Behavior Analysis

Program Coordinator: Sherry Serdikoff, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CP

Faculty: Dorothy Gardner-Martin, Ph.D.

               Katherine Stewart, Ph.D, BCBA

               Kimberly Frame, Ed.D., BCBA

 

Mission Statement
What is Behavior Analysis?
Program Description
Careers in Behavior Analysis
Behavior Analysis Coursework
Get More Involved in Behavior Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
Additional Information & Related Organizations

 

Mission Statement

The mission of the undergraduate major in Behavior Analysis is to educate individuals about behavior analysis – a natural science approach to understanding the behavior of individuals – by providing instruction, mentoring, and opportunities to engage in research and practice in behavior analysis to a diverse student population who will contribute to the well-being of society  

What is Behavior Analysis?

Behavior analysis is the scientific study of the relationship between the environment and the behavior of humans and other animals. The principles of behavior analysis extend to all species and are in effect in all environments. These principles can be applied by behavior analysts with a variety of populations such as children or adults and people with or without disabilities. Behavior analysts help these populations address a variety of social issues, including academic behavior, addressing inappropriate behaviors (in a variety of settings), health behavior, organizational and business issues, psychopharmacology, zoos, etc. Students in other disciplines (e.g., social work, criminal justice, sociology, biology, and education) may find that understanding the science of behavior analysis can help them when they are working with their clients.

The field of behavior analysis has its roots in the scientific study of the principles of learning and behavior in the field of experimental psychology and thus can be characterized as a specialized way to approach psychological science and its applications. Accordingly, within this major, courses in behavior analysis are complemented with foundational courses and electives in the broader discipline of psychological science.

Program Description

The behavior analysis program at SSU offers training to undergraduate students in the scientific study of human and other animal behavior to teach the basic concepts and principles of behavior analysis. Students will learn to analyze the way in which behavior changes when there is an interaction with the surrounding environment.

The goal of the program is to train students to think like behavior analysts. Students will learn the fundamental principles of behavior and how to use the principles and procedures developed from them to modify behavior in a context of ethical responsibility. Additionally, students will learn about research designs and statistical analysis techniques used in psychological science as well as the more specialized single-subject experimental methods more commonly employed by behavior analysts. Emphasis is placed on reading peer reviewed empirical research and writing research papers according the guidelines of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual.  

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has approved the following course sequence (BEHV 3103, BEHV 3104, BEHV 3105, BEHV 3117, and BEHV 3740) as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.

Careers in Behavior Analysis

Behavior analysis offers a number of different opportunities and careers. Behavior analysts generally work in basic research, applied research, or professional service delivery. Basic research typically is conducted in a laboratory setting at a university or government agency. Applied research involves addressing socially important issues in a controlled environment and is often conduced in people's homes, schools, community organizations, or businesses. Most behavior analysts must become board certified in order to provide behaver analytic services, and the behavior analysis program at Savannah State University offers all of the coursework needed to meet the requirements to sit for the Associates level (BCaBA) certification exam (additional requirements exist to meet all the requirements for certification). For more information please see www.bacb.com.

Many behavior analysts do a combination of applied research and professional service delivery. Whether doing research or working in the community, individuals in behavior analysis may work in any (or a combination) of the following areas:

Behavior Analysis Coursework

To complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Behavior Analysis, students must complete 120 credit hours of general education core courses, required major courses, and major electives. Students should contact their Center for Academic Success (CAS) advisor, A2S advisor or their Behavior Analysis advisor to identify all current requirements for the degree to ensure students are on track for graduation. 

Get More Involved In Behavior Analysis

There are many ways to get more involved in behavior analysis as a student at Savannah State University. Many of the faculty offer opportunities to assist with research projects or provide opportunities to do applied work as an intern in the community. In addition, there is also a Behavior Analysis Student Association (BASA) that offers students the chance to get to know other students in the major, do projects in the community, network with professionals in the field through invited speakers and attending conferences, and participate in behavior analytic events.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is behavior analysis related to psychology?

What if I want to be a counselor or therapist? 

What degree do I need to have a career in behavior analysis?

What kind of job can I get with a degree in behavior analysis?

Can I become a criminal profiler with this degree?

Additional Information and Related Organizations