We recognized University of Central Oklahoma for offering one of the 23 Best Master’s in Psychology Degrees with an ABA Track, adding them to our list of top recommendations for psychology grad students.
We were excited to hear from Scott Singleton, BCBA-D, PsyD, a faculty member at University of Central Oklahoma 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 Central Oklahoma Programs:
- BCBA Verified Course Sequence
- MA in Psychology – Applied Behavior Analysis emphasis
Professor/Faculty Name: Scott Singleton, BCBA-D, PsyD
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?
Scott: Many of our students come through our undergraduate psychology program, and find that they are looking for something more career oriented.
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?
Scott: We see students joining clinical practice and working in schools. Some students come to us working in a clinical setting and continue on that route once they complete the program and obtain certification. Other students may be working in schools and have used the program to change positions. We have alumni who are currently working in working in schools as behavioral specialists and special education administration.
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?
Scott: We have a wide variety of internal and external opportunities for students in our program. In any given course we have students who are working for various private agencies often under the supervision of alumni, and we will also have students in the same course working on grant projects housed within the program.
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?
Scott: Although ABA wouldn’t be where it is today without the emphasis on autism and developmental disabilities, the field has so much to offer outside those areas. At UCO we try hard to teach ABA as the science of all human behavior. We try to prepare students to work with a wide variety of populations and behaviors.
Would you name the different U of Central Oklahoma master’s degree programs that offer the BCBA course sequence embedded in its curriculum?
Scott: For those seeking the BCBA, we have the General Psychology MA which is a 36 hour graduate program.
The course sequence is also embedded in our NASP approved School Psychology program. The School Psychology program is 62 semester hours and graduates are eligible for both the BCBA and national certification as a school psychologist (NCSP).
Is the course sequence available to students not enrolled in a master’s program?
Scott: Yes. We have a good mix of students who complete the sequence. Some are in other master’s programs such as counseling or special education. We also have students who have already completed a master’s, but are returning to school to complete the BCBA course sequence.
Please feel free to add anything else you would like potential students to know about your program that separates you from the field or that would be good for them to consider before choosing a program.
Students in our program have had very good success in consulting with public schools on severe behavior problems. These successes have allowed us to partner with our state department of education on two large programs to support schools. One program focuses on teacher training in behavior reduction methods and utilizes our students as coaches in public school classrooms. A second program, funded by the state department of education, allows our students to provide behavioral consultation to teachers around the state. Our students gain invaluable consultation experience with these programs.
Check out our full interview series here to see what other professors and faculty are saying about their ABA programs.