Accredited BCBA Programs in Tennessee – Online and Campus ABA Programs [2024]

Last Updated: June 29, 2024

In the rapidly evolving field of applied behavior analysis, there’s a growing demand for professionals who are well-equipped with both theoretical knowledge and practical expertise. Tennessee, with its rich educational history, is no exception to this trend.

Tennessee is home to a range of in-person and online BCBA programs designed to produce the next generation of leading behavioral analysts. These programs offer a perfect blend of academic rigor, real-world application, and the mentorship of industry stalwarts.

Best Accredited Online BCBA Programs in Tennessee

BCBA Programs in Tennessee

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

  • Tennessee Tech University
  • Pepperdine University
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Lipscomb University
  • University of Memphis
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Simmons University
  • University of Dayton

Tennessee Tech University

Master of Arts (MA) – Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration

Considering a future in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)? The master’s program at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) might be the perfect fit for you. Focused on a data-driven approach, this program is specially tailored to meet the increasing needs in areas such as autism spectrum disorders and positive behavior intervention systems in schools. With options for both online and hybrid learning, you can choose what suits them best.

ABA is about studying behavior and its outcomes. The goal is to teach individuals better behavioral habits and to understand how society responds to those behaviors. ABA treatments have been proven to be effective in various areas.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) examination.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) program at TTU includes:

  • Total of 33 course hours.
  • One elective course.
  • Three research-based courses.
  • Seven core ABA courses, all available online.

The program includes seven courses designed to prepare students for the BCBA exam. With these courses, you will gain knowledge in teaching, hands-on practice, and research. These courses are offered in a hybrid format, meaning you can attend in-person classes or online sessions. These seven core ABA courses are:

  • Conceptual Topics and Principles in Behavior Analysis
  • Topics in Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Change Procedures and Systems Supports in ABA
  • Assessment in Behavior Analysis
  • ABA Approaches in Developmental Disabilities
  • Ethics in ABA
  • Research Methods in Behavior Analysis

You can select one elective course from the following:

  • Applied Educational Assessment
  • Quantitative Educational Research
  • Quantitative Problems in Curriculum

Typically, students complete the program in two years. Courses are structured in a sequence, with some necessary summer classes, but you can adjust the pace based on their needs.

If you are aiming for board certification, you will need to complete supervised fieldwork under an expert. This is separate from the TTU coursework and doesn’t affect graduation.

After graduation, career opportunities open up in research, education, medical support, residential facilities, or private practice. With a rising demand in specialized services, this Master of Arts program prepares you for a rewarding profession.

You can apply for licensure, non-licensure, or post-baccalaureate options. Basic admission requirements include:

  • An undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 out of 4.0.
  • Scoring at least 380 on the MAT or meeting one of the provided GRE score combinations.

It’s important to note that fulfilling these requirements doesn’t guarantee admission. In some cases, students who don’t meet the minimum might be given provisional admission. International students must demonstrate good English skills through standardized tests.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Master of Science (MS) – Teacher Education, Applied Behavior Analysis

Considering a career that melds teaching and behavioral science? Look no further than the 30-credit Master of Science (MS) in Teacher Education, with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This program is tailored for those keen on leveraging behavioral skills to enhance the lives of individuals with special learning and behavioral needs.

ABAI has verified this program’s coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) examination.

  • Coursework: The ABA Concentration offers a blend of Special Education and School Psychology courses. The program aims to equip you with strategies to assist individuals with learning or behavioral challenges, and guide teachers and caregivers.
  • Duration:
    • Full-time: A 15-month journey starting in summer, spanning through fall and spring, and wrapping up the subsequent summer.
    • Part-time: Spread across 2 years, you will engage in 1-2 classes each term.
  • BCBA Fieldwork: Required for certification, however, you manage this outside of coursework.

