UHV to offer new master's concentration in applied behavior analysis

July 10, 2010 at 2:10 a.m.

The University of Houston-Victoria School of Education & Human Development will offer a concentration in applied behavior analysis for the first time this fall to help increase the expertise of those teaching people who have disabilities.

"This will help meet the need of educators and other professionals working with people with disabilities in schools, community service agencies and residential settings who want to know more about ABA and how to collect behavioral data in order to create positive behavior interventions," said Andria Young, special education coordinator for the School of Education & Human Development.

ABA strategies frequently are used with children who have autism and other development disabilities, Young said. The ABA approach identifies the reasons a child is engaging in a challenging behavior, such as being aggressive toward others. Once the reasons are identified, new triggers and reinforcers are used to teach the child a different behavior.

UHV graduate students working toward the all-online Master of Education in special education will be able to select from a diagnostician concentration or the new ABA concentration starting in the fall when the first ABA class, "Principles of Behavior for the Educator," will be offered.

Students must take 36 semester credit hours to obtain their master's degree and can take an additional nine credits for a concentration.

Post-bachelor students or students who have earned a master's degree in another area also can take the courses in the concentration, Young said.

"The UHV School of Education & Human Development will be the only school in this area offering an ABA concentration," said Lawrence Rossow, the school's dean. "Teachers are requesting this knowledge, and I am glad we will be able to meet their needs."

Young developed the concentration in collaboration with UHV special education faculty members Rachel Martinez and Paul Carlson.



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