FAQ for Autism

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Is the study of Applied Behavior Analysis right for me?

If you’re interested in helping people achieve a well-balanced lifestyle to the maximum extent possible, then Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is for you. If you want to learn how to use techniques grounded in behavioral principles such as positive reinforcement and precision teaching, ABA is for you.

What is a Behavior Analyst?

An Applied Behavior Analyst is someone who has in-depth knowledge of the field and methods of the study of the science of behavior. Behavior analysis services help people learn new behaviors, increase or reduce existing behaviors, and teach individuals when to use specific behaviors in specific instances. The scope of these services ranges from addressing challenging behaviors of an individual person to changing the behavior of an entire organization or community.

Who should apply?

This program is specifically designed for individuals with a background in education or human services who are interested in becoming board Certified Behavior Analysts. However, anyone with an interest in learning about interventions to produce lasting change in behavior will find this program to be extremely useful. 

Am I eligible to pursue a Behavioral Analyst Certification?

You must have a master's degree in:

  • Education
  • Clinical, counseling, or school psychology
  • Clinical social work
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech/language therapy
  • Engineering
  • Medicine

If your master's degree is not on this list, it may be approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). It just needs to be submitted for approval.
     - OR -
Be enrolled in a master's program in one of the disciplines outlined above
or submitted for approval to the BACB.

What are the requirements to earn a Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB)?

  • Master's degree is the minimum
  • Pass the entire exam
  • In the UW-Platteville program, 750 hours of independent field work which you will earn in class.

Who is teaching the courses?

Faculty is practicing BACAs. All are currently active in the field.

What is special about the UW-Platteville Office of Continuing Education program?

We currently are the only freestanding Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) program in the State of Wisconsin. We can serve as a “wrap around” program if you are currently enrolled in a graduate program at another university or we can serve you if you are currently a practitioner looking to upgrade your skills, employment options, and income. Our hybrid online format offers you convenience as well as face-to-face contact with your instructors WITHOUT coming to Platteville.

What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst* (BCBA* or BCBA-D*)?

The BCBA and BCBA-D are independent practitioners who also may work as employees or independent contractors for an organization. The BCBA conducts descriptive and systematic behavioral assessments, including functional analyses, and provides behavior analytic interpretations of the results. The BCBA designs and supervises behavior analytic interventions. The ABCBA is able to effectively develop and implement appropriate assessment and intervention methods for use in unfamiliar situations and for a range of cases. The BCBA seeks the consultation of more experienced practitioners when necessary. The BBNA teaches others to carry out ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions based on published research and designs and delivers instruction in behavior analysis. BCBAs supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts and others who implement behavior analytic interventions.

What is the short version of Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) requirements?

  1. Master's degree is minimum
  2. Pass the entire BACB exam 
  3. 750 hours of independent field work (in UW-Platteville program)

Is this Behavior Analysis Certification Board Program Accredited?

Behavior Analysis Certification Board Programs are widely accredited. Accreditation agencies include: National Council for Certifying Agencies in Washington, DC (NCCA is the accreditation body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence); Division 25 of the American Psychological Association; Association of Professional Behavior Analysts; Association for Behavior Analysis International; European Association for Behavior Analysis.

Why is International Certification Important?

It is your guarantee that you can basically go anywhere in the world and work as a Certified Behavior Analyst.

What about Wisconsin Licensure? 

Wisconsin Act 282 established “Behavior Analyst” as a licensed profession. Licensure requires obtaining the BCBA or BCBA-D and makes one eligible for insurance reimbursement under the Autism Mandate.

How much can I earn as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) professional?

That really depends on your expertise, experience, and education and position. Here are some examples of BCBA certified professionals and their median salaries:

  • Applied Behavior Analyst   $57,777
  • Consultant, Education/Training  $53,000
  • Clinical Psychologist    $73,000
  • Director, Clinical Services   $63,000
  • Special Ed Teacher, PK, K, Elementary $42,000
  • ABA Home Therapist    $40,000

What is the career outlook for a Behavior Analyst / Specialist who specializes in autism?

The demand for behavior analysts who specialize in autism far exceeds the number of persons with the expertise required to provide effective ABA programs. The diagnosis of autism is increasing rapidly. More than 500,000 individuals under the age of 21 are currently diagnosed with autism. According to the U.S department of education, autism is expected to have a continued growth rate of 10-17 percent annually. The centers for disease control estimates an increase from 1 in 150 to 110 children have an autism spectrum disorder. Such dramatic numbers and a shortage of qualified autism specialists create a strong demand for trained professionals. 

What are the advantages of the UW-Platteville Office of Continuing Education Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) program?

There are seven reasons:

  1. We are currently the only stand-alone program in the state. Thus we can serve graduate students from around the state as well as current practitioners with master's degrees.
  2. Flexible course schedules are sensitive to cohort members’ lives.
  3. Online instruction combined with face-to-face components optimizes learning.
  4. The fieldwork requirement is covered in a class—something rarely done. This means students do not need to independently find field work supervisors—often a difficult task—and pay out of pocket (often in the range of $5,000 to $7,500 for this requirement alone).
  5. Faculty is practicing BABAs—we are currently active in the field providing the services for which students are being prepared.
  6. You will be taught by those who supervise you. Course instructors will fine tune your skills in the field.
  7. Field work can be done on the job. Students do not forfeit wages for academic preparation.

 

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