Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Panel #368
From Practitioner to Ph.D. Student: Transitioning From School-Based Professional to Researcher
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Amanda M Austin (Purdue University)
REBECCA FOLKERTS (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
BAN SLEIMAN HAIDAR (University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign)
ALEXANDRA NEWSON (University of Oregon)

Applied Behavior Analysis provides a scientific foundation for evidence-based practices for educating individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, however, implementation of these practices in schools is a persistent challenge within the special education field. One method for addressing the research-to-practice gap is to increase the recruitment of practitioners into doctoral programs aimed at preparing researchers and educators in the field of ABA. Increasing the number of experienced practitioners in academia has potential to improve development of socially relevant research in both ABA and special education, particularly given the unique insight experienced practitioners offer in understanding contextual variables that impact adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices in applied settings. However, shifting from career to graduate student also presents some unique challenges that may be a deterrent for many. This panel, composed of special educators and behavior analysts transitioning from careers as school-based practitioners to doctoral students and researchers, will address some of these challenges. Practical considerations for a successful transition including recommendations for selecting a degree program, developing application materials, and determining funding opportunities will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): doctoral, researcher, school-based, special education



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