ABA Programs at Beacon College
Beacon College is also featured in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges for Students on the Autism Spectrum.
Beacon College offers two undergraduate majors that can appeal to students who want to study Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The first of those two programs is the college’s psychology major. Many of the college’s psychology graduates later work as case managers, career counselors, and genetic counselors or go to graduate school. Through the semester abroad program, students can take psychology courses while they study on campuses overseas. Students who have disabilities can work with the college to make sure that they have the resources they need on those campuses to handle their classes and assignments.
Psychology majors can take the required courses and electives that relate to their future goals. Abnormal Psychology is a course that looks at abnormal behaviors and how those behaviors can relate to certain mental conditions as well as the treatment of those disorders. In Human Development, students look at how humans grow and the milestones they meet over the lifespan. It can help them learn about the symptoms associated with autism and other spectrum disorders too. The program also includes courses on substance abuse, the interventions used in ABA therapy and psychology assessments. Beacon College can help majors find internships too.
Another popular major for ABA students is in human services. The program teaches them how to work with others who have mental disorders and disabilities that affect how they learn and work. One course is called Counseling Strategies and Interventions. It teaches students the basics of counseling others and then puts them in sessions where they can help small groups while a professor supervises them. Another course is Introduction to Animal-Assisted Therapy, which looks at how patients benefit from working with pets and service animals. The program includes a seminar that most students take in one of their last two semesters.
The college announced the launch of a new program in 2018 called the Fly-In Workshop for High School Counselors. This is a professional development workshop designed for educators who work with students with disabilities and want to develop stronger skills. It includes sessions on how to determine if students are ready for college, the best ways to help students succeed and easy ways to work with students to foster their goals. The fly-in program allows teachers to work with other educators and to get feedback from students attending the college.
About Beacon College
Beacon College is a private college in Florida. It was the first college in the nation to create programs designed specifically for students with disabilities. Established in 1989, it was the brainchild of several parents and disability specialists along with Dr. Marsha Glines. Though it originally offered Associate of Arts programs, there are Bachelor of Arts programs now available too. Students receive support as they create an individual learning plan based on their unique goals and needs. They also have access to resources that include people who can take notes for them in their classes and tutors who can work with them outside of the classroom. Beacon accepts less than 50 percent of the applications sent in each year because it only accepts students with documented disabilities who would benefit from its small classes. It has an enrollment of only 280 students. Nearly 90 people work for the college as faculty members and in administrative roles.
Beacon College Accreditation Details
With regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Beacon can offer financial aid to students. They just need to use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) first. The college has financial aid counselors who can help students fill out this application. Regional accreditation also allows Beacon to accept and give students credit when they attended another college or university that had regional accreditation.
Beacon College Application Requirements
Beacon College offers help and resources for students with disabilities who want to apply to the college. Information is available online for the parents and educators of students with disabilities too. Students should start with the online checklist, which shows them the admissions requirements that Beacon has. The main requirements include the application, a $50 application fee and either a high school transcript or a GED. Students must also go through an interview, which the college offers via Skype, in-person on the campus or over the phone. This allows the student to discuss any education problems he or she has because of the individual’s learning disabilities.
Beacon requires two letters of recommendation too. One letter should come from a teacher and the other from a guidance counselor. Both letters should discuss the student’s disabilities and provide some details on how those issues impact the student. Beacon requires an education evaluation form too that must document the exact problems or disabilities that the student has. Students who suffer from ADHD, learning disabilities and similar conditions qualify for enrollment at Beacon College. The college will accept an ACT or SAT score but does not require that students submit an official score. It can show that the applicant has strong math or English skills though.
Tuition and Financial Aid
At Beacon, students pay $20,290 each semester or $40,580 per year for their tuition and fees if they do not receive any financial aid. They also pay an average of $3,733 for a dorm room and $2,240 for a meal plan each semester. Students who take classes during the summer semester pay $4,059. Students can sign up for different meal plans too, including one designed for commuters and another that gives them 12 meals each week. The standard plan includes unlimited meals each week.
Students who qualify for financial aid pay much less each semester. Counselors working for Beacon can help students complete the FAFSA and ensure that they meet all the requirements to get any aid. The Financial Aid Office at the college can help students find jobs that are part of the work-study program. They have the option of taking subsidized loans out that they pay back at a later date. Other financial aid options include government grants, grants from the college and institutional scholarships. Financial aid packages often include the grants and scholarships that students qualify for before the college will let them borrow loans. Loans and other types of financial aid are available for all students in the Beacon College ABA programs.