Applied Behavior Analysis Programs at the University of Southern Maine
The University of Southern Maine appears in our ranking of the 20 Most Affordable Online ABA Graduate Certificate Programs.
At the University of Southern Maine, students who want to major in applied behavior analysis (ABA) can choose from two different programs. The first is an ABA certificate program that is separate from the university’s degree program. Designed for those who have a graduate degree in education or psychology, it helps students meet the requirements of becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and makes them eligible for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) exam.
In the certificate program, students take both research and science courses as well as classes on the practices and principles of ABA therapy. Behavioral Principles of Learning is one of the first courses they take. It focuses on how people learn and what things in the classroom can affect their learning. Another required course is Principles and Procedures for Instructional Interventions and prepares students for holding classroom interventions to help students with disabilities. Professional Ethics in Behavior Analysis, Consultation and Collaborative Problem Solving and Functional Behavioral Assessment are some of the other required classes in the certificate program.
Also available is a Master of Science (MS) in Educational Psychology with a concentration in applied analysis. Students will complete 36 credits of work through 12 courses that focus on both educational psychology and ABA work. Those who have no experience in the ABA or education fields who also do not have transcripts that show they took classes in those subjects must take a special education undergraduate course before they can take the advanced ABA classes in the program.
Students can take all 12 classes in any order that they want, but the university recommends that they follow the course sequence that is established. This starts with Research Methods and Techniques, which focuses on how to research in education. Majors can then take Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and IEP Team. This class teaches students how to create an individualized education plan for students with disabilities based on feedback from their teachers and parents. This program also features courses such as Principles and Procedures for Behavior Intervention, Single Case Research Methods, Physical Bases of Behavior, and Supervision and Performance Management in Behavior Analysis.
About the University of Southern Maine
The University of Southern Maine is a public university that has several campuses in Maine. Established in 1878 as the Gorham Normal School, it took over for the Gorham Academy. It would then serve as the University of Maine at Portland, Gorham State College and the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham. Those name changes occurred as the school changed its focus from educational and teaching programs to other fields. It also adopted name changes as the campus in Gorham merged with another school in the 1970s. Near the beginning of the 2010s, the university faced significant challenges due to financial issues that led to it announcing that it would drop programs and release professors from their contracts. The university rebounded from those problems and now belongs to the University of Maine System. Also known as USM, the university has an enrollment of more than 7,800 students.
University of Southern Maine Accreditation Details
Graduate students applying to USM can apply for financial aid also. They need to use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and can then qualify for loans and other support. USM students can use this form because it has accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). NECHE awards accreditation to institutions of higher learning on the East Coast and renewed the university’s accreditation in 2011. USM has a board that ensures it meets the accreditation standards through regular meetings, including one that resulted in an evaluation report in 2016.
University of Southern Maine Application Requirements
USM will accept any student into the ABA certificate program as long as the individual has a graduate degree. Though the university looks for those with a psychology or education degree, it will also accept students who have volunteer or professional experiences in applied behavior analysis or related fields. There is a November first priority deadline for the fall term and similar deadlines for the other semesters. Students can apply online without paying an application fee. They also need to submit a resume with any related experiences listed on it, their transcripts and a personal essay. USM asks students to respond to the question of why they want to study applied behavior analysis.
Students applying to the MS program in Special Education need a bachelor’s degree in education or a master’s degree in a similar field. Those who finished a graduate program need a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. USM accepts those with an undergrad GPA of 2.5 or higher too. Students can petition the university to let them into the program if they have a lower GPA. They must provide transcripts unless they have a degree from the University of Southern Maine or a school in the University of Maine system. USM also requires a resume, essay, and letter of recommendation.
Tuition and Financial Aid
All the graduate students in the USM certificate and degree programs pay the same tuition rate of $421 per credit hour. The university charges fees based on the total number of credits that the student takes. With tuition and fees, students pay $4,251 to take nine credits and $5,634 to take 12 credits to qualify for full-time enrollment. Though certificate students usually take one class at a time, degree students take three to four classes every semester. Most of those courses are worth three credits.
The graduate financial aid that USM offers includes scholarships, loans, and assistantships. Assistantships pay students $1,000 a month or $9,000 a year, which comes to $4,500 a semester. Students can apply for these positions online and look for assistantships that include tuition waivers. The university’s scholarship portal shows students all the available scholarships and allows them to look for the awards they can qualify for based on factors such as their grades and interests. Those who use the FAFSA can get any of the loans the federal government offers too. The deadline for students to either sign up for a payment plan or pay their account balances is August 15. Students can contact the University of Southern Maine to see what financial aid is available for the ABA programs.