Core courses of the program include:

  • Educational Applications of Behavioral Theories: You will explore behavioral theories, conditioning, and more, and see how they play out in student motivation and learning.
  • Assessment and Intervention for Academic Skills: Here you will learn techniques to both prevent and address academic skill gaps.
  • ABA in School Settings: In this course you will learn to design, implement, and assess behavior-centric interventions in classrooms. This includes functional analysis, direct instruction, and navigating ethical concerns.
  • Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Here you will explore the world of ASD. You will also be able understand assessment techniques, instructional methods, and unique characteristics.
  • Ethical Dimensions in Psychology and Behavior Analysis: This course will help you understand the ethical terrain of both psychology and behavior analysis.
  • Advanced ABA Topics: You will take a deeper dive into applied behavioral techniques, spanning intervention methods to supervising personnel.
  • Research for Diverse Learners: A comprehensive course to enhance your familiarity with educational research, especially for diverse learners, and polish your research and analytical skills.

With this blend of coursework and practical experience, you will be prepared to make a genuine difference in the educational and behavioral spheres.

Lipscomb University

Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

Understanding and influencing behavior can pave the way to success. By pursuing the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis, you can equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to showcase this to the world.

At Lipscomb University, the 35-credit Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program is tailored to ensure that you can immediately apply your newfound knowledge. Every lesson learned, every experience from your internship, consolidates the work you are presently engaged in. This combined learning also helps you accumulate the necessary supervision hours for the national certification exam.

At Lipscomb, the approach to behavior analysis is a blend of scientific methods with a touch of personal connection. Upon completing the program, you will be adept not just in interpreting data but in building genuine connections with clients, their families, and schools. This dual expertise will be your foundation to design comprehensive strategies for behavior modification.

Lipscomb’s ABA program is versatile, designed in accordance with the BACB’s requirements. As a graduate, you will be equipped with knowledge spanning business, research, and fieldwork.

  • The Business Essentials segment lays down the blueprint for establishing an ABA-centric business.
  • For those inclined towards research, there’s a course dedicated to preparing students to publish findings from their thesis.
  • There are also courses centered on autism and communication, essential for those keen on dealing with predominant client issues in ABA.

Core courses of the program include:

  • Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis: Here, the fundamentals of behavior concepts are explored. Topics covered range from behavior terminology to the intricacies of modifying behaviors.
  • Research Methods in Behavior Analysis: This course focuses on single-subject research methods, shedding light on how to gauge the impact of behavioral interventions.
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct: In this course you will immerse yourself in the ethical guidelines governing behavior analysis, as outlined by the BACB.
  • Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis: This course goes beyond basics, exploring behavior assessments, experimental setups, and their practical applications.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Here you will understand the nuances of autism and how to deal with its varied manifestations.
  • Communication, Language, and Social Skills: This course will allow you to gain insights into the development of communication and social skills, while also grasping the challenges faced by children with disabilities.

For the capstone project, you will conduct a single-subject design function-based intervention during your second semester. You will conduct this study in collaboration with their ABA supervisors.

Further enriching the learning experience, you will also be provided with a variety of options for obtaining hands-on experience in the field of ABA.

To apply, you need to fulfill the following admission requirements:

  • A filled-out online application.
  • A nominal $50 application fee.
  • Official transcripts post-high school.
  • A personal essay, not exceeding 500 words, highlighting your aspirations and the reason behind your interest in this degree.
  • Three recommendation letters: One from a current supervisor or an academic reference, another from a professional or academic colleague, and the third vouching for your personal integrity.
  • A detailed resume
  • An official score from either the GRE or the MAT exam is essential.

University of Memphis

MS/EdD – Applied behavior Analysis

The University of Memphis’s Applied Behavior Analysis program is the perfect launchpad for those aiming to become certified Behavior Analysts with either an MS or EdD degree. ABA has been successful in a range of applications including substance abuse, gerontology, classroom management, and many more.

The program includes face-to-face coursework scheduled during the evenings throughout the Fall, Spring, and Summer. You can look forward to completing the MS degree in a span of two years by attending two evening classes every semester. Meanwhile, the EdD degree spans three years, inclusive of dissertation.

