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Pathways Toward ABA Certification at James Madison

James Madison University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Programs.

In Miller Hall, the College of Health & Behavioral Studies grants the Psychology Major B.A./B.S. with a Behavior Analysis Concentration for James Madison University upperclassmen interested in Skinner’s conditioning processes for modifying human actions. Chaired by Dr. Kevin Apple, the 125-credit degree integrates 150 practicum hours into Harrisonburg courses like Psychology of Learning and Child Psychopathology for BCaBA credentialing.

The Psychological Sciences M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis researches modification and reinforcement methods with 100 percent BCBA Exam success. Headed by Dr. Jeff Dyche, the 36-credit, in-person sequence ends with thesis projects after seminars like Cognitive Science and apprenticeships. Licensed Virginia teachers could earn the K-12 Special Education M.Ed. in Autism or Behavior Specialist tracks instead. Coordinated by Dr. Tiara Brown, this 30-credit major builds portfolios with hybrid courses, such as Challenging Behaviors and Single Case. Since 2016, the 11-credit, VAC-recognized Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate has also been entirely online on Canvas.

About James Madison University

James Madison University originated on March 14, 1908, when Governor Claude A. Swanson approved the Legislature’s bill to create the State Normal & Industrial School for Women. The next September, Julian Ashby Burruss welcomed its inaugural class of 150 ladies. By 1924, it was authorized for four-year bachelor’s degrees as the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg. Five years later, the 31-acre University Farm was added to its current 148-building Shenandoah Valley campus. In 1938, it was renamed Madison College in remembrance of the fourth President who drafted the Constitution. During G. Tyler Miller’s 1940s tenure, James Madison became coeducational and awarded the first master’s. Desegregated in 1966, it was given university status by Governor Mills Godwin on July 1, 1977. Fast forward to 2002 and JMU built the Alvin V. Baird Attention & Learning Disabilities Center with an Autism Clinic. Budgeting $549.6 million, James Madison University now trains 22,686 Dukes from 43 countries at a 16:1 student-faculty ratio with 91 percent retention.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked James Madison the sixth best Southern college, second most innovative school, and 60th top regional value with the 181st best psychology degree nationally. On Niche, JMU boasts America’s sixth-best campus, 36th most student life, 124th best athletics, and 245th top psychology courses. Times Higher Education placed James Madison University 328th overall. Forbes named JMU the 143rd top university and 172nd best employer for women. Money magazine deemed James Madison the 39th best buy with the 138th biggest PayScale ROI of $493,000. The Institute of International Education crowned JMU #1 for short-term study abroad programs. College Factual honored JMU for the 103rd best psychology department and 89th highest-paid alumni. The New York Times proclaimed James Madison University the 114th best for social mobility. WalletHub also noted JMU for the 104th best educational outcomes and 294th best campus experience.

James Madison University Accreditation Details

On January 15, 2019, James Madison University will submit a Fifth-Year Interim Report to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Advisory Council to retain Level VI accreditation through 2023 under its sixth president, Dr. Jonathan R. Alger, who received the NACUA Life Membership Award. Located 525 miles southwest via Interstate 81 in Decatur, this big 11-state Blue Ridge accreditor is authorized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to judge the academic fitness of JMU’s 55 baccalaureate, 51 master’s, eight doctoral, and 19 certificate programs. Particularly, the Special Education M.Ed. was accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in October 2012. The Psychological Sciences M.A. has a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) too.

James Madison University Application Requirements

Admission to James Madison University is classified “very selective” by Peterson’s although 15,366 of the 21,304 Fall 2017 applicants were okayed for 72 percent acceptance. Incoming Dukes seeking the Behavior Analysis Concentration need to declare the Psychology Major B.A./B.S. first. This entails reaching at least sophomore status with prerequisites, such as Elementary Statistics, English Composition, and General Psychology. Transfers from other accredited institutions need 24+ credits with cumulative GPAs over 3.0. Associate completers from Virginia community colleges and Richard Bland College are guaranteed spots. Though optional, JMU undergrads achieve a median 1200 SAT and 25 ACT score. The Psychological Sciences M.A. mandates 120 bachelor’s credits that include Research Methods and Statistics. Besides at least “B” averages, post-grads have a mean 156 GRE Verbal and 153 GRE Quantitative mark. Non-licensure Special Education M.Ed. cohorts must have K-12 teacher certification and 2+ years of experience. The Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate also demands a minimum 3.0 bachelor’s GPA.

James Madison University enforces a September 30th Fall and February 15th Spring deadline for the Psychology B.A./B.S. Major. Hopeful Psychological Sciences M.A. candidates must file by January 4th yearly. The Special Education M.Ed. in Behavior Specialist track has a March 1st priority date. Online Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate entrants are reviewed on a rolling basis year-round. Accordingly, submit the JMU Online or Coalition Application with the non-refundable $70 fee. Have counselors and registrars send transcripts to 800 South Main Street in Harrisonburg, VA 22807. Use the Educational Testing Services code 5392 for official score reports. Don’t forget the three recommendation letters, research paper sample, goals statement, graduate mentor preferences, résumé, and teaching certificate either. Please contact (540) 568-5681 or admissions@jmu.edu for more details.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, James Madison University is billing Virginia Psychology Major B.A./B.S. students $241 per credit or $3,625 each term full-time. Non-resident Behavior Analysis Concentration undergrads pay $788 per credit or $11,825 every semester. The comprehensive fee adds $2,383. Living at the Harrisonburg campus’ dorms like Spotswood Hall costs $2,610 to $3,110 for housing. Standard meal plans for Bistro 1908 are $2,552 to $2,646 extra. JMU budgets $1,016 for texts and $4,164 for personal supplies yearly. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals $26,122 in-state and $42,522 out-of-state. The Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate charges everyone $342 per credit or $3,762 total. Master’s tuition for the Psychological Sciences M.A. or Special Education M.Ed. costs Virginians $485 and non-residents $1,231 per credit.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Student Success Center in Madison Hall gets 63 percent of full-time JMU Dukes average financial aid of $7,004 each for $46.81 million overall. Psychology funds include the James O. Benedict Endowed Scholarship, James Joseph Hart Memorial Scholarship, Eileen S. Nelson Endowed Scholarship, Leann Whitlock Memorial Scholarship, Casey Mitschele Dorsey Scholarship, Thomas & Sherry Woodroof Rogowski Scholarship, and Thesis Research Grant. The Alumni Legacy Scholarship gifts $500 to freshmen who are direct bloodline descendants of James Madison graduates. The College of Health & Behavioral Studies presents 20-hour graduate assistantships that waive nine credits of tuition. FAFSA applications coded 003721 could qualify for Federal Pell or FSEOG Grants. Some Special Education M.Ed. in Autism or Behavior Specialist entrants receive the $4,000 TEACH Grant. The Office of the Registrar’s VA Certifying Official will help apply Montgomery GI Bill benefits. Virginia residents can also use the Commonwealth Award, Guaranteed Assistance Program, and Higher Education Teacher Assistance.

Find more about James Madison University at the Department of Psychology website.