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Educational Psychology – Applied Behavior Analysis

Master’s Degree

University of Southern Maine

The Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in applied behavior analysis (MSEPABA) prepares master’s-level clinicians with the education and training to sit for the examination to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). The program’s goals are:

  • to provide a consistent and coherent program of study in educational psychology founded on specific conceptual frameworks (outlined below),
  • to teach and demonstrate best practices in behavior analysis in all program courses and activities, and
  • to prepare students for the practice of behavior analysis in Maine and elsewhere.

The MSEPABA objectives pull together the mission and goals by providing courses and practical strategies for implementing best practices in behavior analysis by using empirically validated assessment, intervention, and consultation methods.

The M.S. in Educational Psychology program prepares students to meet competencies set forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Upon completion of the program, graduates have earned the academic requirements in the preparation for the practice of behavior analysis.

The program is designed to meet the academic requirements necessary for the following credentials: Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Based on the models and professional standards found in the program philosophy, students in the M.S. program receive training in the following areas: functional behavior assessment (e.g., indirect, direct, and analogue), clinical interviews, interventions, consultation, positive behavioral supports, social psychology, applied research and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, and single case experimental design.

In addition to the academic requirements, BACB requires a 1,500-hour supervised work experience; this work experience must occur in a behavior analytic environment under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. The supervised work is intended to provide experience utilizing the knowledge and skills gained during and concurrent with coursework. The supervised work is conducted under the direct supervision of a BCBA. The supervised work experience is arranged by the student independent of the University or educational psychology program, and may occur concurrent with or upon completion of the coursework.

Consistent with BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2014), graduates of the program are encouraged to maintain a rigorous course of professional development throughout their careers and are bound to limit their practice to competencies and populations in which they are trained.

Graduates who are interested in further development in behavior analysis or as an educational or school psychology practitioner are encouraged to pursue doctoral training. Doctoral training typically prepares practitioners in advanced skills practice (e.g., assessment, counseling, consultation, research, supervision) with specific populations (e.g., autism, developmental disabilities, emotional disorders, learning disabilities).

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