We recognized Rowan University as one of the Top 57 Best Schools Offering ABA Bachelor’s and BCaBA Courses, adding them to our list of top recommendations for ABA undergrads.
We were excited to hear from Bethany Raiff, a faculty member at Rowan University who took the time to answer a few questions about how the school works to create a great student experience in preparing graduates for a career in applied behavior analysis.
Rowan University Programs:
- Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in ABA
Professor/Faculty Name: Bethany Raiff
Tell us about the types of students you see come through your program. Are you seeing more non-traditional students and career changers coming from other fields?
Bethany: We get a bit of both coming through the program. The most common students applying to our program are people working in the field already, or have experience working with BCBAs, and would like to advance in their careers. We do get the occasional career change or non-traditional student, but they are not the majority. Right now we have a student who is very unusual – he is a a detective and in the military, but just really loves behavior analysis and sees how it could have value in other disciplines. This is rare but we love when we get students like this who want to expand the field beyond the traditional applications.
What areas of practice are you seeing graduates going into? Do they tend to find jobs in the local school districts or more often join private practices?
Bethany: It is a mix there as well. We get students who end up working in the schools, but more of them probably work in private practices when they graduate.
What are some of the things you love most about the ABA program at your university – the kind of things you’d like future students to know about as they consider their options?
Bethany: Our program is really unique because we teach the science and the philosophy first and foremost. Our faculty have a variety of experiences, including the experimental analysis of behavior working with rats and pigeons, behavioral pharmacology and behavioral health, school psychology, as well as more traditional applications such as early intervention, feeding disorders, and parent training. I don’t think there are a lot of programs that have that kind of breadth of experience that we offer the students. Most students come in to the field thinking it is a treatment for autism, but when they leave they realize this is much bigger than that and the applications are numerous.
What do you feel are the most pressing issues in ABA today, and how does the program at your school prepare graduates to address these issues?
Bethany: To me the most pressing issues in ABA today are finding ways to extend our science to other important areas and have it be respected and valued in those disciplines. We’ve done a pretty good job of getting ABA valued in the area of autism and developmental disabilities. I think our growth has led to some quality control issues in that regard so we still have work to do there, but I would love to see ABA respected in areas such as health and wellness, substance abuse, geriatrics, and even politics.
How is the MA in Applied Behavior Analysis program designed to accommodate working students?
Bethany: Our program assumes that students are working so we start all classes at 3:30pm or later to accommodate the school day. We also offer a part-time track so students. It takes twice as long if going part time, but this has worked for some of our working students.
What are the required credit hours needed to complete the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in ABA program? How many semesters does it take to complete the certificate program?
Bethany: The post-baccalaureate certificate program is currently comprised of 15 credits, although that may be changing soon because of changes to the verified course sequence. The program can currently be completed in 3 semester and even when we add the additional course it should be possible to complete it in 3 semesters.
How is the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in ABA program different from the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in ABA program?
Bethany: The CAGs program is all graduate level coursework and prepares students to become BCBAs, whereas the post-baccalaureate program is for undergraduate students and only prepares students for the BCaBA exam.
Please feel free to add anything else you would like potential students to know about your program and that you feel would be good for them to consider before making the decision about which program is right for them.
We have a very hard-working group of faculty at Rowan University. If you come to our program you will most certainly be challenged, but you will get an excellent education and an excellent experience. Additionally, because we accept students in cohorts, you will likely make life-long friendships and professional connections. We are dedicated to providing our students with the best preparation possible to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts.
Check out our full interview series here to see what other professors and faculty are saying about their ABA programs.