Jacksonville State University

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Applied Behavior Analysis at Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University appears in our ranking of the 10 Best ABA Master’s Degree Programs in the East.

To become a certified behavior analyst, a professional must take the exam offered by the Board Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Jacksonville State University offers a graduate program that helps students meet some of the requirements needed to sit for that exam. Those taking the exam must have a master’s degree in psychology or a similar field and a minimum of 1,500 hours of clinical and supervised fieldwork. The university established a psychology program that includes both fieldwork and some of the courses approved by the BACB. It is only available on the university’s Jacksonville campus.

The Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has both a thesis and a non-thesis track. Both versions feature the same seven courses that are worth 21 credits. Classes that are in the psychology core include Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis, Functional Analysis, Applied Behavior Analysis I and II and Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Students will also take a research methods class and Ethics and Professional Development, which teaches them how to act in the field.

One big difference between the two programs is that only the non-thesis track includes fieldwork. The thesis track includes two semesters of work that gives students time to finish a thesis. They must get approval from the department before doing any thesis work. The non-thesis track asks students to take two practicum courses. Though they can do independent study projects in lieu of fieldwork, most students either do a practicum and an independent project or they do two practicums. Jacksonville State University can help students finding facilities and organizations in the ABA field that need interns.

About Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University is a public university named after the city of Jacksonville, Alabama. Established in 1930, the university began life as the Jacksonville State Normal School. It was one of the only schools in the state that offered educational opportunities for students who wanted to become teachers. After adding degree programs for education majors, the college became the Jacksonville State Teachers College. As its emphasis changed to include engineering, business and other types of degree programs through the 1950s, it became Jacksonville State College. It remained a state college until 1966 when it became Jacksonville State University. Some of the other names the university uses today include Jacksonville State and JSU.

JSU now consists of a flagship campus in Jacksonville with nearly 460 acres for students and several satellite campuses. The Little River Canyon Center Campus is close to the nature preserve of the same name. It opened for classes in 2009 and includes a portion of land set aside for the National Park Service. Two other campuses are in McClellan. One oversees its emergency management program, while the other offers traditional degree programs. Though the university reached its highest enrollment in history in the late 2000s, the number of enrolled students decreased in the coming years. Jacksonville State now has an enrollment of more than 1,000 graduate and post-graduate students and more than 7,400 undergrads for a combined enrollment of nearly 8,600.

Jacksonville State University Accreditation Details

The BACB approved the graduate program offered by JSU with an emphasis in ABA. This program features the courses that students need to take before sitting for the certification exam. Students in the non-thesis track will also gain the fieldwork experience required to take the exam. The full psychology graduate program has APA accreditation too, which applies to both the fieldwork opportunities available and the classes in the program. JSU also has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which means that all students can apply for financial aid and earn degrees from the university.

Jacksonville State University Application Requirements

JSU only starts the ABA program in the fall and does not let students start in the spring or summer. The priority deadline for this program is April 1. JSU will not accept any applications submitted after the beginning of July. The JSU Graduate Application for Admission is available online and features several sections that allow the university to ask questions about where the student studied and what experiences he or she has. A processing fee of $35 is due at the time the student submits the application. Those who earned their degrees from JSU do not need to submit their transcripts, but students who attended other schools must have those schools send their official and sealed transcripts to the university.

Another requirement is a letter of intent that lists all the reasons the student picked JSU and how a graduate psychology career will help in his or her future career. Students will also submit a GRE score from the exam taken within the last five years and a resume. The resume should include professional experiences and any practicums or internships that the applicant did. JSU has reference forms available online too. Students must have three references fill out and submit the forms over the official website. Each reference form should include the person’s full name, email address and a phone number.

Tuition and Financial Aid

JSU graduate students who are Alabama residents pay $382 for each credit hour of classes they take in the ABA program. Nonresidents can also enroll in the ABA program, but they will pay $764 per credit hour. Students are also responsible for paying university fees, including a $200 general fee and an activity fee of $25, both of which are due each semester. JSU also charges a technology fee of $100 and a fitness and wellness center fee of $190 each semester.

Students accepted by JSU can use their application accounts to log in and search for scholarships. If they find any that interest them, they can view the requirements on the site and submit applications for each one. Though the university offers more than 30 scholarships for graduate students, not all will accept psychology majors. Most programs require that students take classes on the JSU campus too. Students who need more financial help can also submit the FAFSA. Both PLUS and unsubsidized loans go to students who file this form and agree to enroll full-time in a graduate program. Applied Behavior Analysis majors at Jacksonville State University can also apply for payment plans or use tuition reimbursement programs.