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- Application requirements: Online application, transcripts, minimum GPA of 2.75 undergraduate
- Deadline(s): April 15 for summer start, July 15 for fall start
- Course Requirements: 6 courses (18 credits)
- Typical Course Load: Fall (2 courses), Spring (2 courses), Summer (2 courses)
- Time to Completion: 1-2 years depending on course load
This certificate program provides a concentration of coursework in behavior analysis for practitioners interested in enhancing their knowledge and skills in implementing evidence-based behavioral support strategies. These course hours can be applied to the coursework required for the Pennsylvania Behavior Specialist licensure (you will need to meet additional hours and requirements to qualify). In addition, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) has verified the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.*
SPED/SCHP 402 Applied Behavior Analysis: This course provides students with an introduction to the science of human behavior, with a focus on the theory and application of applied behavior analysis strategies for improving behavior in school, home, and community settings. Students will learn basic principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis, ways to identify factors that contribute to behavior difficulties, and intervention strategies that can be used to minimize problems, improve performance, teach new behaviors, and increase the likelihood of desired behaviors. Specific topics include: definition and measurement of behavior; functional behavior assessment; single-subject research design; methods of increasing and decreasing behavior; discrimination, generalization, and maintenance; and ethical considerations.
SPED 409 Classroom Environment and Management: Designing inclusive classroom environments that maximize learning. Emphasis on fostering a community of learners using connections among classroom arrangement, classroom management, and cognitive development to create positive learning outcomes for all students, including ELL learners and students with disabilities. Addresses the tiered model of prevention and positive behavior support, including the role of functional assessment and individual positive behavior support plans in classroom management. Highlights the ways a positive climate for learning involves establishing and maintaining partnerships with families.
SPED 410 Behavior Analysts: Ethics and Professional Conduct: This course is designed to provide students an in-depth review of the BACB Professional and Ethics Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts and other relevant content and readings that further support student understanding of the topic area. Class discussions, review of case studies, and student-lead small group problem-solving activities will enable students to apply ethical and professional standards to their work, further promoting quality interactions between the children and adults they serve, families, teachers, and others stakeholders.
SPED 416 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Evidence-Based Practices: This course provides an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and an introduction to evidence based practices (EBPs) for practitioners, based on current research. Assignments focus on the use of EBPs, grounded in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Emphasis is placed on intervention evaluation and implementation in addition to providing family supports.
SPED 432 Positive Behavior Support: Design of comprehensive, multi-component behavior support plans for individuals with a variety of disabilities who engage in problem behavior. Topics include functional assessment, antecedent and setting event interventions, replacement behaviors, consequence and crisis procedures, lifestyle interventions, and teaming strategies. Assessment focuses on the link between curriculum, academic performance, and behavior problems. Promotes consideration of diverse populations for understanding behavioral differences. Describes strategies for ongoing monitoring and maintenance of behavior reductions.
EDUC 461 Single-Subject Research Design: This course provides students with knowledge in the theory underlying single-subject research design and the application of single-case research methodology to produce behavior change. The course focuses on empirical methods for answering applied research questions in school, home, and community settings. Students will learn basic principles and procedures of single-case research, underlying logic of the research designs, and single-case data analysis methods. Specific topics include: historical perspectives; measurement; social validity and procedural fidelity; replication and generality; visual and statistical analysis; single-subject research designs; and ethical considerations.
*Please refer to https://www.bacb.com/bcba/for additional requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Those interested in taking the BCBA® exam must also have at least an acceptable master's degree from an accredited university and a defined period of supervised practical experience. On-going ethical compliance is also required for certification eligibility. BACB Pass-Rate Data.
NOTE: If you are working on your Lehigh Certificate and plan to enroll as a Master's student you must first apply (and be offered acceptance) to become a Master's student in the College of Education.
Q: What is required to obtain a Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification?
A: You must (a) have a master’s degree in ABA, education (e.g., special), psychology, or a related field; note this changes in 2022, after which time degrees in any field will be accepted (b) successfully complete the courses in the verified course sequence; note 5th Edition Task List Requirements must be met after 2022 (c) complete supervised fieldwork (see specific requirements here: and (d) pass the certification exam.
Q: How will upcoming changes to the BACB requirements in 2022 affect me?
A: As of January 1, 2022, the BACB will require students to complete coursework per the 5th Edition Task List: https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/170113-BCBA-BCaBA-task-list-5th-ed-.pdf and supervision requirements will change: https://www.bacb.com/bcba/. If you have begun your coursework prior to January 1, 2022 please speak with your advisor to determine additional content hours that might be needed. All supervision hours must meet new requirements as of 2022.
Q: How long do I have to complete the BCBA verified course sequence?
A: There is no limit on the time you can take to complete the course sequence, however supervision must be completed within a 5 year time period. There are a few things to keep in mind. First, the requirements for BCBA licensure sometimes change. So, if you take too long, you may need to take additional courses to meet certification requirements. Second, if you do not take a course at Lehigh for one year, you will need to reapply to the program.
Q: Can I apply to take the test after I have completed coursework?
A: No, you must complete supervised fieldwork hours before taking the exam.
Q: When can I start my supervised fieldwork hours?
A: You may begin your fieldwork hours as soon as you start coursework.
Q: Does completion of Lehigh University’s Verified Course Sequence allow me to become a Licensed Behavior Specialist in Pennsylvania?
A: While the VCS does provide coursework required to the PA State Board of Medicine, we recommend you thoroughly review licensure requirements in Pennsylvania as these can differ from the BACB. You can find more information here: https://www.pals.pa.gov/#/page/default
Q: Does completion of Lehigh University’s Verified Course Sequence allow me to become a licensed behavioral practitioner in other states?
A: Licensure requirements vary widely per state, therefore we cannot guarantee licensure in other states even if you are certified by the BACB and licensed in Pennsylvania. For more information on licensure requirements per state please visit: https://www.bacb.com/u-s-licensure-of-behavior-analysts/
Q: Does Lehigh University provide assistance with the fieldwork requirement for the BCBA?
A: Lehigh University houses Lehigh University Autism Services (LUAS), which can serve as a practicum site for students enrolled in the Behavior Analysis Certificate program, students who have chosen to complete the Behavior Analysis Certificate as a specialization or add-on to their current degree, or who are enrolled in the M.Ed in Behavior Analysis. Practicum spots are limited. If you are interested in completing practicum with us please contact your advisor and Dr. Lee Kern. At this time, Lehigh University does not assist students in finding placements for supervision conducted outside of LUAS.
Q: Do I need to have a teaching credential to apply to the M.Ed. in Behavior Analysis at Lehigh or certificate in Behavior Analysis?
A: No. For requirements of the M.A. in ABA at Lehigh go here:https://ed.lehigh.edu/academics/degrees/masters-degrees. For the certificate program in ABA at Lehigh you need a master’s degree in ABA, education (e.g., special), psychology, or a related field.
Q: Can I attend the M.A. in ABA part-time or the certificate in ABA program part-time?