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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Panel #229
CE Offered: BACB
Doctoral Training for Behavior Analysts: A New Community of Reinforcement Awaits Today's Practitioners
Sunday, May 27, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom D-F
Area: TBA/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Megan G. Kunze, M.A.
Chair: Megan G. Kunze (University of Oregon)
WENDY A. MACHALICEK (University of Oregon)
TONYA NICHOLE DAVIS (Baylor University)
MANDY J. RISPOLI (Purdue University)

The indicators of high quality training of behavior analysts who will work as practitioners remain somewhat controversial. Some researchers argue that faculty research productivity is correlated to improved practitioner training (Dixon, Reed, Smith, Belisle, & Jackson, 2015) while others have argued for alternative quality indicators of training programs including exam pass rates (e.g. Ahearn, Green, Riordan, & Weatherly, 2015). An inescapable reality is that high quality doctoral training programs provide the essential faculty to enter into the training pipeline and as such promoting practitioner entry into doctoral training programs should be a consideration for improving the quality of practitioner training. Doctoral training programs in applied behavior analysis and related fields provide future scholars with advanced coursework, but also apprenticeship in research design and supervised college teaching. A panel of faculty from doctoral training programs in special education and educational psychology discuss the following topics: (a) if and why practitioners should consider a Ph.D., (b) selection of a Ph.D. program and faculty advisor, (c) developing a competitive application for doctoral programs, (d) funding Ph.D. program, and (e) life after the Ph.D. as faculty.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

board certified behavior analysts; graduate students; faculty in doctoral degree granting programs

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: 1. verbally articulate the reasons why practitioners should consider obtaining a Ph.D., 2. discuss strategies for selection of a Ph.D. program and faculty advisor, 3. list the components of a competitive application for a research intensive doctoral program
Keyword(s): doctoral training



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