Master of Education in Special Education, ABA

This is a 30 (non-thesis) graduate semester hour program leading to a Master of Education in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Two routes for the confirmation of the degree are offered.

Local graduate students

We offer a two-year program with online courses combined with the opportunity to complete 20-25 hours per week of supervised fieldwork at the Houston-Lantrip Center for Literacy and Learning (HLC)  at Hardin-Simmons University. At the end of this program, candidates who have successfully completed all coursework and fieldwork requirements will be eligible to sit for the BCBA certification exam.

Distance graduate students

We offer a two-year program with online courses combined with the opportunity to complete 20-25 hours per week of supervised fieldwork at an approved site. At the end of this program, candidates who have successfully completed all coursework and fieldwork requirements will be eligible to sit for the BCBA certification exam.

ABA is best known for its success in treating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (e.g., Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities) evidenced by empirical research studies dating back to the early 1960s.  Treatment in this area is effective across the lifespan (i.e., childhood, adolescence, adulthood). In young children, the goal of intensive, comprehensive intervention is to improve cognitive, language, social, and self-help skills. Decades of research have shown that intensive ABA treatment is the most successful approach for children with ASD, and it is widely recognized by a number of sources including the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Mental Health. When applied to older individuals, ABA involves teaching behaviors essential to functioning effectively in the home, school, and community.  ABA can also decrease severe problem behaviors that endanger health and safety, and limit educational, residential, or vocational options.

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Trube Miller-Assistant Professor of Educational Studies

Dr. Trube Miller

Associate Professor of Educational Studies

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Degrees

  • Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.)

What is special about the Special Education degree at HSU?

Great Outcomes

Starting salaries range from $46,000 to $75,000 for behavior analysts.

High Demand

According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected overall employment for behavior analysts will increase 19% nationwide from 2014 to 2024, which is significantly faster than the average growth rate of 7% for most all occupations.

Program Details

MEd Core Curriculum (9 hours)

Course Course Title Course Description
EDUC 5380 Digital Media and Curriculum Integration This course emphasizes twenty first century skills including digital literacy, inventive thinking and collaboration. Students will explore the power of using multimedia projects by integrating digital products into a curriculum unit. Students will increase computer skills using software that combines a variety of multimedia including: text, still images, audio, video, video podcasting, and web publishing.  Spring (even years)
EDUC 6301 Introduction to Research Techniques An orientation to the methodology and skills needed to conduct research. Emphasis is place upon the preparation and submission of a formal research proposal. Examples of quantitative and qualitative designs and statistical methods will be included. Fall (even years)
EDUC 6305 Trends and Issues in Education This course explores the critical trends and issues studied and debated in the field of education. Students will examine current trends, historical origins, recurring issues, research findings, and resulting changes in policy, practice, and advocacy. Students will develop critical thinking and analysis skills needed to investigate and address educational issues. Fall (odd years)

Special Education with ABA emphasis (21 hours)

Course Prefix  Course Title Course Description 
BEHV 6310* Introduction to Applied Behavioral Analysis This course introduces students to the principles of scientific inquiry in applied behavioral science. In-depth discussion and analysis of behavioral principles and definitions of current topics are presented in the context of solving individual and societal issues across the life-span, with special emphasis in early childhood education, public health, developmental disabilities (autism spectrum disorders), delinquency, independent living skills, and educational systems. Fall
BEHV 6312* Behavioral Assessment of Exceptional Learners The strategies, tactics, and ethics of evaluating assessment and

intervention techniques through the use of scientific methods in applied behavioral

science are presented. Emphasis placed on conducting functional assessment

approaches are presented in the larger context of behavioral assessment. Research

articles and experiential learning relevant to indirect, descriptive, and experimental

functional assessment approaches matched to the selection of appropriate interventions are reviewed. Spring Prerequisite  BEHV 6310 and EDUC 6301

BEHV 6314* Applied Behavioral Strategies for Neurodiverse Learners This course focuses on a variety of evidence-based approaches

to assist in teaching behavioral and socially relevant skills. Analysis of problematic

behaviors from a functional viewpoint matched with corresponding effective

strategies, with an emphasis on the development of behavior intervention plans, and positive behavioral supports/interventions for learners with challenging behaviors.Topics within the course include, but are not limited to: universal supports,individualized supports, large-group strategies, and behavior change components. Consideration of ethical issues will be addressed and discussed through behavior analytic literature.  Spring Prerequisites:  BEHV 6310 and EDUC 6301

BEHV 6316* Program Planning for Neurodiverse Learners This course focuses on designing and implementing behavior

change systems from start to finish, including data collection, training packages, and fidelity measures. Students will also explore issues in the funding and systems involved in the provision of treatment. Summer I Prerequisites:  BEHV 6312 and BEHV 6314

