Popular Accredited BCBA Programs and Certification in Louisiana [Updated for 2023]

If you are eager to pursue a career where you can make a substantial difference in the lives of individuals with behavioral challenges, then pursuing a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) program in Louisiana might be the perfect path for you. In Louisiana, a range of institutions offer in-person and online BCBA programs, designed to equip you with the essential skills and knowledge to excel in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA).

BCBA programs in Louisiana adhere to the high standards set by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BCBA), ensuring that you receive a quality education that prepares you for real-world challenges. Let’s delve into the specifics of what BCBA programs in Louisiana have to offer.

Best Accredited Online BCBA and ABA Masters Programs in Louisiana

BCBA Programs in Louisiana

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering BCBA programs in Louisiana:

  • McNeese University
  • Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Simmons University
  • Pepperdine University
  • The Chicago School
  • University of Dayton

McNeese University

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

At McNeese, you can enroll in the master’s program in psychology with a focus on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This program is designed to offer you a comprehensive educational experience, grounded in the core principles of behavior analysis through a structured series of courses and practical experiences. This program is offered both in face-to-face and online formats.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the coursework requirements of this program for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination.

During your time in the program, you will build a solid foundation in the principles and procedures of behavior analysis. This will be achieved through coursework, a thesis, and gaining hands-on experience at the McNeese Autism Program (MAP), an outpatient treatment center. At MAP, you will work with individuals diagnosed with various neurodevelopmental disorders, helping to enhance their quality of life by developing important skills and reducing unhelpful behaviors.

Your learning journey will encompass 58 credit hours, which include 24 credit hours of core psychology classes and 34 credit hours focusing on ABA. The curriculum is designed to foster critical thinking and enhance your ability to communicate scientifically, especially in real-world applications of behavior analysis. You will also have the opportunity to engage in behavior analytic research with diverse populations and are encouraged to share your findings at regional and national conferences.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Principles of Learning and Behavior
  • Single-Subject Methodology
  • Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis
  • Applied Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior

An integral part of the program is the internship sequence spanning five courses, allowing you to accumulate over 1500 hours of supervised practical experience at MAP. Here, you will get a chance to design and implement ABA assessments and interventions, gaining invaluable hands-on experience.

If you live further away from the 5-parish area, you will be able to complete your internship at an ABA institute of your choosing, as long as the BCBAs there are able to supervise you and the appropriate supervision contracts are in place.

Towards the end of your program, you will undertake a thesis project, guided by a committee of three full-time graduate faculty members. This project involves a formal proposal meeting and oral defense meeting.

Upon completion of the program, you will be well-prepared to take the BCBA exam, having met all the coursework and fieldwork requirements. Many graduates find job opportunities even before taking their BCBA exams. You will also have the option to further your studies with a doctoral degree, equipped with a rich knowledge and understanding of ABA.

In addition to the general requirements for admission, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum score of 285 on the GRE (Quantitative + Verbal)
  • Three hours of statistics and a minimum of 18 hours in psychology (3 hours in each of the following: abnormal psychology, experimental psychology, and social psychology)

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate

At FranU, you can embark on a journey to become a proficient and compassionate leader in the field of applied behavior analysis through their ABA Certificate program. This program is grounded in the rich tradition of excellence upheld by the university, aiming to equip you with the knowledge and skills to address the behavioral needs of the community effectively. The ABAI has verified the coursework requirements of this program for eligibility to take the BCBA examination.

The program prepares you to think critically and deliver empirically supported behavior-analytic interventions in accordance with the established best practices in applied behavior analysis.

During your studies, you will delve into a 15-credit hour curriculum, with an option to undertake a 16-credit hour internship sequence. This structured pathway is designed to offer you both theoretical knowledge and supervised practical experiences, preparing you for potential roles in applied behavior analysis.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Behavior Analysis
  • Applied Behavior Analytic Interventions
  • Single-Subject Research Designs
  • Assessments of Behavior
  • Ethics, Personnel, Supervision and Management

During the program, you will learn to understand the foundational theories and principles of behavior analysis, always working within safe, ethical, and legal boundaries. The program encourages adherence to the highest standards of practice, both nationally and locally. You will become adept at selecting appropriate behavioral assessments and implementing them effectively, using reliable methods to gather data on behavior, and managing behavioral interventions responsibly.

The internship component of the program, which is optional, helps you obtain necessary supervised experience hours, a prerequisite for applying for the BCBA certification examination. You will work at a local clinic serving individuals with developmental disabilities, under the guidance of experienced supervisors.

As you progress through the internship, you will gradually build your skills, starting with learning to conduct behavior analytic assessments and interventions. In the subsequent terms, you will enhance your abilities in delivering interventions and conducting assessments, eventually moving on to research in a clinical setting and finally undertaking an applied research project.

