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Daemen's Applied Behavior Analysis program earns national approval

STAFF REPORTS

AMHERST, N.Y. -- Daemen College's Applied Behavior Analysis Program has earned approval from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), Inc., for having met coursework requirements for graduates to take the national board certification examination.  

With this designation, Daemen is one of only five institutions across the state to offer an ABA program that is both New York State registered and holds the BACB Verified Course Sequence (VCS) distinction, which applies to the college's traditional on campus program.

"Receiving approval from the applied behavior analysis national credentialing body confirms the strength of the coursework and rigorous academics that have been established for our program," said Dr. Vicki Madaus Knapp, ABA program director. "Our program is designed for students to develop a high-level of specialized skills and competency required for the board certification exam."

As a VCS approved program, Daemen's master's degree in applied behavior analysis and advanced certificate program have met the 270-hour coursework requirement for program graduates to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination, a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Board verification also indicates the college's ABA program, which was launched last year, has attained specific faculty standards.

The BACB noted, "We believe that this verification process is an important step in creating an educational and career path for professional behavior analysts that will be beneficial to all."

Daemen'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 is designed for students who hold a bachelor's degree in psychology, education, social work, sociology, or health promotion. Program graduates are eligible to apply for licensure as a behavior analyst in New York State without the need for additional course review.

For the master's program, ABA students are required to complete coursework in basic concepts and principles of behavior analysis, clinical change procedures, ethics and professionalism, and other core areas, a capstone research thesis, and 150 clinical hours.

The advanced certificate program provides post-graduate training for students who 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 the New York State required coursework to be eligible for the state license in behavior analysis.

According to a 2018 report conducted for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, the annual demand for professionals who hold BCBA or BCBA-D (doctoral) certification increased 800% from 2010 to 2017 and increased in almost every state. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in the psychology field, which includes behavior analyst positions, will grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Typically, behavior analysts are employed in school districts, clinics, group homes, hospitals, and agencies that serve individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders.

More information on Daemen's applied behavior analysis program is available by contacting Megan Beardi at mbeardi@daemen.edu or call 716-839-8225 or 1-800-462-7652.