Daemen College has received approval from the New York State Department of Education to offer a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA) that started this fall, making it the only state-approved ABA graduate program in New York.

In addition to the master’s degree, approval was granted for Daemen to launch a new advanced certificate program to provide ABA post-graduate training for professionals in related fields.

The master’s degree program, under the direction of Dr. Vicki Madaus Knapp, assistant professor of education, provides comprehensive graduate training in applied behavior analysis, an intervention approach commonly used with individuals with autism spectrum or related disorders.

Blending foundational skills with hands-on learning opportunities in various clinical settings, the program is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, social work, sociology, or health promotion. Program graduates will be eligible to apply for licensure as a behavior analyst in New York State without the need for additional course review.

“Increasingly, there is a need across the country for licensed behavior analysts so having a program that meets the eligibility requirements for licensure is a credential that will give students a distinct advantage in the job market,” said Knapp.

The advanced certificate program, which is among only four approved in New York State and the first in Western New York, is geared to students who already hold a master’s degree. The 28-credit certificate program will give students the opportunity to develop skills and a high level of competency in ABA.

Both Daemen programs integrate a traditional classroom format with Web-enhanced learning experiences, with courses held in the evening to allow students the flexibility to complete their studies while continuing to work.