Preparing for ABA Careers at the University of West Alabama
The University of West Alabama appears in our ranking of the Top 30 Online Master’s in School Counseling.
Applied Behavior Analysts work with individuals who have developmental disabilities, using tools that allow those individuals to succeed. It is a type of therapy that decreases inappropriate behavior and increases appropriate behavior. The process is especially beneficial for those who have been placed on the autism spectrum but can be used in other situations where developmental disabilities can lead to inappropriate behavior. In order to become an Applied Behavior Analyst, individuals must hold a college degree, usually at the master’s level or higher and must be certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The University of West Alabama offers an Education Specialist Certificate in Collaborative Special Education that prepares students for advanced study in Applied Behavior Analysis.
The University of West Alabama believes that every child deserves an education which is why they offer a Bachelor of Science in Collaborative Teacher Special Education that prepares students for advanced study in Applied Behavior Analysis. Upon completion of the program, students are qualified for certification as a special education teacher in Alabama. Students gain an understanding of theory, methodology, and skills used by educators of children with special needs as well as how to interact with family, schools and agency personnel to be sure those with disabilities receive a high-quality education. They gain an understanding of behavior management in the classroom as well as how to teach communication skills to exceptional learners. Some of the courses required for the program include:
- Assessment and Diagnosis in Special Education
- Behavior Management in the Classroom
- Educational Programming for Low Incidence Disabilities
- Introduction to Collaborative Teaching
- Introduction to Special Education
- Methods for Teaching Special Education K-12
- Transition Planning
Students may gain hands-on experiences through extra-curricular activities including membership in Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society or the Black Belt Teacher Corps. They can also work in the Center for Rural Education and the University Charter School. The Campus School, a training facility for students enrolled at the University of West Alabama, provides students with the opportunity to work with children ages six weeks through five years of age as well. A teaching field experience is required to complete the degree.
Also offered is an online master’s in school counseling.
About the University of West Alabama
The University of West Alabama was chartered in 1835 as a female academy operated by the church. During the Civil War and Reconstruction, the school was forced to close due to economic hardship but reopened in the late 1860s. There is evidence that male students were admitted when the school initially reopened but a Board of Trustees resolution in 1876 excluded boys from admission.
The school operated from 1881 to 1910 in Livingston and was under the direction of Julia Tutwiller who was able to get a small stipend from the state legislature to operate a normal school designed to educate teachers at the Livingston Female Academy. It is believed this was the first state appropriation designed to teach women in West Virginia. In 1907, the state assumed complete control of the school, although it remained under the direction of a Board of Trustees. In 1919, the Board was abolished and the school came under the direction of the State Board of Education.
In 1929, the school became the State Teachers College, Livingston and bachelor’s degrees were awarded starting in 1947. Although male students were permitted staring around 1900, the student body remained mostly female until the 1950s. In 1957, the school became Livingston State College. In 1967, the school gained university status and, in 1995, became The University of West Alabama. Today, there are over 1700 students enrolled at the University of West Alabama.
University of West Alabama Accreditation Details
The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Commission enhances educational quality and strives to improve the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that they meet standards that address the needs of students and society. Accreditation indicates that the school has a mission that is appropriate, has the resources to meet its goals and provides clearly stated objectives that are consistent with its mission. In addition, programs throughout the school are accredited by the following organizations:
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
University of West Alabama Application Requirements
Undergraduate applicants to the University of West Alabama must complete an application and provide official high school transcripts as well as official ACT or SAT scores. They must have an ACT score of at least 17 or SAT score of at least 830.
Transfer applicants must provide official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. They must have at least 24 hours of transferrable credit with at least 12 of them in the declared degree program. Those who do not meet those transfer requirements must meet freshman admission requirements. Graduate applicants must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
University of West Alabama Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduate full-time tuition for in-state students is $8,450 and for out-of-state students is $16,900 at the University of West Alabama. Graduate full-time tuition is $3,021 for in-state students and $5,247 for out-of-state students.
Financial aid is available and approximately 80 percent of students receive some type of assistance. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify and the form must be renewed annually. Assistance for undergraduate students may be provided in the form of grants, scholarships, loans or work-study programs. Graduates may be offered loans, assistantships or fellowships to offset the cost of attendance. In order to qualify for assistance, students must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen and have a valid Social Security number. They must make satisfactory academic progress and all male students must be registered with the Selective Service.
The University of West Alabama offers a special education degree that prepares students for additional studies in order to gain certification as an Applied Behavior Analyst. The degree program at the University of West Alabama also qualifies students for special education licensure in the state of Alabama.