Both degrees incorporate the essential practicum experiences within the coursework. Faculty play a pivotal role in streamlining practicum placements, ensuring you are on track to become a BCBA upon graduation.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Introduction to ABA
  • Ethical Issues in ABA
  • Behavior Analysis and Single – Case Design
  • Advanced Principles and Concepts in ABA
  • Functional Analysis and Treatment of Problem Behavior
  • Facilitating Generalization and Maintenance of Learning

Becoming a proficient BCBA demands robust clinical skills, complemented by a supportive professional network. To develop this synergy, the University of Memphis operates based on a cohort model. This means that you progress through the program alongside a group of peers, fostering a strong collaboration.

The program’s coursework covers in-depth understanding of behavior, equipping you to aid individuals facing socially significant behavioral challenges. You will also acquire proficiency in assessing and managing behavioral issues, boosting academic performance, and honing communication and social skills, especially for those diagnosed with behavioral disabilities like autism.

The program’s faculty, a blend of clinical and research experts, bring to the table diverse experiences, having worked across settings like homes, schools, and clinics, tackling a spectrum of behavioral challenges. Their research pursuits span from specialized behavioral experiments to pioneering virtual reality-based interventions. You will have a close-knit relationship with the faculty, who remain accessible and supportive.

To apply, you need to meet the following admission requirements::

  • Graduate School application
  • Your GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and writing).
  • Official transcripts from your undergraduate and possibly graduate studies (for EdD).
  • For non-native English speakers or those who haven’t graduated from The University of Memphis, a TOEFL score is mandatory: a minimum of 550 on the paper version, 210 on the computer-based version, or 79 on the internet-based version.
  • Two recommendation letters, preferably, one should be from your past university professor.
  • Personal statement, between 500 to 1000 words, outlining your current interests and career objectives.
  • Schedule interviews with two faculty members (one from your area of interest). Ensure these are concluded before the deadlines mentioned below.

Only applications completed by the deadline will be reviewed. Here are the key dates: February 1 for summer, April 1 for fall, and October 1 for spring.

The above are baseline requirements. The graduate committee may suggest additional courses, considering your academic history, prepping you for the doctoral endeavor.

Vanderbilt University

Applied Behavior Analysis (M.Ed.)

Vanderbilt University offers an Applied Behavior Analysis (M.Ed.) program tailored for individuals with a special education teaching license. This program is designed for those aiming to employ ABA techniques in schools or are keen on specialized training that integrates the most effective ABA methodologies for classroom applications.

The program’s courses, grounded in educational research and technology, will teach you how to integrate ABA practices into the educational settings. Alongside theoretical knowledge, practical experiences are emphasized, allowing you to apply your acquired skills in schools, clinics, and homes.

Furthermore, there are opportunities to collaborate with the program’s highly regarded faculty on special education and ABA research projects, ensuring immersion within a supportive professional community that values continuous growth and education.

A unique feature of this program is its emphasis on hands-on learning. You will design your own study plans under the guidance of a faculty advisor, selecting electives based on your specific focus area, whether early childhood, common disabilities, or severe disabilities. Each elective offers insights into the application of ABA within the field of special education.

A mandatory practicum is also incorporated into the program, providing you extensive supervised fieldwork experiences. This structured approach ensures you meet the standards set by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Equity for every student, irrespective of their background or abilities, is a fundamental principle upheld by the program. This is manifested in the program’s teachings, which stress the importance of collaboration, upholding high standards of professional conduct, and procuring experience in diverse educational environments.

The faculty of the ABA program at Vanderbilt University not only have a wealth of experience but are also Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Their extensive backgrounds in designing and evaluating interventions for individuals with disabilities add depth to the program’s offerings.

Applying to the program is free, and all applicants are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. The priority deadline is set for January 3, ensuring applicants the highest probability of both admission and scholarship. Applications post this date are still accepted and evaluated based on available seats and funds.

How Much Does a BCBA Make in Tennessee?

As of August 2023, according to Ziprecruiter, the average annual salary for a BCBA in Tennessee is $82,784. BCBAs working in cities like Kingsport, Nashville, and Knoxville earn higher average annual salary of $87,885, $87,468, and $84,177, respectively.

More experienced and top earning BCBAs in Tennessee make well over $150,000 per year.

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