University of Arizona Interview

We recognized The University of Arizona among the 62 Best Schools with Online ABA Master’s and Certificate Programs, adding them to our list of top recommendations for ABA grad students.

We were excited to hear from Rebecca Hartzell, PhD, BCBA-D, a faculty member at University of Arizona who took the time to answer a few questions about how the school works to create a great student experience that helps prepare graduates for a career in applied behavior analysis.

University of Arizona Programs:

  • Master’s in Special Education – Applied Behavior Support
  • BCBA Verified Course Sequence

Professor/Faculty Name:      Rebecca Hartzell, PhD, BCBA-D

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?

Rebecca:  We have many students that have started in the field as RBTs that decide they want to pursue their BCBA certification. The last couple of years, we have seen an increase in teachers deciding to pursue their certification in behavior analysis to more effectively qualify themselves for the challenges of the school setting.

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?

Rebecca:  Our students typically find employment in private practice; but as school districts recognize the need for behavior support, more students are finding employment in the schools. We expect to see the trend to increase as students find more employment in the school setting. Our program provides the necessary education in applied behavior analysis and special education in the schools.

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?

Rebecca:  University of Arizona has a rich history in Applied Behavior Analysis. Many researchers from the University of Arizona have advanced the field in Applied Behavior Analysis, Positive Behavior Support, and single subject research. Our classes are taught by extraordinary faculty and we have created a fully online program that is rigorous and effective. Our program gives

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?

Rebecca: The field of Applied Behavior Analysis has been shown to be effective with many individuals, not just individuals with autism. In the future, Applied Behavior Analysis can be utilized more with the elderly, individuals experiencing addiction, and students in the school setting. Our program combines special education with applied behavior analysis to help our students to understand the positive behavior support framework in the schools with applied behavior analysis.

We love the fact that you’re offering both the stand-alone BCBA VCS and your MA in Applied Behavior Analysis entirely online, and with no residency requirement – this is exactly what today’s busy grad students need…

Rebecca:  Our tuition is discounted for the Arizona Online program:

https://online.arizona.edu/programs/graduate-certificate/online-graduate-certificate-applied-behavior-analysis-cert

It is the same tuition for student in Arizona and outside of Arizona. Students can graduate in less than 18 months if they include summer semesters. The program meets the requirements of the 5th task list outlined by the BACB.

Are you getting students from other states? And are you finding that they are easily able to prove their qualifications for licensing in those states?

Rebecca:  More than half of our students come from other states. Thus far, they have not had difficulty getting licensure in other states, because they receive their supervision hours in the state in which they live.

How do University of Arizona online ABA students make arrangements to get the supervised experience they need to qualify for BCBA certification?

Rebecca:  The students that live outside of the state work with a BCBA in their area to acquire the supervision hours they need to take the BCBA exam. Typically, students that enroll in our program have worked in the field and have a specific BCBA with whom they plan to work.


Check out our full interview series here to see what other professors and faculty are saying about their ABA programs.