By Jeff Murphy, June 29, 2020
WARRENSBURG, MO – An important designation for University of Central Missouri students
wanting to work in a psychology-related field, the Association for Behavior Analysis
International (ABAI) has verified the course sequence for the Master of Science in
ABAI on June 24 provided written notification of this designation to Duane A. Lundervold,
Ph.D., BCBA-DC, LPC. Lundervold, who serves as professor and coordinator of the Behavior
Analysis Program in the UCM School of Nutrition, Kinesiology, and Psychological Science,
said this is an important step toward ensuring a smooth educational process for students
from the time they enter the program until they sit for the Board Certified Behavior
Analyst (BCBA) examination.
“Students who are graduates of a program with a verified course sequence (VCS) designation
by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) have a seamless transition
during the professional credentialing and examination process,” he said.
Lundervold noted that the VCS designation means the program’s curricular content has
been examined by ABAI to ensure that the instructional material meets that required
by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
“Because the UCM Master of Science in Behavior Analysis is a VCS-approved program
it increases the probability that students graduating from the program will pass the
credentialing examination required for certification and licensure as a Behavior Analyst,”
Lundervold said. He also added that the “VCS designation provides the program, graduates,
faculty, and university with credibility in the preparation of students licensed and
certified behavioral healthcare providers.”
Students seeking a MS in Behavior Analysis are required to complete 30 credit hours
of core behavior analysis classes, including a practicum. After doing so, they can
choose one of two program options: Behavior Analysis and Therapy, which requires an
additional six credit hours, or Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorder,
requiring an additional 12 hours.
“Students are eligible to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination after
having obtained the master's degree and after completing the supervised experience,”
The course sequence that was verified by ABAI consists of the following core courses:
Psy 5130: Principles of Behavior and Learning; Psy 5160: Conceptual and Philosophical
Foundations of Behavior Analysis; Psy 5200: Staff Training and Performance Management;
Psy 5350: Behavior Analysis and Therapy 1; Psy 5360: Behavior Analysis and Therapy
2; Psy 5500: Ethics and Behavioral Healthcare; Psy 5510: Research Methods in Applied
Settings; and Psy 5570: Behavioral Assessment.
Students who seek this degree often seek professional positions in areas that include
working with individuals who have intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder,
or who may have suffered head injuries that led to psychiatric disorders.