Positive Behavior Support, Graduate Certificate FAQ
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) Program
1. Will this coursework allow me to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)? Accordion Closed
Yes, but it is only one step in the process. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the courses in the Positive Behavior Support Graduate Certificate program as meeting the 4th edition Task List coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (Option 1) examination. The BACB website details the other eligibility requirements (e.g., independent supervised fieldwork, relevant Master’s degree).
2. What other requirements are necessary to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA)? Accordion Closed
The information below comes from www.bacb.com. Please use that website as your official source of information about board certification. The NAU PBS Grad Cert meets the “Coursework” requirements. Students will be responsible to meet all other requirements on their own.
- Possession of a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited university that was (a) conferred in behavior analysis, education, or psychology, or (b) conferred in a degree program in which the candidate completed a BACB® approved course sequence
Experience supervised by a BCBA in either of the following ( see also http://www.BACB.com/index.php?page=69 ):
- Supervised Independent Fieldwork: To qualify under this standard at the BCBA® level, supervisees must complete 1500 hours of Supervised Independent Fieldwork in behavior analysis. A supervisory period is one month. In order to count experience hours within any given supervisory period, supervisees must be supervised during that period for no less than 5% of the total hours spent in Supervised Independent Fieldwork. For example, 20 hours of experience would include at least 1 supervised hour.
- No more than 50% of the accrued experience hours can be in the direct implementation of behavioral programs
- The start-date and end-date of experience may not be more than five years apart
Pass the BACB® Examination
3. Are the requirements to become a Licensed Behavior Analyst in AZ the same as those to become a BCBA®? Accordion Closed
Mostly: The coursework requirements listed above are greater than those required for licensing in Arizona. One big difference to note is in the Experience requirements. To become licensed one must have completed 1500 hours of experience by supervised by someone who is a supervisor licensed in AZ, with some exceptions. For more information see the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners website.
4. Do you offer University Practicum or Intensive practicum that is accepted for BCBA®certification? Accordion Closed
6. Do you offer a complete master’s degree or just the certificate? Accordion Closed
Both. If you already have a Master’s degree that the BACB deems relevant, you can complete just the PBS Grad Cert program. If you do not have a relevant Master’s degree, you can add four courses to the six PBS Grad Cert courses and earn a MEd in Special Education (without teacher certification), which is a relevant degree. There are a few other NAU Master’s and Educational Specialist programs of study that incorporate the PBS Grad Cert courses.
|Name of Program||Website||Contact||Can be Completed online|
|M.Ed. Human Relations||http://nau.edu/COE/Ed-Psych/Degrees-Programs/Graduate/MEd-Human-Relations/||Eugene.Moan@nau.edu||Yes|
|M.A. Psychology||http://nau.edu/SBS/Psych/Degrees-Programs/Graduate/|| |
|M.Ed. Special Education (non-cert)||http://nau.edu/COE/Ed-Specialties/Degrees-Programs/MED-Special-Education/||Juane.Heflin@nau.edu||Yes|
8. What is the difference between Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Accordion Closed
Many authors have described several differences such as a comprehensive lifespan perspective and contextual fit to real-life settings, while others have argued that there is no difference between ABA and PBS. The NAU PBS Grad Cert program is designed to prepare professionals who will conduct individual assessments and develop unique behavior plans to help people improve their problem (or challenging) behaviors. Students in the PBS Grad Cert are taught how to understand and used the principles of behavior that the science of ABA has discovered and to become behavior analysts. At the same time, the courses are structured in a way that students will learn to use the science not simply to reduce problem behavior, but to do so with the clear goal of making problem behavior irrelevant, ineffective, and inefficient. This is one of the lessons from the field of PBS.
10. Are there some days/times that I must set aside for class? Accordion Closed
In general, No. Students can work at 2:00 am if they want. Effort needs to be devoted to class each week as assignments are due weekly. In addition, you might want to schedule a specific time to meet with an instructor in a Virtual Office.
11. How difficult are the classes? Accordion Closed
Very Difficult. The BACB® requires that our courses cover certain content. The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) requires that a 3-credit graduate class equals approximately 135 actual hours of student effort. This breaks down into approximately nine hours per week (spring and fall semesters) and nearly 15 hours per week for summer classes.
12. Can I work full time and also take the classes? Accordion Closed
Yes, provided that you understand the expectations in #11 above.
13. Can I take more than one class at a time? Accordion Closed
Yes, provided that you understand the expectations in #11 above.
14. Are there any choices among the classes? Accordion Closed
No. The BACB has evaluated six specific courses in the Verified Course Sequence (VCS), and will check to see that those six courses have been completed for eligibility to take the exam.
15. In what order can I take the classes? Accordion Closed
A student could take ESE 519 and ESE 549 in any order, but cannot take ESE 529 without first taking ESE 519, and cannot take ESE 539 without first taking ESE 529.
16. When are the classes offered? Accordion Closed
Courses are offered in eight-week sessions so that students can take two courses each term (required for receipt of financial aid) but concentrate on one course at a time. Several courses are offered every 8 weeks, although ESE 549 and ESE 569 are not offered during Fall terms, while ESE 529 and ESE 559 are not offered during Summer term.
