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Oregon Tech Launches First Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in Oregon

Jan 25, 2018
The MS in ABA degree will allow Oregon Tech to meet the growing demand for highly qualified professionals trained in applied behavior analysis
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Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” is pleased to announce that a new Master of Science degree program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has launched and is now accepting applicants.

The Oregon Tech MS in ABA degree is administered through the university’s Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses with highly experienced faculty at each site to provide in-person and Zoom videoconferencing course delivery. This delivery option allows students to benefit from the expertise of all ABA faculty, regardless of student or faculty location, while still offering access to local faculty for mentorship.

The MS in ABA degree will allow Oregon Tech to meet the growing demand for highly qualified professionals trained in applied behavior analysis. ABA is based on the science of behaviorism and is an evidence-based, data driven, systematic approach to intervention that improves the quality of life for individuals. Behavior analysts are in high demand, particularly for providing autism related services and therapies. ABA is recognized as the Standard of Care for Autism when provided by well-qualified professionals.

ABA program director and professor, Dr. Maria Lynn Kessler, shared her optimism for the program: “We are excited for this opportunity to provide an accessible degree program to meet the growing need for behavior analysts who will be able to make a difference in the lives of Oregon families.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children have an autism spectrum disorder; the Oregon Department of Education estimates that at least 9,000 school-aged children in Oregon have autism. Currently, there are only 177 people licensed to provide ABA services to children with autism and other disabilities in Oregon, evidence that there is a great need for behavior analysts to provide ABA services to children with autism. This program allows Oregon Tech to help meet the demand for highly qualified ABA providers. Some of the areas in which ABA is applied include child abuse and neglect, behavioral medicine, gerontology, sports, education, performance management, autism, developmental and intellectual disabilities, brain injury and organizational behavior management.

Oregon’s first—and at this time only—master’s degree in applied behavior analysis, the MS-ABA curriculum focuses on providing a rigorous and thorough foundation in the science of behavior analysis. Applied Behavior Analysis is a scientific approach for understanding and addressing socially significant problem behaviors and teaching meaningful skills. The MS-ABA is an applied program with coursework that provides a strong theoretical foundation for hands-on application through supervised practicum and thesis requirements.

“We have been offering BACB verified course sequences in ABA since 2011 and we are pleased to take this next step in offering the MS in ABA,” said Dr. Kessler. “The expanded course work and supervised experience in the MS-ABA will prepare students to be highly qualified professionals, and have an immediate positive impact on the lives of Oregonians and others in the region.”

This program consists of courses designed to prepare students for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® ready to work in a variety of clinical settings. Graduates of the program will meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Board requirements for national certification and Oregon licensure as behavior analysts and will be prepared to provide behavior analytic services for individuals and organizations in a wide variety of settings.

Oregon Tech also offers a standalone Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis for individuals who already have a graduate degree; and, in partnership with Southern Oregon University, a Master of Education with Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorder, which focuses career aspirations within an education setting.

For more information, please contact Dr. Maria Lynn Kessler, at 503.821.1308; Marialynn.kessler@oit.edu.
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