This fall, the University of New Brunswick will begin offering an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Certificate Program. The UNB ABA Certificate Program is the first program of its kind in Atlantic Canada that meets the coursework requirements needed to apply for the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB®) assistant level examination. The program can be completed via distance education or at UNB’s Fredericton campus. UNB is one of few Canadian universities to offer the certification both on campus and online.
UNB’s College of Extended Learning (CEL) has developed the ABA Certificate Program in partnership with the UNB department of psychology. Students completing their undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field can apply to do the certificate concurrently. Intervention services workers who hold a bachelor’s degree or individuals seeking to enhance their career opportunities for working with individuals with complex behaviour disorders are also welcome to apply.
School districts are beginning to employ more ABA certified individuals because the therapy can be applied to students who have challenging behaviours or difficulties in school, even without a specific diagnosis. The therapy can also help individuals with intellectual disabilities. The same principles have been proven effective when used on adults to encourage green behaviour such as recycling, safe driving, gun safety, and organizational behaviour management.
“New Brunswick is fortunate that there is a lot of support for ABA. As a result there is considerable demand from the community for credit courses,’’ says Dr. Holly Seniuk, assistant professor and faculty representative to ABA certificate program. “At the undergrad level there aren’t many options to study ABA in Atlantic Canada. We are starting to see growth and potential in our community.”
The program courses are taught by Board Certified Behaviour Analysts, with a broad range of clinical and research experience. Students are provided with specialized education and applied knowledge to conduct behavioural assessments and develop and implement behaviour change programs.
Upon successful completion, participants will be eligible to apply to write the exam to become certified. People who hold BCaBA® certification are much sought after by employers.
“Graduates will not only have a degree in the field—they will also have a certificate and valuable work experience from the practicums in the program that makes them marketable for potential employers.” says Dr. Seniuk.
Interested individuals can enroll in the ABA Certificate Program on a part-time or full-time basis. It is expected that full-time students will complete the program in one to two academic school years and part-time students will complete in five academic school years or less. The application deadline for the ABA Certificate Program for fall 2016 is March 31, 2016.