Upon successful completion of the program:

  • You will be well-versed in the philosophical foundations of behavior analysis.
  • You will be capable of practicing within the defined scope of a behavior analyst, adhering to the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts.
  • You will be proficient in utilizing data collection skills and critical thinking to implement behavior-change procedures grounded in evidence-based practice.

To graduate, you must achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all courses and a “B” in all internship courses. To join this program, you should hold a baccalaureate degree from a recognized and accredited college or university.

Louisiana State University

School Psychology Doctoral Program

At the Louisiana State University (LSU), you can enroll in the School Psychology doctoral program. This program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists. In this program, you will have the chance to work closely with the faculty, including a major professor who will be specifically assigned to you.

During your time in the program, you will be fully immersed in learning through practical experiences and research opportunities, which are integrated into your studies. You will be expected to enroll full-time for four years at LSU, followed by a one-year internship that takes place elsewhere.

This program is designed to equip you with the skills to develop strategies to help children and young people overcome social, emotional, and academic challenges. You will also be prepared to take the national board certification exam in behavior analysis, thanks to a course sequence approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BCBA). Moreover, the program opens doors for you to pursue a license as a psychologist and certification as a school psychologist.

As a student, you will be encouraged to adopt a scientific approach to problem-solving, applying it not just in research but also in practical situations you will encounter during your practicum experiences. The focus here is on understanding the behavior of children and youth within different environments like family, school, and community.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Psychological Assessment
  • Psychoeducational Assessment
  • School-Based Psychological Interventions
  • Child Behavior Therapy
  • Theories and Concepts of Behavior Analysis
  • Research Methodology and Applications in Behavior Analysis
  • Behavioral Perspectives on Lifespan Development
  • Thesis Research

As part of the program, you will gain hands-on experience in various settings such as schools, clinics, and homes, dealing with a range of situations and working with different groups of people. Before you head out for your internship, you will complete at least 750 hours of practicum work, which includes training and direct service provision.

In the final stage, you will undertake an internship lasting no less than 1500 hours, with at least 600 hours dedicated to providing psychological services in an educational setting. This internship generally happens in your fifth year of study.

To join this program, you need to go through a competitive admission process which starts with an application review to select promising candidates. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited for an in-person interview at LSU. The goal is to ensure that the program is the right fit for you and that you align with its objectives.

By the end of the program, you will be well-prepared to work in various establishments including schools, hospitals, and universities, contributing positively with the valuable skills and knowledge you acquired during your time at LSU.

How Do I Become a Behavior Analyst in Louisiana?

To become a behavior analyst in Louisiana, you must:

  • Have a master’s degree.
  • Complete the required coursework (21-credit graduate coursework in ABA).
  • Complete the required experience under the supervision of a BCBA.
  • Pass the BCBA exam.

What is the Difference Between a Behavior Technician and a Behavior Analyst?

A Behavior Technician and a Behavior Analyst play different roles in the field of applied behavior analysis, and they have different levels of responsibility and education. Behavior technicians are more involved in the direct implementation of intervention plans, on the other hand, behavior analysts take on a more supervisory role, overseeing the intervention and ensuring that it is designed and implemented effectively to support the client’s needs.

Here is how they differ:

Behavior Technician

  • Education Level: Generally requires a high school diploma or equivalent, followed by a specific training program that meets the criteria set by the BACB.
  • Certification: Must pass a competency assessment and a certification exam to become a Registered Behavior Technician.
  • Role: Works directly with clients under the close supervision of a behavior analyst to implement behavior intervention plans.
  • Responsibilities: Their duties are more focused on the direct implementation of behavior intervention plans designed by the behavior analyst. They work one-on-one with clients, collecting data on client behavior, and reporting findings to the behavior analyst.

Behavior Analyst

  • Education Level: Requires a master’s degree or higher in behavior analysis or a related field.
  • Certification: Must pass the BCBA certification exam after completing the required graduate coursework and supervised experience.
  • Role: Responsible for assessing clients and designing individualized behavior intervention plans based on the principles of applied behavior analysis.
  • Responsibilities: Their duties are more comprehensive, including conducting assessments, designing intervention plans, supervising behavior technicians, and working with families and other stakeholders to ensure the best outcomes for clients.

How Much Does a BCBA Make in Louisiana?

As of September 2023, the average annual salary for a BCBA working in Louisiana is $73,597. BCBAs working in Lake Charles, Monroe, and Shreveport on average earn $86,447, $85,518, and $79,210 per year, respectively. More experienced and top earning BCBAs working in Louisiana make over $125,000 per year.

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