Popular Accredited BCBA Programs and Certification in Iowa [2024 Guide]

In the heartland of America, Iowa stands out for its commitment to education and professional development, particularly in the field of behavior analysis.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) programs in Iowa are tailored to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals capable of addressing complex behavioral challenges. These programs blend rigorous academic coursework with practical, hands-on experience, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of behavior analysis principles and techniques.

You can use this guide – which features some of the popular BCBA programs in Iowa – to help narrow your focus and find the school that’s the best fit for your needs.

Best Accredited BCBA and ABA Programs and Certification in Iowa Online

BCBA Programs in Iowa

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

  • Drake University
  • University of Iowa
  • Briar Cliff University
  • National University
  • Simmons University
  • University of Dayton
  • Walden University

Drake University

Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis

At Drake University, you can pursue a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis, which is designed to prepare you for a career working with children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

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 the program, you will learn how to treat challenging behavior in various populations and settings, and develop interventions to increase adaptive behavior and address skill deficits.

This program requires you to complete 45 credit hours over 5 semesters, averaging 9 credit hours per semester. Courses are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer. If you already have a Master’s degree, you can opt for the Certificate Program, which involves 36 credit hours spread over 4 semesters.

Some of the courses that you will take may include:

  • Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • Research Methods in Behavior Analysis
  • Behavioral Assessment
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Theoretical Foundations
  • Supervision and Performance
  • Behavior Analysis of Child Development
  • Verbal Behavior

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a field that scientifically studies learning and behavior, focusing on applying behavioral principles to improve socially significant behavior.

Drake’s ABA Program offers intensive classroom instruction and supervised practicum experiences. The coursework is structured to equip you with the ability to:

  • Teach new skills to children and adults, promoting appropriate and desirable behavior.
  • Assess, prevent, and treat challenging behavior.
  • Supervise and train caregivers, school personnel, and staff.
  • Work effectively with children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

The Masters in ABA program spans 5 semesters and includes both coursework and practicum hours. You are required to take 21 hours of core courses and 9 elective courses related to advanced behavior-analytic topics or developmental and intellectual disabilities. Over the course of the program, you will complete your practicum hours, gaining experience at at least two different sites coordinated by the program faculty.

To be admitted to the ABA graduate program, you need to have completed a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Additionally, you will need to provide three letters of recommendation.

You are also required to submit a statement of interest and goals, not exceeding 1,000 words. This statement should outline your reasons for pursuing this degree, any relevant experiences, and how this degree aligns with your career objectives.

Official transcripts from your previous institutions must be sent to Drake University, either in a sealed envelope or as a secured .pdf file.

For Iowa residents, there’s an opportunity for financial support from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). This support is for students training to become board-certified behavioral analysts. The number of awards and the amount given depends on the number of applicants, future tuition, and fee costs for the awarded applicants.

University of Iowa

Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

At the University of Iowa, you can enroll in the 21-credot Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which is ideal if you have a background in education, psychology, or related services. This program offers expertise in behavior intervention and intensive educational interventions. ABA, a growing service sector, presents employment opportunities in schools, universities, and independent clinics.

ABA involves a range of instructional and assessment techniques widely used in academic, social, and mental health services, as well as support programs for individuals with disabilities. At the University of Iowa, the approach to ABA focuses on person-centered techniques. These techniques prioritize the preferences of recipients and aim to develop prosocial skills as a foundational step in addressing learning, behavioral, and mental health needs.

During the program, you will complete seven courses:

  1. Behavioral and Social Interventions
  2. Explicit Instruction
  3. Foundation of Applied Behavior Analysis
  4. Ethics and Professional Conduct for Behavior Analysts and Psychologists
  5. Advanced Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis
  6. Seminar: Single Subject Design Research
  7. Clinical Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis

The certificate program enhances your skills in behavioral intervention and intensive instruction. Completing the course sequence will contribute to your eligibility for certification as a BCBA. To become a BCBA, you must also complete a supervised practicum experience and successfully pass the behavior certification exam offered through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

The University of Iowa strongly advocates for the autonomy of individuals receiving ABA services. This includes respecting their right to determine service goals, choose specific approaches, and refuse services. The university is committed to safe and equitable treatment of all individuals, regardless of race, gender, culture, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

Your program advisor will assist you in understanding the requirements for degree completion. In addition to coursework, you must complete a formal supervision experience ranging from 2000 to 1500 hours. You have options, such as completing one full onsite session each week for a year at a clinical experience or a summer practicum in the Biobehavioral Day Treatment Clinic.

Possible field experiences include:

  • Biobehavioral Outpatient Clinic: Focusing on a range of behaviors including noncompliance, tantrums, disruptive behavior, self-injury, and more.
  • Biobehavioral Day Treatment Clinic: Addressing severe behavioral issues like aggression, disruption, and pica.
  • Feeding Disorders Clinic: Here you will develop treatment plans for growth and feeding problems.
  • Habit Reversal Clinic: Evaluation and recommendations for behaviors such as skin picking, vocal and motor tics, rumination, nail biting, thumb sucking

To apply for the certificate, you must have:

  • An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or an equivalent foreign degree.
  • A preferred cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • There’s no GRE requirement for the ABA Certificate Program.
  • If English is not your first language, a minimum TOEFL score of 100 is required.
  • Preference is given to applicants with degrees in special education, psychology, or related fields, and those with professional experience.

Briar Cliff University

Bachelor of Arts – Applied Behavior

At Briar Cliff University, you can enroll in the undergraduate program in Behavior Analysis. This program is structured with a course sequence verified by the Association of Behavior Analysis International and the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

By completing this program, you will have met the necessary coursework experience to qualify for credentialing as an Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). In Iowa, certification as a BCaBA aligns with the state licensure requirements for an Assistant Behavior Analyst License. If you plan to practice outside of Iowa, it’s important for you to research the specific licensure requirements in your intended state.

