Applied Behavior Analysis for Behavioral Therapist and Behavioral Counselor

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Certificate Overview

This 3-course, 9-credit program provides in-depth training in behavioral strategies and applied behavior analysis (ABA) now required by Connecticut law for those working with children who have autism spectrum disorder. Those eligible to apply for this program hold a master's degree and are certified to work in public schools.  Potential students include those in school psychology, special education and school counseling, and school psychologists in the field who need more training in ABA for their professional certification.

The 3 required courses are:

  • PY 537 Psychoeducational Assessment I: Behavioral Approaches: Designed for school psychology candidates, this course is the first in a four-course sequence in the psycho-educational evaluation of school-aged children. It covers the key concepts and procedures used in the behavioral assessment of individuals with a dual emphasis on functional behavioral assessment and progress monitoring within a response-to-intervention model. Topics covered include direct observation procedures, indirect assessment procedures, data collection and progress monitoring, functional analysis, reinforcer assessment, social validity assessment, direct behavior ratings, inter-observer reliability, and linking assessment results to behavior intervention and support plans. Applications at all three tiers of a response-to-intervention model will be discussed. Three credits.
  • PY 541 Behavior Change Procedures: This course will present behavior change procedures for use with individual and group clients. Antecedent, consequence, and alternative behavior interventions will be discussed. Procedures taught include the use of: reinforcement and punishment (including differential reinforcement), modeling, shaping, chaining, etc. Specific topics will include discrimination training, contingency contracting, and group contingencies, among others. Basics of working with verbal behavior also will be introduced. (Prerequisite: PY 537) Three credits.
  • PY 542 Measurement, Data Analysis, and Experimental Design in Applied Behavior Analysis: This course will present the concepts, principles, and tools of measurement used for assessment and intervention within applied behavior analysis. Topics covered will include defining target behaviors, choosing measurement strategies and procedures for various dimensions of behavior, single-case design, graphical presentation of data, and applications within a response-to-intervention framework. (Prerequisites: PY 537 and PY 541) Three credits.

Program Advisor

Dr. Paula Gill Lopez

Dr. Paula Gill Lopez, associate professor and chair of the Department of Psychological and Educational Consultation, received her Ph.D. in educational psychology with a specialization in school psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1994, Dr. Gill Lopez joined the faculty in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions at Fairfield University and has directed the school psychology program ever since.

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