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

Are you looking to make a significant impact in the field of behavior analysis? BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) programs in Kansas offer a solution. These programs equip you with essential skills to understand and improve human behavior, a skillset highly sought after in various sectors.

However, finding the right program can be challenging. This article provides a comprehensive guide to some of the popular BCBA programs in Kansas, detailing their unique features and how they can help you achieve your career goals in this dynamic field.

Best Accredited BCBA and ABA Masters Programs in Kansas Online

BCBA Programs in Kansas

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

  • University of Kansas
  • Wichita State University
  • Pittsburg State University
  • Walden University
  • National University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Simmons University
  • Arizona State University Online

University of Kansas

Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science

The University of Kansas offers a Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science, with courses entirely online. This program is designed specially for busy professionals and students like you. At KU, you will receive a high-quality education and training that accommodates your schedule, as the university is dedicated to training the next generation of behavior analysts.

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.

In this online master’s program, you will follow a junior-colleague model. You will work closely with your advisors, engaging in various aspects of professional development. This includes designing and conducting research, preparing manuscripts for presentation and publication, and actively participating in all areas of responsible research conduct.

Typically, you will work with one advisor, but you have the option to work with other faculty members or have co-advisors. You also have the flexibility to change advisors if your or your advisor’s interests evolve.

To earn this degree, you need to complete 30 credit hours. This includes 18 hours of content coursework, 6 hours of electives, 3 hours of research or practicum, and 9-12 thesis hours. Additionally, you are required to write and orally defend an empirically based thesis. Generally, you will complete all requirements for the MA degree in 2 to 3 years.

Core courses of the program include:

  • Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science
  • Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis
  • Research or Intervention Practicum
  • Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues

This program is ideal if you have a background in psychology or education, preferably with some clinical experience, and an interest in the science of behavior and behavior analysis. The online master’s program includes educational preparation necessary for BCBA certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). You are required to complete an empirical master’s thesis with a defense scheduled on campus in Lawrence.

Three faculty members comprise the online program and will serve as your faculty advisors. The program includes both synchronous and asynchronous online classes. You can complete coursework at your own pace and engage in discussions with fellow students anytime and anywhere. Campus faculty will also participate in thesis committees for online students.

KU collaborates with Behavioral Health Holdings, a leading provider in services for children with autism spectrum disorder, to offer unique practicums. This partnership provides an excellent opportunity for you to gain field experience, potentially saving you time and money and streamlining your required field experience for the BACB.

Typically, you will spend three hours per week in class for each course during the semester, and at least nine additional hours per week outside of class on schoolwork. You can enroll in one or more courses each semester, depending on your available time and desired pace to complete the degree or course sequence. The program coach and faculty will assist you in determining the best course load for your situation.

While not mandatory, taking the GRE could give you an advantage. The Department also considers applicants who may not have perfect verbal or quantitative scores but could still be strong candidates for graduate study. However, scoring less than 500 in both quantitative and verbal sections may place you at a competitive disadvantage.

Wichita State University

Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate

Wichita State University offers an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Certificate program, designed to equip a variety of school and community professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to understand human behavior.

This program is particularly beneficial for those aiming to positively influence individuals with specific behavioral needs. The program’s interdisciplinary approach brings together students and instructors from diverse educational backgrounds and fields to learn about behavior analysis and apply it ethically in various settings.

The program requires you to complete 21 credit hours, divided into seven courses. These can be taken alongside a graduate degree or as a stand-alone certificate. The courses are:

  • Underpinnings of ABA
  • Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • Fundamental Elements in Behavior Change and Specific Behavior Change Procedures
  • Single Subject Design
  • Consultation Techniques
  • Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • Curriculum Based Academic Assessment and Intervention

The ABAI has verified these courses for eligibility to take the BCBA examination, fulfilling the 315 course hours requirement. However, you need to meet additional requirements to be eligible for the examination. It’s important to note that while WSU offers the required coursework, it does not provide the supervised hours needed post-certificate for certification.

Professionals trained in applied behavior analysis are sought after in various sectors such as non-profits, social services, education, corporations, and more, where understanding and improving human behavior is critical. This certificate is especially beneficial for current students, parents, teachers, and agency personnel working with children and adults with autism and other disorders.

To complete this certificate program, you must maintain a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.000, with no grades below a C (2.000) in any of the courses.

For admission, you are required to have:

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher based on the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework, and a 3.000 or higher on all completed graduate coursework.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A goal statement indicating your reasons for pursuing the certificate.
  • A resume.

Pittsburg State University

Master of Science in Psychology – Behavior Analysis

You have the opportunity to enroll in the 36-credit Master of Science Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis at Pitt State, designed for individuals like you who are seeking advanced training in behavior analysis. By completing this program, you will be eligible for certification as a BCBA.

