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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #193
Ten Lessons Learned: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Special Education and Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2022
9:00 AM–9:25 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 203
Area: TBA
Chair: Rena Marie VanDerwall (Western Michigan University )

Ten Lessons Learned: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Special Education and Behavior Analysis

Domain: Service Delivery
Rena Marie VanDerwall (Western Michigan University ), KATE LA LONDE (Western Michigan University), Kristal E. Ehrhardt (Western Michigan University), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)

This presentation will provide an overview of an interdisciplinary graduate program designed to produce master’s-level graduates with expertise in using behavior analysis effectively in schools. The Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies and the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University share the collaborative program to prepare special education teachers and behavior analysts to meet the high-intensity needs of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The five-year project, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education worked to prepare and graduate two cohorts of scholars, a combination of those working towards a master’s degree in special education and a teaching endorsement in ASD and others with a master’s degree in behavior analysis. All graduates were prepared for certification as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). This presentation will share the top ten lessons learned throughout the program's implementation. Topics covered will include the project’s curriculum and graduate practicum experiences, common challenges teachers face when implementing evidence-based assessment and interventions in the school setting, challenges in supervising aspiring BCBAs in the school setting, and case studies of successful implementation of applied behavior analysis by teachers in the school setting.




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