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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Invited Symposium #403
CE Offered: BACB
Is There a Home for EAB in Applied Training Programs?
Monday, May 25, 2015
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
006AB (CC)
Area: SCI/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Derek D. Reed (The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Derek D. Reed, Ph.D.

The 2015 Guidelines for the Accreditation of Graduate Programs in Behavior Analysis put forth by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) includes the addition of coursework in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (EAB). These new additions (one EAB course for master's programs;two EAB courses for coctoral programs) constitute a substantial push to increase the relevance and rigor of training in basic behavior analysis in ABAI-accredited programs. However, the addition of EAB courses may prove difficult for applied training programs that must already maintain approved course sequences through the Behavior Analysis Certification Board, or accreditation from other organizations (e.g., American Psychological Association, National Association of School Psychologists). The 2015 ABAI accreditation guidelines may thereby put graduate training directors in a difficult position to choose whether ABAI accreditation is worth curricular changes or additional hiring of EAB faculty. This panel discussion will begin with brief comments from experts in the field who have a vested interest in integrating basic behavior analysis into applied training programs. Discussants will describe the importance of EAB in applied training programs, in addition to providing tips and strategies for meeting ABAI's accreditation guidelines. The floor will then be opened to discussion from attendees.

Keyword(s): accreditation, EAB, teaching

The Role of Basic Behavior-Analytic Concepts and Principles in BACB-approved Course Sequences

JAMES E. CARR (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)

For more than a decade, the BACB has operated an Approved Course Sequence system through which a university's defined behavior-analytic coursework can be formally identified as meeting course-content requirements for BACB certification. There are currently more than 500 Approved Course Sequences (ACSs) at over 500 institutions around the world. Dr. James E. Carr will present data on the growth of ACSs over time, as well as the core coursework and instructor requirements to become an ACS. Chief among these requirements is course content (currently 45 hours) in basic behavior-analytic concepts and principles, which all applicants for BACB certification must successfully complete. Questions on BACB certification examinations are all based on the BACB Fourth Edition Task List, which is a content validated list of job competencies of behavior-analytic practitioners. A portion of the task list document (Foundational Knowledge) is devoted to basic concepts and principles. Dr. Carr will describe the roles these basic underpinnings play in BACB coursework requirements and examinations and how they might be expanded or further highlighted in the BACB Fifth Edition Task List.

James E. Carr, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is the chief executive officer of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. His professional interests include behavior analyst credentialing, behavioral assessment and treatment of developmental disabilities, verbal behavior, and practitioner training. Dr. Carr has published more than 120 scientific articles on these and other topics. Dr. Carr is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and has served on the editorial boards of 10 other behavior analysis journals, including four appointments as associate editor. Dr. Carr is past president of the Mid-American and Alabama Associations for Behavior Analysis. He received his doctorate in 1996 from Florida State University under the mentorship of Dr. Jon Bailey and previously served on the behavior analysis faculties at University of Nevada-Reno (1996-1999), Western Michigan University (1999-2008), and Auburn University (2008-2011).

Being Basic in an Applied World

CHRISTOPHER A. PODLESNIK (Florida Institute of Technology)

Dr. Christopher A. Podlesnik is a basic researcher with interests in understanding how fundamental learning and behavioral processes influence the effectiveness of behavioral treatments. Although interested in translational research for some time, he is currently receiving his first real clinical training in Applied Behavior Analysis in severe-behavior and early-intervention clinics. This experience taught him the value of understanding fundamental learning and behavioral processes, theoretical frameworks, and conceptual systems of behavior for guiding treatment decisions. Assessments, analyses, and treatments in Applied Behavior Analysis are powerful tools for addressing behavioral deficits and excesses. However, these methods are applied in so many different circumstances, the particulars of these methods must always change. Understanding fundamental processes provides behavioral clinicians with yet another, more general, tool for better aligning features of clinical tools with a given case and to anticipate avenues to exploit for improving those tools. His ongoing struggle is with how to convey the importance and usefulness of investing the extensive time it takes to understand complex literatures and theoretical frameworks to the point it can be applied by busy students primarily interested in practical issues of behavior change.

