College & University Coursework

College / University Coursework for Credit

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In order to provide a comprehensive training program, training must include university / college coursework offered for credit. There are a number of institutes of higher education throughout the state offering courses and programs designed to advance personnel development and knowledge regarding autism spectrum disorder. VCU-ACE provides a comprehensive list of coursework in autism spectrum disorder and effective intervention practices including applied behavior analysis.

Areas of coursework ABA Coursework ASD Coursework Link to University Coursework for Credit section

Coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the systematic application of the principles derived from Behavior Analysis to the solution of learning problems of social significance. There are requirements for a professional to provide services in ABA that are recognized throughout the country. Formal credentialing of professional behavior analysts by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) can provide safeguards for individuals with ASD and ensure a level of knowledge, expertise, and proficiency to help a professional implement programs based on ABA with fidelity. This requires the person to gain Certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB) as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA). Standards for certification as a BCBA include a Master's degree in Education, Psychology, or Behavior Analysis, graduate-level coursework in specific behavior analytic content areas, supervised experience in designing and implementing applied behavior analysis interventions, and a passing score on the professionally-developed BCBA examination. In addition to certification as a BCBA, there is also a lower level of certification available. The Board Certified Associate Behavior Analys® (BCaBA®) is for individuals who do not have a Master's degree. Requirements include a bachelor's degree, undergraduate coursework in behavior analysis, supervised experience in implementing applied behavior analysis interventions, and a passing score on the BCaBA examination. (For more information on the Board and the examination, please visit the Board's website.)

Institutes of Higher Education in Virginia Offering Coursework in ABA

In addition to the Consortium, several other Virginia universities offer coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis. Please visit our additional ABA coursework page for more information.

Coursework in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Comprehensive certificate programs in ASD are now offered at a number of colleges and universities throughout Virginia. Certificate programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level providing valuable options for both professionals and paraprofessionals. Please visit our ASD coursework page for a list of programs that offer this coursework and more information.

Other Continuing Education Opportunities

The Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Severe Disabilities

The Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Severe Disabilities is comprised of five state approved teacher preparation programs in severe disabilities (SD), including George Mason University, Norfolk State University, Radford University, University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University. The consortium's primary goal is to prepare teachers across the state to be highly skilled at working with learners with SD. The program is designed to increase the number of fully endorsed teachers by providing training to new full-time pre-service personnel and to accelerate the training for those already teaching on conditional licenses.

A common licensing curriculum, which includes 33 graduate credit hours of coursework and field experiences, has been developed across participating universities. Each class uses video conferencing technology to establish real-time, interactive, multipoint conference instruction among the five university sites.

Individuals interested in applying to the Severe Disabilities (SD) Consortium must meet the admission requirements of their selected university. Furthermore, individuals need to complete the SD Consortium application and submit it to the SD faculty member at their university. The SD Consortium is supported by grants from the Virginia Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Every semester, the Consortium awards a limited number of tuition stipends to qualified applicants.

Please note that application procedures vary for each university. However, all applicants must have passed Praxis I or the SAT/ACT equivalent for admission into the SD Consortium. For more information, visit the Consortium website.