The program’s core courses are designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of psychology and behavior analysis:

  1. Psychology of Learning: You will learn about the theoretical foundations of learning, encompassing conditioning, cognitive, and social approaches. This course applies these theories to practical problems in education and psychology.
  2. asic Behavior Analysis: As an introductory course, it familiarizes you with the field of behavior analysis, including its purpose, philosophical assumptions, and foundational concepts. You will learn basic behavioral laws and how to apply them to effect socially significant behavior change.
  3. Introduction to Human Neuropsychology: This course offers an overview of evolution, anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology related to neuroscience. You will learn how empirical findings from neuroscience contribute to understanding the neurological basis of psychological constructs like memory, language, emotion, and more. It also covers symptoms of neurological disorders and neuropsychological screening methods.
  4. Behavior Observation and Assessment: This course emphasizes the importance of objectivity in behavior analysis. You will learn to define targeted behaviors, use various data collection methods, and choose appropriate measures for different contexts.
  5. Applications of Behavior Analysis: In this course, you will learn to assess, design, and implement behavior change procedures based on functional behavioral assessments.
  6. Advanced Developmental Psychology: This course explores the determinants of behavior throughout different life phases, from infancy to senescence.
  7. Internship in Behavior Analysis: The internship provides field work and consulting experience in behavior analysis, allowing you to perform duties in accordance with the BACB standards.

Completing your master’s in behavior analysis at Pitt State, gaining supervised experience, and passing the BCBA certification exam opens up various career opportunities. You can work in school systems to improve classroom management, in community mental health centers to design interventions, in hospitals to enhance behavioral health, in nursing homes to improve resident well-being, or apply behavior analysis in business and private practice settings.

How Do I Become a BCBA in Kansas?

To become a BCBA in Kansas, you must:

  • Hold a master’s degree.
  • Have completed the required ABA course sequence.
  • Have completed the required number of supervised work hours.
  • Pass the BCBA examination

How Fast Can I Become a BCBA?

Becoming a BCBA requires a series of steps, including education, experience, and passing a certification exam. The timeline to become a BCBA can vary based on individual circumstances, such as your starting level of education and how quickly you can complete the required hours of experience. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: ~4 years
  • Master’s Degree: ~2 years
  • Fieldwork: You will need to complete either “2,000 Supervised Fieldwork hours or 1,500 Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork hours” to meet the fieldwork requirement. If you are able to commit full-time to supervised fieldwork, the fastest timeline would be:
    • Independent Fieldwork: Approximately 1 year (full-time)
    • Practicum: Less than 1 year (full-time)
    • Intensive Practicum: Around 6 months (full-time)
  • Certification Exam: Timing for preparation and scheduling the exam.

In the fastest scenario, assuming you start from scratch and progress through each step without any breaks or delays, it could take approximately 7-8 years to become a BCBA (4 years for a bachelor’s degree, 2 years for a master’s, and 1-2 years for fieldwork and certification). However, individual circumstances can significantly affect this timeline.

Can I Become a BCBA Without an ABA Degree?

Yes, it is possible to become a BCBA without having a degree specifically in ABA. However, there are specific educational and training requirements that must be met, as outlined by the BACB. Here’s how you can become a BCBA without an ABA degree:

  1. Relevant Master’s Degree: You need to have a master’s degree, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in ABA. The BACB accepts degrees in education, psychology, or a field closely related to behavior analysis.
  2. Required Coursework: If your master’s degree is not specifically in ABA, you will need to complete additional coursework in behavior analysis that meets the BACB’s requirements. This coursework can often be taken as a post-graduate certificate or as part of a graduate program. The coursework must be completed at an institution that meets the BACB’s accreditation standards.
  3. Supervised Experience: Regardless of your degree field, you must complete a specific number of hours of supervised practical experience. This experience must be supervised by someone who meets the BACB’s supervisor requirements and should involve practical work in behavior analysis.
  4. Pass the Certification Exam: After completing your degree and supervised experience, you must pass the BCBA certification exam. The exam covers various topics in behavior analysis and tests your knowledge and skills in this area.
  5. Maintain Certification: Once certified, as a BCBA, you must adhere to the BACB’s ethical guidelines and complete continuing education to maintain their certification. As a BCBA, you are required to obtain 32 continuing education units (CEUs) within each 2-year recertification cycle.

Are BCBAs in High Demand?

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) were indeed in high demand in various sectors, particularly in education, healthcare, and social services. Several factors contribute to this demand:

  • Rising Awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): There has been an increased recognition of ASD and other developmental disorders, leading to a greater need for professionals skilled in behavior analysis to provide services to these populations.
  • Early Intervention Services: The importance of early intervention for children with developmental delays or behavioral issues has become more recognized, resulting in a growing need for BCBAs who specialize in early childhood intervention.
  • Insurance Coverage: In many regions, insurance companies now cover ABA therapy for individuals with autism and other conditions, which has increased the demand for qualified BCBAs to provide and oversee these services.
  • Legislative Support: There has been an increase in legislation requiring or recommending ABA services for individuals with certain conditions, particularly in the educational system, further driving demand.
  • Diverse Applications: The principles of ABA are being applied in a broader range of areas, including organizational behavior management, mental health, and even sports psychology, expanding the potential job market for BCBAs.
  • Limited Supply of Certified Professionals: The rigorous requirements to become a BCBA can result in a limited supply of certified professionals, which, combined with growing demand, makes the field particularly attractive.

How Much Does a BCBA Make in Kansas?

As of December 2023, the average annual salary for a BCBA working in Kansas is $79,351 or $38 per hour. More experienced and top earning BCBAs in Kansas make over $130,000 per year.

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