19. Will I be guaranteed to pass the BACB® Exam if I pass all courses? Accordion Closed
No. Students will be given every opportunity to learn the concepts that will be on the BACB® exam. If they take advantage of those opportunities they will do much better on the exam. But the ultimate responsibility for learning and preparing for the exam is the student’s. For each year that the BACB® has provided us with information on our graduates’ pass rate, we have been above the national average.
20. Who are the instructors? Accordion Closed
All classes are taught by BCBAs.
21. Who are the faculty mentors? Accordion Closed
The program coordinator and faculty mentor for the PBS Grad Cert is Dr. Juane Heflin, BCBA-D (Juane.firstname.lastname@example.org). Students who are dually enrolled in the PBS Grad Cert AND a master’s degree program may have a second adviser for the master’s degree program.
22. How accessible are the instructors and the faculty mentor? Accordion Closed
Because many classes are taught by clinical instructors their feedback will be current and practical. The bad news is that they are not at their computers 24/7 and cannot get back to students right away. Courses are designed to provide students with plenty of resources to be successful, and to save instructor time for personalized feedback on student work. This document was created to help students get answers to their questions without having to wait for a reply. Similarly, all course content is filled with helpful information, and students who read carefully are able to find answers to most of their questions. If the answer has already been written and students take the time to look for it, they will find it much faster than waiting for the instructor/faculty mentor to reply. However, ALL students are encouraged to contact their instructors or advisor immediately if they cannot find the answer to their questions.
23. How can I get answers to my questions? Accordion Closed
- First read all the material that has been made available to you (this FAQ, the weekly class lesson, the PBS Grad Cert website, the Registrar’s site, the Student Accounts’ site, the Financial Aid site… depending on your question).
- Next send an email to the instructor/faculty mentor with your question (emails are preferable to phone calls because they are a written record of the request).
- Include in that email enough background so that the instructor/faculty mentor fully grasps your question. If this is a continuation of an earlier conversation then reply to that conversation rather than starting a new thread, so that the background conversations are included.
- Also, include in the email the steps you’ve already taken to answer your question and the sites, people or other resources you’ve already consulted.
- If you prefer to talk by phone, then ask the instructor/faculty mentor to schedule a phone call.
In general, we are eager and happy to help all students who first take responsibility to find the answers to their questions. This is what working professionals must do. But students who are not prepared to do this for themselves will struggle as a student and as a professional. So keep this in mind before you apply.
24. What are the tuition and fees? Accordion Closed
Tuition and fees can change from one semester to the next. Since the PBS Grad Cert program is totally online, there is no in-state or out-of-state distinction. The NAU Online tuition schedule applies and can be found here.
25. What financial options are available? Accordion Closed
You can find out more from the Financial Aid office.
26. What technology must I have? Accordion Closed
Hardware: Computer with reliable high-speed Internet connection
Software: Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel (student discounts available at the NAU Bookstore or students can access the software through a virtual lab), plus Adobe Reader (free at https://www.adobe.com/downloads/).
27. What technology skills must I have? Accordion Closed
Students must be competent at creating/editing/renaming/saving MS Word and MS Excel files on their computer. They should be proficient at using email, including attaching files and downloading files. They should be very proficient at reading (documents, email, websites, etc) for comprehension, and writing clearly and professionally so that others can understand. This is not just to be successful in class but also to be successful as a professional behavior analyst.
28. How much time should I plan on spending on each class? Accordion Closed
Nine hours/week in Fall/Spring classes and 15 hours/week in Summer classes (see #11 above).
29. What will be expected of me if I am accepted? Accordion Closed
- check in several times per week
- read all lessons, readings, and other assigned materials
- ask if you don’t understand something
- take online quizzes
- complete written (typed) assignments and submit them to the instructor on time
- observe videos of others to assess behavior
- score your own work before submitting to an instructor
- take responsibility for your own learning
32. What are the application deadlines? Accordion Closed
You may begin this program in August, October, January, March, or June. Be sure to complete your program application early so you have time to register for classes.
*Make sure to select the “Positive Behavior Support Graduate Certificate (online)” when applying.
33. Why should I take ABA/PBS classes from NAU instead of another university? Accordion Closed
- The NAU PBS Certificate was the first of the Arizona universities to offer a BACB®-approved course sequence (for those pursuing BCBA)
- The NAU PBS Certificate was the first BACB®-approved course sequence with a focus on positive behavior support
- The instructors work in the field, remain current in their skills and in issues faced by behavior analysts
- The courses are continually revised each semester based on student and instructor feedback, and changes with the field
- Students of the NAU PBS Certificate learn the skills to effectively help teachers, parents and other caregivers to improve the problem behavior of their students and children without coercion
- Students of the NAU PBS Certificate learn the skills to work hard and persist until they find solutions to the problems they face
- Graduates of the NAU PBS Certificate have careers as PBS Specialists, BCBA’s, and licensed behavior analysts
- For each year that the BACB® has provided us with information on our graduates’ pass rate, we have been above the national average.