This program is designed to provide outcomes through hands-on practicum experience. You will have opportunities to work with individuals with special needs, collaborating closely with dedicated professors and professionals. Your role will involve creating plans tailored to the needs of both children and adults. The program emphasizes practical experience.

At Behavior Analysis Clinic, which partners with various community schools and organizations, you will gain experience working with individuals with autism, social disabilities, drug and alcohol addiction, and other behavioral challenges. This hands-on approach ensures that you are well-prepared upon graduation.

The behavior analysis program at Briar Cliff University allows you to explore the science of human behavior from a behavior analytic perspective. You will learn to assess and design behavior interventions targeting socially significant human behavior.

A significant component of your coursework will be practical experience, applying classroom concepts and developing clinical skills. The program is aligned with the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, preparing you for the BCaBA exam. Possible options for practicum sites include:

  • Briar Cliff University Behavior Analysis Clinic
  • Pier Center for Autism
  • South Sioux City Community Schools

As a BCaBA, you will primarily provide direct applied behavior analytic services to clients, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in educational settings, and more. You might also find roles in service administration, agency consultation, and in K-12 educational settings.

You can choose between two routes in the Behavior Analysis minor: the Basic Behavior Analysis route, focusing on theoretical mechanisms and interventions for behavior change, and the Applied Behavior Analysis route, emphasizing the application of behavioral principles in clinical settings. Both minors require 21 credits, with the Applied Behavior Analysis Minor including service-based learning at the Behavior Analysis Clinic.

As a BCaBA, you will be qualified to work in various settings across the country, such as:

  • Elementary and Middle Schools
  • High Schools
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Community and Development Centers
  • Child Welfare Organizations
  • As a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) or K-12 Behavior Specialist
  • You may also pursue the Full (BCBA) Board Certification Pathway.

National University

Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

At National University, you have the opportunity to pursue a Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis, a program tailored for those passionate about working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and those with neurodiverse conditions that benefit from behavior change systems. This program is geared towards preparing you to take the BACB exam.

To earn your Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis, you must complete at least 45 quarter units of graduate work. You may transfer up to 4.5 quarter units of equivalent graduate work from another institution, provided these units were not used for another advanced degree and were completed within the last 7 years. Note that course equivalence is not granted for life experience.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Philosophical Underpinning ABA
  • Concepts and Principles of ABA
  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Behavioral Change Procedures
  • Developing ABA Interventions
  • Supervision and Management
  • Application of ABA Skills
  • ABA Capstone Project

National University’s curriculum is distinguished by its precision learning and a verified course sequence. You will also focus on practitioner self-care, social and emotional learning, and cultural competency. You are required to complete a research-based capstone project. After finishing the program, you will be assisted in finding an internship program.

Upon completing the program, you will be capable of:

  • Explaining Radical Behaviorism’s foundational concepts and principles.
  • Analyzing measurement, data display, and interpretation in experimental design.
  • Integrating ethical considerations during behavior change processes and assessments.
  • Managing behavior and monitoring performance.
  • Applying Applied Behavior Analysis in research and everyday life.
  • Conducting research using appropriate methods to improve student outcomes.

A Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis degree can lead to career opportunities in various industries, such as health care, social assistance, and educational services. Employers in these fields value skills in teaching, research, communication, leadership, writing, advocacy, planning, and management.

To qualify for the BACB exam, you need a master’s degree with a verified course sequence (provided by National University) and 2,000 supervision hours. Passing the exam qualifies you as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst.

The career opportunities in this field are diverse and rewarding. Positions that National University’s ABA program can prepare you for include:

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
  • Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA)
  • Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT)
  • Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)
  • Behavior Consultant
  • Behavior Analyst
  • Behavior Technician
  • Behavior Specialist
  • ABA Interventionist
  • ABA Behavioral Technician

How Do I Become a BCBA in Iowa?

To become a BCBA in Iowa, you must:

  • Hold a master’s degree.
  • Have completed the required ABA coursework approved by the BACB.
  • Have completed the required supervised practical experience.
  • Pass the BCBA examination

How Many Years Does it Take to Become a BCBA in Iowa?

Becoming a BCBA in Iowa typically involves several years of education and training:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: The first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes about 4 years.
  2. Master’s Degree: After completing your bachelor’s degree, you need a master’s degree in behavior analysis, education, or psychology. This typically takes 2 years. Some individuals may opt for a doctoral degree, which can take longer.
  3. Coursework in Behavior Analysis: The Behavior Analyst Certification Board requires specific graduate-level coursework in behavior analysis. This coursework is often part of a master’s or doctoral program in behavior analysis, but it can also be completed separately. The duration can vary depending on the program and whether you study full-time or part-time.
  4. Supervised Fieldwork: You will need to complete 1500-2000 hours of supervised fieldwork. The number of hours depends on the type of supervision you receive. The time to complete these hours will depend on how many hours you can commit to each week. For instance, if you work 20 hours per week in supervised fieldwork, it could take about 2 years to complete 2,000 hours.
  5. Passing the BCBA Exam: After completing the required education and fieldwork, you must pass the BCBA certification exam.

The entire process, from starting a bachelor’s degree to becoming a certified BCBA, typically takes around 6 to 8 years, depending on the length of time taken to complete the supervised fieldwork and the scheduling of the BCBA exam.

How Much Does a BCBA Make in Iowa?

As of December 2023, the average annual salary for a BCBA working in Iowa is $86,497 or $42 per hour. More experienced and top earning BCBAs in Iowa make over $135,000 per year.

Copyright © 2024 PsychologySchoolGuide.net. All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes can vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.