Rhode Island ABA Certification | Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

Interested in pursuing a potential applied behavior analysis career? Perhaps earning an ABA Certification is a great next step!

How To Earn an ABA Certification

Earning graduate certificates may be one path to enhancing your knowledge in a particular field, like the study of human behavior. And earning an ABA certification (applied behavior analysis certificate) may be the perfect choice if you’ve already earned a graduate degree (or you’re planning to, down the road). Below, you’ll find some helpful info on aba certificate programs that may help you pursue your goals in the field of behavior analysis!

What is ABA? 

If you’re interested in psychology, or even just people-watching, you may already be an observer of human behavior. But ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) is a field that explores both the study of behavior and its applications. For example, how do autistic people learn to function in various environments, and could behavior modification help them? How do humans learn new behaviors or respond to different situations? These are all questions that could potentially be answered by a BCBA (board certified behavior analyst)!

Fact: the BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) is an organization that awards BCBA certification. Among other criteria, you must have earned a graduate degree and completed acceptable behavior analysis coursework.[i]

How might an Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate be different from other ABA graduate programs?

Trying to decide between earning an aba certificate or, say, a master’s degree? Keep in mind that these programs are not equivalent. A certificate in applied behavior analysis is typically a non-degree option, whereas other graduate programs could allow you to earn a master’s or doctoral degree. A certificate program may also be shorter-term, depending on your status as a full-time or part-time student. Finally, pursuing one or more behavior certificates may allow you to focus on particular areas of the field, like autism or behavioral intervention. Here are a few potential reasons why earning an applied behavior analysis certificate may be for you:

You’re hoping to enhance your current career path. Want to brush up on your understanding of behavioral analysis, theories, and therapies? Perhaps pursuing a certificate in applied behavior analysis could help you explore new areas of your field.

You’re hoping to pursue a career change. Want to explore a potential new career path? Perhaps pursuing an aba certificate program could introduce you to the field of behavior science. For instance, if you’re a psychologist or another mental health professional hoping to learn more about behavioral analysis, behavior certificates might interest you.

You’re interested in human behavior! Teachers, business owners, and other professionals who spend a lot of time with people may naturally be interested in the way humans learn, behave, and interact with their environments. ABA certificate programs could potentially offer insight into a fascinating field.

May I Pursue a BCBA Certificate?[i]

To pursue the board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) credential, you must meet the requirements of the BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board). That includes earning an approved graduate degree. If certification is your goal, it’s a good idea to check with the BACB to learn more about accepted educational options. 

Earning an aba certificate online vs. on campus

These days, students may be able to choose from more than one program format…like earning an aba certificate online! Not sure whether to pursue a more traditional, campus-based certificate program, or an online one? Here are some potential benefits of each:

           Potential campus benefits:             

  • In-person learning. If you learn best in a traditional classroom, earning a campus-based certificate in applied behavior analysis could be perfect for you.
  • Campus resources. From the library to the fitness center you may find lots of awesome resources at your prospective college or university.
  • Student life. If making friends, networking, and getting involved in student organizations are some of your goals, choosing a campus-based program may be a great choice.

Potential online benefits:

  • Fit school into your busy schedule. Have kids? Work full time? Earning an aba certificate online could be the perfect choice for busy adults who don’t have time to commute to campus.
  • Bring the classroom home. If you live far from a college or university that offers aba certificate programs, online learning may be a way to pursue your studies from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Independence. Frustrated with slow classes, or need a little extra time to absorb a lesson? Online learning could potentially offer a bit more freedom.

Evaluating ABA Certification Programs

There may be a few important factors to consider when comparing prospective aba certificate programs. Here are some things to look for!

Accreditation – Accreditation means that your school or program has met a set of requirements outlined by an independent agency. For example, mental health counselors may wish to pursue graduate programs certified by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.[ii] Accreditation may indicate that your program meets certain industry standards, and it also may be a requirement for eligible students planning to use federal financial aid.[iii]

Area of focus – Some applied behavior analysis certificate programs may offer a more general behavior analysis curriculum, while others could focus on a particular subject – for example, autism spectrum disorders. Your choice may depend on your interests and career goals.

Resources – Whether you’re hoping to pursue an aba certificate online or on campus, you may be interested in potential services and resources that could help you pursue your goals! Some possible resources include tutoring, career services, nearby or on-campus childcare, student associations, partnerships with local institutions, etc. 

Your impression – Ideally, you should feel welcome at your prospective program and excited to get started! Are representatives friendly and willing to answer your questions? Does the program seem to have reasonable retention rates and a reputation for student satisfaction? These and other considerations may help you decide if a particular applied behavior analysis certificate program is perfect for you!

Ready to Search for Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Programs?

If you’re ready to get started, check out some different aba certificate programs, below. If you see one that interests you, click for more details about the program.


Sources: [i] bacb.com/bcba-option-1/ | [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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