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Daemen to offer applied behavior analysis degree

The state Department of Education has approved a Daemen College request to offer a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA) starting in the fall, making it the only state-approved ABA graduate program in New York.

The master’s program, under the direction of Vicki Madaus Knapp, assistant professor of education, will provide comprehensive graduate training in ABA, an intervention approach commonly used with individuals with autism spectrum or related disorders.

“Increasingly, there is a need across the country for licensed behavior analysts so having a program that meets the eligibility requirements for licensure is a credential that will give students a distinct advantage in the job market,” Knapp said in a news release.

Blending foundational skills with hands-on learning opportunities in various clinical settings, the program is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, social work, sociology, or health promotion. Program graduates will be eligible to apply for licensure as a behavior analyst in New York State without the need for additional course review.

Graduate ABA students will be required to complete 31 credit hours of coursework in the basic concepts and principles of behavior analysis, clinical change procedures, ethics and professionalism, and other core areas, a capstone research thesis, and 150 clinical hours.

State administrators also told Daemen officials they may launch a new advanced certificate program to provide ABA post-graduate training for professionals in related fields.

“These programs will greatly augment our exceptional academic offerings and prepare highly qualified professionals with the advanced level of skills and training essential for this growing field,” said Michael Brogan, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “For students, the programs are ideally suited for those looking to further their careers or would like to apply their talents and experience to pursue new opportunities as behavior analysts.”

Demand for behavior analyst positions more than doubled across the U.S. from 2012 to 2014, according to a 2015 report conducted for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

For more information, email Knapp at vmadausk@daemen.edu or call 839-8333.

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