Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Why pursue a degree in Applied Disability Studies?
There is an increasing number of jobs available for Certified Behaviour Analysts throughout North America, but there is a critical shortage of qualified personnel. Many positions are available for providing therapeutic and consultation services, as well as supervising interventions, research and program evaluation. Those students specializing in ABA will be able to work as Behaviour Therapists, Consultants and Supervisors in services for persons with Autism and developmental disabilities, Children and Adult Mental Health, Special Education, Brain Injury, Physical disabilities, Geriatrics and Early intervention. We are the only graduate program in Ontario that offers a Behavior Analysis Certification Board approved ABA course sequence.
Even without the ABA credential, graduates from our programs will also be attractive to disability services as supervisors, managers, program evaluators and researchers. As we expand our specialities to include Counselling and Assessment, many employment opportunities will be available because there are so few of these professionals who know how to provide these services to persons with disabilities. Even in the short time we have existed, employers are reporting how impressed they have been with our students knowledge of disabilities and ABA during job interviews. We anticipate that graduates from our program will be considered strong candidates for positions in human service positions.
Students will have the option of applying for two types of Masters degrees or a Graduate Diploma.
Masters of Arts (MA)
In addition to course work and practicum placements, the MA program requires the student to complete an original research study and write an MA thesis under the supervision of a key faculty member and a thesis committee. The MA program is highly competitive with enrolment in the MA program currently limited to 5-7 new students per year. It is geared towards students who are interested in research careers and perhaps pursuing a Ph.D. For the MA, preference is given to students who apply for full-time status. Full-time students who are accepted into this program will be entitled to the stipends and bursaries typically awarded to Brock full-time graduate students. MA students may choose to specialize in ABA, take our BACB approved ABA courses and become eligible for certification as a BCBA after completing their degree and experience hours.
Masters in Applied Disability Studies (MADS)
The second option is called a Masters in Applied Disability Studies (MADS). The MADS is a professional Masters degree. This option differs from the MA in that no research thesis is required, and the student would not likely be eligible for Brock graduate student stipends and bursaries. MADS students may choose to specialize in ABA, take our BACB approved ABA courses and become eligible for certification as a BCBA after completing their degree and experience hours.
The MADS is designed to be completed in three years on a part-time basis (or two years on a full-time basis). The programme is geared to students who are already working in the field (e.g., Instructional Therapists in IBI programs, Behaviour consultants/Therapists in Community Behavioural Programs).
The third option is a Graduate Diploma in Applied Disability Studies. This Diploma is meant for persons who already have a Masters degree or others with a Bachelors degree who wish to upgrade their graduate education without completing a Masters degree. Many students who already have a Masters degree may choose the Diploma program to take the approved ABA courses needed to become BCBA. The admissions requirements for the Grad Diploma are similar to the MADS (i.e., Honours degree, 75 average and relevant experience). Diploma students take the same courses as the MADS students. The course sequence will include ABA and non ABA courses.
To accommodate working students, we schedule courses on weekends (one Saturday and Sunday per month). We also offer intensive one-week courses, usually in the spring. However, we reserve the right to offer courses at other times, especially for full-time students. It is likely that one could use their work experience to fulfill the practicum course requirements (provided that the required supervision could be arranged). If an ABA student works in an ABA setting and is receiving supervision from a qualified supervisor, then the student has the opportunity to earn a Masters degree as well as the necessary course work and experience hours to apply to BACB to take the exam for BCBA. We offer a series of practicum courses for those ABA students who are unable to arrange supervised experience. Courses are generally offered in Hamilton, Toronto and St. Catharines. Please read the FAQ for details.