Accredited BCBA Programs and Certification in Wisconsin [2024 ABA Degrees]

In the ever-evolving landscape of behavioral science, Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) stand at the forefront, transforming lives with their expertise. For those in the Badger State aiming to embark on this impactful journey, Wisconsin offers many online and in-person BCBA programs designed to produce the next generation of experts.

These programs not only offer rigorous academic training but also fuse real-world experiences to ensure you are well-equipped. Dive into this guide to explore some of the popular BCBA programs Wisconsin has to offer and set your first footstep towards a promising career.

Best Accredited BCBA and ABA Masters Programs in Wisconsin

BCBA (ABA) Programs in Wisconsin

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

  • The Chicago School
  • Marquette University
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • National University
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
  • Simmons University
  • Capella University
  • Arizona State University Online

Marquette University

Master of Science (MS) – Behavior Analysis

Behavior analysis focuses on how environmental factors shape behavior. At Marquette University, the Master of Science (MS) in Behavior Analysis program offers training in both research and practice, with an emphasis on assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental challenges.

Those enrolled in Marquette will fulfill both coursework and practicum requirements, paving the way to take the examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

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

Throughout the MS program, you will undergo intensive coursework, benefit from research guidance, hone a specialization, and participate in robust practicum training. The program aims to produce behavior analysts who can:

  • Employ cutting-edge behavioral assessments and interventions.
  • Interpret and apply research findings into impactful practice.
  • Enhance the field with scholarly contributions.
  • Emerge as pioneering leaders in their domain.
  • Champion principles of social justice and equality in their professional roles.

At Marquette, you will have the freedom to shape your educational journey to align with your career aspirations. You can opt for a path more geared towards research or hands-on professional practice.

Training options allow you to specialize in designing intervention programs for:

  • Individuals, both children and adults, lacking social skills.
  • Young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Children exhibiting vocal or motor tics related to Tourette syndrome.
  • Individuals displaying severe self-harming or aggressive tendencies.

Marquette takes pride in its roster of globally acclaimed behavior analysis experts, including Drs. Stephanie Hood, Tiffany Kodak, Jeffrey Tiger, and Douglas Woods. At Marquette, you won’t just attend your lectures but also receive hands-on training and research mentorship. Upon entering the MS program, you will paired with one of these esteemed faculty mentors who will guide you as your academic adviser throughout your journey.

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Graduate Certificate – Applied Behavior Analysis

The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) offers the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Certificate. This program gears up professionals to become behavior analysts who assist those with behavioral health challenges. The ABAI has verified the coursework requirements of this program for eligibility to take the BCBA examination.

The ABA certificate program is a 22-credit, online program made up of 8 core courses, spread out over four semesters. Students move through the courses together in groups, known as cohorts. If you already have a graduate degree, you can opt for just the ABA certificate. Alternatively, you can take the ABA certificate alongside a graduate degree program.

During the program, you will learn how to assist individuals with disabilities in adapting their skills and behavior across different situations. The program teaches you different ways to manage situations to prevent undesirable behaviors.

You will also learn to pinpoint behaviors that need adjustment, set clear goals, anticipate outcomes, and track changes and progress. In essence, the program equips you with skills to guide individuals with disabilities away from harmful behaviors.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavioral Assessment
  • Behavior Change
  • Personnel and Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Racial Equity in Behavior Analysis

It’s important to note that finishing this program doesn’t automatically make you a board-certified behavior analyst. To earn that title, you need to complete supervised fieldwork hours on your own and pass the BCBA exam. These steps, including the exam, are carried out outside the university’s program. The Behavior Analysis Certification Board and the Association for Behavior Analysis International oversee these certifications, not the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

If you choose the ABA Certificate without enrolling in another graduate program at the same time, you get four years from your first certificate class to wrap up the certificate requirements. Plus, you need to maintain a minimum average grade of 3.00 in the ABA Certificate courses at UWM.

Admission requirements for this program include:

  • Graduate degree or concurrent enrollment in a graduate degree program.
  • Personal statement.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Up-to-date resume or CV.
  • Must have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate GPA.

National University

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

National University offers a Master’s program in Applied Behavioral Analysis for students like you, who want to help individuals with Autism and other unique behavioral needs. This program prepares you to take the BCBA exam.

To get your master’s degree in ABA from NU, you need to complete 45 quarter units of graduate work. You can transfer up to 4.5 units from other schools if you took those classes within the last seven years and haven’t used them for another degree. This program is available in both online and in-person formats.

At NU, you will work with faculty who are also experts in the field and have the opportunity to take advantage of their real-world insights. The program is highly individualized and focused on the student learning experience.

Here’s a look at some of the classes you will be taking:

  • Understanding Behavior Analysis: You will Learn about the main ideas behind behavioral analysis and its different branches.
  • Basics of Behavior Analysis: This course defines the field’s fundamental elements: behavior and the environmental antecedent and consequential events that influence it; and introduces key terms and principles that describe relationships among these elements.
  • Studying Problem Behaviors: You will discover why certain behaviors happen and how to study and address them.
  • Changing Behaviors: You will learn how to make positive changes in someone’s behavior using specific strategies.
  • Planning for Behavior Changes: You will learn how to set clear goals and choose the best strategies based on your studies.
  • Ethics in Behavior Analysis: You will lean about the standards of professional practice and a code of conduct for behavior analyst. You will also learn strategies for providing ethically sound client services.

By the end of the program, you will be able to:

  • Understand and explain the main ideas behind behavior analysis.
  • Analyze measurement, data display and interpretation in experimental design format.
  • Follow ethical rules when working to change and study behaviors.
  • Monitor and manage behavior during your studies and interventions.
  • Use what you have learned in real-life situations and research.
  • Conduct studies using the right methods to improve student outcomes.

