California Earn an ABA Certificate On Campus

Considering aba certificate programs that could help you explore the exciting field of applied behavior analysis? Then it’s time to get started! Campus-based aba certificate programs might be a great choice for students hoping to participate in traditional classroom learning while potentially preparing for challenges in their field. Below, check out some useful info on earning behavior certificates that may be perfect for your interests and goals.

So what is aba?

Before exploring potential aba certificate programs, it’s a good idea to understand what exactly aba stands for! The answer: applied behavior analysis. That’s the science of behavior, including how people learn new behaviors or change the way they act depending on the environment. Have you always wondered why children act the way they do, or how people with developmental disabilities navigate the world? A board certified behavior analyst might be able to explain. Applied behavior analysis is used for a variety of purposes, ranging from discovering how we learn new behaviors to helping specific populations, like autistic people, interact with others in positive ways.

How might aba certificate programs be different from other aba graduate programs?

An aba certificate program might fall under the umbrella of aba graduate programs, but it’s not the same as, say, earning a PhD. Most certificate programs are non-degree programs that may help introduce you to an aspect of the field. For example, you might earn behavior certificates that focus on behavior intervention or autism, along with programs that offer more general curriculum. Often, a certificate program is shorter in length than earning a graduate degree, though this could depend on factors like your status as a full-time or part-time student. There could be a few potential reasons to earn an applied behavior analysis certificate, like pursuing a prospective new career path or enhancing your knowledge of an existing professional area.

Could I earn a bcba certificate?[i]

Be careful not to mix up aba certificate programs with bcba certification! BCBA stands for board certified behavior analyst, and it is a professional certification awarded by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. In order to earn BCBA certification, you must fulfill certain requirements, like earning a graduate degree and completing approved behavior analysis coursework. If you’ve already earned a graduate degree but are looking for ways to pursue the required aba courses, it may be a good idea to check with the Board to learn if earning an aba certificate could potentially fit the bill.

Why pursue an applied behavior analysis certificate on campus?

Today’s students may have the option to learn online, from the comfort of home. So why choose a campus-based certificate in applied behavior analysis? There may be a few potential reasons to take the more traditional route. Here are just a few to consider:

Your learning style – Some students may find it easier to stay motivated in a more traditional learning environment. If you focus better in person or enjoy the unique energy of a classroom, perhaps aba certificate programs on campus are perfect for you!

Student life – Not everyone is a social butterfly, but for some, getting involved on campus may be one of the most exciting parts of being a student. If you choose to pursue an applied behavior analysis certificate program on campus, you may find opportunities to join student-run organizations and professional associations. Plus, meeting like-minded peers can be fun!

Services and resources – While online learners may have access to many of the same resources as traditional students, those who study on campus may have access to a few additional perks – like the fitness center, computer lab, and dining hall, to name a few potential services. Looking for something in particular? Contact your prospective school to see if they have, say, child-care services or a student-run theater. 

Evening and weekend courses – Online learning may be a great way for busy, working students to pursue their educational goals. But these days, campus-based programs may offer more flexible options, too. If you have kids or work full-time and can’t schedule classes during the day, contact your prospective aba certificate programs to see if courses are available when you need them!

How might I tell which certificate in applied behavior analysis program may be perfect for me?

Ready to start evaluating prospective applied behavior analysis certificate programs? Good for you! Here are some criteria you may want to keep in mind as you weigh potential programs.

Location, location, location. If you’re interested in exploring campus-based behavior certificates, location may be key. For one, are you willing to move in order to pursue your educational goals? If so, consider where you may like to live and study – in a major city or low-key town? At a large research university or a small college? Keep factors like cost of living in mind. If you’re not able to move, look for prospective aba certificate programs that are convenient to where you live or work.

Accreditation. Employers may prefer candidates who have graduated from an accredited school or program. For example, employers of mental health counselors may keep an eye out for accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.[ii] And keep in mind that if you are eligible for federal financial aid, which may be available for qualified students, your school should be accredited by an accreditation organization.[iii]

Reputation. Does your prospective applied behavior analysis certificate program have a reputation for satisfied students? One way to find out may be to speak with current or former students. You can also check the program’s retention rates and graduation rates, among other stats. Finally, the Better Business Bureau or your state higher agency may be good resources. And don’t hesitate to contact your program with any questions you may have!

The next step is yours!

If pursuing an aba certificate sounds like an exciting journey, your next step is to check out programs that may suit your interests and goals. Below, you’ll find a few worth exploring. Just click each program for more details!


Sources: [i] bacb.com/bcba-requirements/ | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm#tab-4 | [iii] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider#accreditation

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