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Action Behavior Centers survey honors online M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis at WCSU: Autism advocacy organization cites WCSU program in nation’s Top 50

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University master’s degree program in applied behavior analysis (ABA) has earned the prestigious recognition by the autism advocacy and treatment organization Action Behavior Centers in its “Top 50 Online ABA Master’s Programs and Certificates in 2018” survey of higher education institutions across the United States.

Action Behavior Centers, a Texas-based organization dedicated to promotion of ABA therapy as a foundation for assessment and treatment of individuals on the autism spectrum, observed that the training of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) is essential for development of customized treatment plans and supervision of one-on-one therapy sessions. The 2018 survey posted on the organization’s website described the listing as an initiative to provide guidance to students interested in a career as a BCBA in identifying “the top 50 colleges, in no particular order, that offer fully web-based ABA or autism-related programs in the United States.”

“There is a recent and growing need for qualified professionals in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis,” the survey introduction observed. “ABA therapy, the leading treatment for autism spectrum disorder, helps children on the spectrum improve in many areas of development including communication, social skills and day-to-day living skills.”

The survey listing for the WCSU online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program recognized the university as “an institution dedicated to higher standards of education and research. WCSU provides high-quality behavior analytic instruction to practitioners, earning its online ABA program a spot on this list.”

Action Behavior Centers is directed by a clinical leadership with extensive expertise in the field of ABA therapy, overseeing a staff of BCBAs “whose life work is helping children on the autism spectrum to live rich, happy lives in which they can contribute to the world around them to the fullest,” the organization’s website said. The survey of the nation’s “Top 50 Online ABA Programs” weighed various criteria including academic quality, BCBA examination pass rates, program flexibility and tuition levels in determining the selections. The list places WCSU’s program in the elite company of significantly larger public and private universities nationwide.

The survey marks the latest in a series of honors that have drawn national recognition to the excellence of the ABA master’s program at WCSU. The 2018 Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide, released last December, ranked WCSU at No. 1 among higher education institutions nationwide that offer an online master’s degree in applied behavior analysis. The ABA Programs Guide profile of WCSU noted that the university’s fully online instructional program prepares students “to effectively quantify and measure behavior in order to make effective changes that will improve overall behavior of an individual, group or organization.” The guide noted students in the WCSU program learn how to measure behavior, collect and analyze data, and make suitable modifications to increase appropriate behavior and decrease inappropriate behavior.

The ABA program at WCSU also placed 23rd in a nationwide survey released this fall by the education research publisher SR Education Group of the “2019 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Psychology Online.” SR Education representative Kelsey D’Ewart said that the recognition reflected a determination that the competitive tuition for the WCSU program ranks the university among the top colleges in the United States that offer fully online degrees in the field of psychology while “making an effort to provide economical options for students.”

The WCSU ABA master’s degree, housed in the Education and Educational Psychology Department, is achieved through completion of a rigorous curriculum of nine courses for a total of 30 credit hours. The M.S. program includes 19 credits of core coursework designed to qualify graduates to sit for the BCBA examination sponsored by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The WCSU program includes a required course in Assistive Technology for Applied Behavior Analysis, an area of study with important applications in the profession.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.