What You Should Know About This Degree
For individuals with a master’s degree in a field like psychology, earning an ABA certificate is sufficient for becoming a BCBA. However, under federal guidelines, certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. This is something to consider when looking at the cost of certificate programs versus master’s programs.
Because ABA is a human services profession, learning how to work with clients is a key component of BCBA education. The BACB requires a supervised practicum as part of their experience requirements for certification. Even if all coursework can be completed online, students should be prepared to attend an in-person practicum. Talk to a program advisor to confirm that these requirements will fit into your schedule.
After obtaining your degree, you will have to pass an exam before you are considered a BCBA. Thereafter, you must complete continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain your certification.
Many states are beginning to require a license as well as certification to practice as a BCBA. Licensure is an ever-evolving process. It’s important that students and practitioners pay attention to the current status of regulations in the state in which they plan to practice. This is also something to take into consideration when choosing where you will earn your degree.
Here are some questions to ask when researching BCBA programs:
- Do I need financial aid? If you are planning on enrolling in an ABA certificate program, be aware that students in these types of programs typically are not eligible to receive federal financial aid. Make sure you are able to cover costs out-of-pocket, or secure other sources of funding to cover the cost of the program. If you are currently employed, as your employer if they provide tuition assistance benefits.
- How are online courses delivered? Online courses are typically delivered in synchronous or asynchronous format. In synchronous courses, students attend classes remotely, but at the same time. The coursework for asynchronous courses can be completed at any time, according to the student’s own schedule. Consider what type of program will work best for you when researching online programs.
As you research programs, review their application requirements and deadlines on the school’s website, or by contacting the school’s admissions office. Gathering your application materials well ahead of deadlines can help your admissions process go as smoothly as possible.