BEHV 6318* Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Behavior Analysis This course addresses and reviews ethical and legal requirements of implementation of behavioral intervention plans, professional

conduct, accountability, confidentiality, quality of services/life, and professional

safeguards. The Behavior Analysis Certification Board ethical standards are addressed and discussed at length. Ethical and legal issues in teaching, research, and service delivery are also addressed. This course will also include instruction in the preparation of manuscripts submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Summer II Prerequisites:  BEHV 6316

READ 6319 Assessment and Instruction III: The Disabled Reader Students will learn the interrelated components of phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and oral/written language as they pertain to struggling and disabled readers. Students will learn how to administer formal reading assessments for the purpose of diagnosing reading disabilities and use the results to design inform and adjust reading instruction. Emphasis will be given to identification and treatment of reading difficulties, dyslexia, and reading disabilities.  Fall (odd years)

Prerequisites:  BEHV 6318

BEHV 6320* Internship in Applied Behavior Analysis Students work in field settings under the immediate supervision of a faculty member in the department. The purpose of this internship is to provide experience in applying behavioral principles and processes in a setting where faculty feedback is continuously available. Students may already have the bulk of their required supervision hours completed (2000 to 1500 hours), or they may fulfill up to 500 hours during this course. All students will participate in ongoing or new research being conducted at the HLC.

Spring (even years) Prerequisites:  BEHV 6318, READ 6319, and EDUC 6305

The evaluation criteria include, but are not limited to:

  1. Undergraduate GPA (minimum of 2.75 overall or 3.0 in last 60 hours).
  2. Submission of undergraduate academic record.
  3. Professional resume that delineates previous work, educational experiences, membership and involvement in professional organizations, and scholarly activities.  Resume should support potential for strong performance as a graduate student.
  4. A professional statement (1–3 pages) stating goals and rationale for applying to the Master of Education in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis.  This statement, should include a brief description of career experiences (teaching, working with special populations, etc.), and explain how they are linked to educational aspirations.  Any research and/or evaluation experiences, should be noted as well. Personal statement should be well articulated and demonstrate professional writing quality (formal; accurate grammar and spelling).
  5. At least two written letters of recommendations.  Academic references are strongly preferred and should be in an appropriate position to make recommendation (e.g., current or former advisor or professor; school administrator).  Recommendation letters should address potential as a graduate student; include references to how applicant will benefit from the graduate program in future professional roles and attest to applicant’s professional and academic skills.

The HLC Graduate  Advisory Committee (e.g., Dean of the CHSES, Director of the BEHV and READ graduate programs, and appropriate content CHSES faculty) will review and approve new student admissions that meet the admission criteria.

According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected overall employment for behavior analysts will increase 19% nationwide from 2014 to 2024, which is significantly faster than the average growth rate of 7% for most all occupations.  From 2010 to 2017, the demand for professionals holding BCBA certification has increased approximately 800% across the nation (Bacb, 2018).

Currently, there are approximately 28,000 BCBAs in the United States.  This cumulative total has risen each year, with an increase of 800% from 2010 to 2017, making this licensure, and career field very much in demand.

Starting salaries range from $46,000 to $75,000.

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and Texas Education Agency (TEA) Office of Accountability have awarded Hardin-Simmons University Teacher Education Program a rating of “Accredited” under the Accountability System for Educator Preparation authorized by Texas Education Code 21.045 every year since rating of teacher preparation entities has been awarded. Educator preparation programs are held accountable for the performance of their graduates on the state credentialing examinations required for certification. Programs must achieve a minimum pass rate on the tests by disaggregated subgroups (All, Male, Female, White, Hispanic, African American, Other) to receive a rating of “Accredited.”

TEA Complaint Process

Title II Data

BACB Required Curriculum Content Area Required Minimum Hours from fieldwork and/or class content  ABA Courses Total Coursework Hours 
6310 6312 6314 6316 6318 6320
 

Ethical and Professional Conduct

 

45

 

45

 

45 hours

 

Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis

 

45

 

15

 

30

 

15

 

60 hours

 

Measurement (including data analysis)

 

25

 

5

 

15

 

10

 

30  hours

 

Experimental Design

 

20

 

10

 

10

 

20 hours

 

Identification of the Problem & Assessment

 

30

 

25

 

10

 

30 hours

Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change & Specific Behavior Change Procedures  

45

 

25

 

15

 

10

 

50 hours

 

Intervention & Behavior Change Considerations

 

10

 

5

 

5

 

10

 

20 hours

 

Behavior Change Systems

 

10

 

5

 

5

 

10

 

20 hours

 

Implementation, Management, & Supervision

 

10

 

25

 

25 hours

 

Discretionary

 

30

 

10

 

10

 

10

 

30 hours