As part of the program, you will also complete a research-based capstone project, and upon completion of the program, NU will help place you in an appropriate internship program.

Some of the positions this program can prepare you for include:

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
  • Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT)
  • Behavior Consultant
  • Behavior Analyst
  • Behavior Specialist
  • ABA Interventionist
  • Lead ABA Interventionist

University of Dayton

Online Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis

At the University of Dayton, you have an opportunity to enroll in a 33-credit online Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis program. If you have a passion for working with individuals affected by autism, emotional and behavioral disorders, ADHD, or other behavioral health challenges, this program is calling for you.

Your choices for this program are flexible. Dayton provides two ABA master’s tracks, each with its ABAI-verified course sequence:

  1. Supervised Fieldwork Track (42 credits): In this track you will achieve 1,500 fieldwork hours throughout the program. Don’t stress about placement; faculty and dedicated specialists are there to guide and support you.
  2. Independent Fieldwork Track (30 credits): This track lets you finish 600 fieldwork hours within the program and gives you the liberty to complete the remaining 900 hours at your own pace and choice.

Here’s a glimpse of what awaits you:

  • Behavior-Analytic Expertise: You will get a grip on core behavior-analytic techniques and strategies for understanding problematic behaviors.
  • Client-Centric Tasks: You will be able to identify when and where interventions are needed, be it for individuals or groups.
  • Core Knowledge: You will understand foundational ideas and learn to transform them into advanced methods for behavioral alterations.
  • Supervised Experience: As part of the program, you will immerse yourself in practical ABA experience. You will benefit from direct interactions with board-certified supervisors and mentors.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis I, II and III
  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Assessment & Intervention
  • Organizational Behavior Management
  • Culminating Case Study Capstone
  • Consultation Ethics & Law

University of Dayton’s ABA master’s program is an Academic Partner with the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE). The relationship with BHCOE means you will benefit from a wide array of resources. Whether it’s supervised fieldwork or specialized training, the support is there.

The capstone project will be your opportunity to demonstrate mastery in applied behavior analysis. Whether individually or with a team, you will conduct a research-based case study in a clinical or educational setting. This hands-on project goes hand-in-hand with your on-ground fieldwork.

Here’s what you need to apply:

  • Online application form
  • An up-to-date resume or CV
  • Recommendations (two letters)
  • Personal statement
  • Official academic transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended.

University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

Online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater offers a 21-credit online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. This is perfect if you are interested in helping people with unique learning needs or behaviors.

If you have finished your undergraduate studies, especially in areas like education, this program will teach you how to plan and use ABA strategies. You will be able to work with people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and other challenges.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Philosophy of ABA: This course dives into the basic ideas behind ABA. You will learn about its history, the science behind it, and its real-world use.
  • Advanced Principles of ABA: This course helps you understand the advanced elements of ABA. You will learn how to change behaviors, make decisions based on data, and tackle ethical situations.
  • Advanced Methodology and Practices in Special Education: Here, you will get to know about research methods used in education. The main focus will be on a method called single-case design.
  • Behavior Assessment: In this course, you will learn how to study and understand different behaviors. You will use various methods like interviews and direct observations to get insights.
  • Behavior Change Procedures: You will learn earn how to choose and use methods that can change behaviors or teach new skills. You will study strategies like reinforcement, self-management, and more.
  • Supervision of Programs and Personnel in ABA: Here, you will learn how to guide and support teams working in ABA. This includes how to train team members, provide feedback, and manage programs effectively.

To enroll in this program, you should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university.

Is BCBA a Stressful Job?

Becoming a BCBA can be a rewarding career, but like many professions, it can also come with its set of challenges and stressors. The level of stress can vary based on your temperament, work setting, support systems, and other factors. Here are some reasons why a BCBA might find their job stressful:

  1. Demanding Caseloads: BCBAs often manage multiple cases simultaneously, which means juggling the needs of various clients, families, and treatment plans.
  2. Emotionally Intense Work: Working with individuals with behavioral challenges can be emotionally taxing, especially if there is slow progress or regression in behaviors.
  3. Collaboration and Communication: BCBAs need to work closely with families, teachers, therapists, and other stakeholders. Differences in opinions or misunderstandings can arise, which requires tactful communication.
  4. Paperwork and Documentation: Thorough documentation is crucial for treatment plans, progress notes, and insurance purposes. Keeping up with paperwork can be time-consuming.
  5. Ethical Dilemmas: BCBAs might encounter situations where they have to make tough decisions to uphold ethical standards, which can be mentally and emotionally challenging.
  6. High Expectations: Families and institutions often have high expectations for behavior change, and there can be pressure on the BCBA to produce positive results quickly.
  7. Variability in Client Progress: Every individual is unique, and not all will respond to interventions in the same way or at the same pace. Managing expectations and adjusting strategies can be a continuous process.

That said, many BCBAs find the work highly fulfilling, especially when they see positive changes in the individuals they serve. Having a strong support system, setting clear boundaries, seeking supervision or mentorship, and practicing self-care can help manage the stresses associated with the job.

How Do I Become a BCBA in Wisconsin?

To become a BCBA in Wisconsin, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Earn a graduate-level ABA degree from an accredited university.
  • Complete 2000 hours of supervised field experience.
  • Pass the BCBA examination.

How Much Does a BCBA Make in Wisconsin?

As of January 2024, the average salary for a BCBA in Wisconsin is $96,396 per year ($46 per hour). More experienced and top earning BCBAs working in Wisconsin make well over $145,000 per year.

Copyright © 2024 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.