagnosed with ASD, it is likely that most people, in any career, will be required to work with or provide services for individuals on the spectrum. Completing coursework in ABA will therefore be relevant for students who will be working with individuals with ASD in a wide variety of settings.

While the most common association with ABA is working with individuals with ASD and other developmental and intellectual disabilities, there are many other fields where the interventions and teaching procedures based on ABA have an impact. An ABA degree is relevant in clinical psychology, medicine, counseling, job effectiveness, sports training, environmental protection, education, exercise and health, business, criminology, and other areas.