Christopher A. Podlesnik was born and raised in Latrobe, PA. He received his B.A. in psychology from West Virginia University, his master's degree and Ph.D. in psychology from Utah State University, and gained postdoctoral research experience in behavioral pharmacology at the University of Michigan. He was a faculty member at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and still holds a position of honorary academic there. In 2014, Dr. Podlesnik moved to Florida with his wife, Corina; two kids, Porter and Vera; and his dog, Frankie; and accepted a position as associate professor at the Florida Institute of Technology. His research and teaching interests mainly involve the importance of understanding basic learning processes when developing behavioral treatments. His initiation in the implementation of applied behavior analysis involves training currently under way for Behavior Analyst Certification Board certification at the Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology. He is currently an associate editor and formerly on the Board of Editors for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He also is a board member for the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior, and received the B. F. Skinner Early Career Award from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Podlesnik plays the guitar poorly and used to mountain bike a lot before moving to Florida.

Strategies for Integrating EAB into an Applied Master's Program

DOROTHEA C. LERMAN (University of Houston-Clear Lake)

University of Houston-Clear Lake's current master's program in behavior analysis is the result of evolving changes and improvements to the curriculum since 2004. Many of these improvements were possible because of changes in the requirements for accreditation and certification. In this presentation, Dr. Dorothea C. Lerman will describe strategies used to meet changes in these requirements and to integrate more basic behavior analysis into the UH-CL curriculum. Suggestions will be given for faculty and program directors who are training practitioners and have a limited number of faculty lines.

Dorothea Lerman is currently a professor of psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where she coordinates a master's program in behavior analysis and serves as director of the UH-CL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She received her doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Florida in 1995, specializing in the experimental analysis of behavior. Her areas of expertise include autism, developmental disabilities, early intervention, functional analysis, teacher and parent training, and treatment of severe behavior disorders (e.g., aggression, self-injury). Dr. Lerman's graduate students serve as behavioral consultants for school districts in the Houston area and provide services to children and families through an on-campus clinic. Dr. Lerman has published more than 60 research articles and chapters, served as associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Research in Developmental Disabilities, was the founding editor of Behavior Analysis in Practice, and recently completed a term as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She has secured more than $1.5 million in grants and contracts to support her work. She was the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Contribution to Applied Behavioral Research Award and the 2001 B. F. Skinner Award for New Researchers, awarded by Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She also was named a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis-International in 2008. Dr. Lerman is a licensed psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral.

Building a Behavior-Analytic Foundation

CHRISTINE E. HUGHES (University of North Carolina at Wilmington)

Is there a home for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (EAB) in applied-training programs? There has to be because EAB is the foundation of the behavior-analytic home. What has made behavior analysis such a strong discipline is that our practice is never really separated from our science and philosophy. Without training in and knowledge of the basic principles of behavior, an applied behavior analyst is at a severe disadvantage as a practitioner. Dr. Christine E. Hughes will discuss the program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as an example of a successful and strong program in both basic and applied behavior analysis, while having to meet separate state requirements for practicing psychology.

Dr. Christine Hughes received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida in behavior analysis and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She currently is an associate professor and graduate coordinator in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where there is a master's program in applied behavior analysis. Dr. Hughes conducts translational research in the areas of punishment, schedules of reinforcement, and behavioral pharmacology, specifically the effects of prescription drugs on impulsive choices and on punished behavior. Dr. Hughes has been program chair for Behavioral Pharmacology and Toxicology for ABAI, program chair, secretary, and president of the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis, and President of Division 25--Behavior Analysis of the American Psychological Association. She also was an associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and is a member of the Society of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Board.



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