ABA Programs at Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University is also featured in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges for Students on the Autism Spectrum.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) professionals help children and adults in different aspects of their lives. They work with both those diagnosed with autism and those on the spectrum. One program available from Western Kentucky University is a certificate program in advanced behavior management. This is a graduate track that is open to students seeking a degree from the university and those who do not enroll in a degree program. It features 15 credits or five classes, including Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis, Positive Behavior Support, Behavior Assessment, Instruction to Improve Behavior and Ethics Surrounding Behavior Issues.
Through the School of Teacher Education, Western Kentucky University offers several special education programs that include ABA courses. In the special education for initial certification program, students study learning and behavior disorders as they complete a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. It features 36 credits and culminates with an internship in which students work in a special education classroom. Their required classes include Foundations of Literacy Instruction, Education of Exceptional Children, Research in Exceptional Child Education and Special Education Law and Finance.
Students can study learning and behavior disorders in the university’s Master of Arts in Education (MAED) program too. Majors will take up to 12 credits of required foundation courses, including Advanced Assessment Techniques and The Exceptional Child: Perspectives and Issues. They will then take up to 15 credits of advanced courses based on how much teaching experience they have and the degrees they earned. Those courses can include Advanced Prescriptive Teaching, Behavior Problems of Childhood and Adolescence, Organizing Programs for Early Childhood Special Education and Seminar: Curriculum for Learning and Behavior Disorders. This program includes a mid-point assessment too that may require students to retake certain courses or sign up for prerequisites in special education before they can continue.
Also available is a MAED for those who want to teach students with moderate to severe disabilities. It features a professional education core that includes Classroom Instruction Strategies, Curriculum Development, School and Classroom Assessment and other courses that are worth a total of 16 credits. Halfway through the program is a mid-point assessment that students must pass to remain at the university. Students can choose a track in learning and behavior disorders or mild to severe disabilities depending on where they want to work. Each track features classes such as Curriculum for Individuals with Moderate to Severe Disabilities and Instructional Strategies and Design for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
About Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University is a public university that the state established in 1906. Before becoming a state university, it was a small school that opened in the 1870s as the Glasgow Normal School and Business College. This school moved to a new campus in Bowling Green in the 1880s and became the Southern Normal School and Business College. This college would later shut down and reopen as the Western Kentucky State Normal School and merge with nearby Potter College. Now known as Western Kentucky University and WKU, it ranks as a popular choice for students in the surrounding region and those from other states. The more than 20,000 students who attend WKU every year can choose from dozens of programs offered by five colleges.
Western Kentucky University Accreditation Details
With regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), WKU can award financial aid packages to any incoming student with a demonstrated need. All the university asks is that the student submits the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the term starts. The special education programs all have accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) too.
Western Kentucky University Application Requirements
The MAT program at WKU looks for students who have a bachelor’s degree in education from an accredited college or university. Students will apply online and provide a transcript that shows they either earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or that they maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 30 credits they took, which includes any graduate courses listed on the transcript. WKU requires a passing score on the Core Academic Skills for Educators exam and a letter of intent that includes their career goals. The university asks for signed documents too that show the student is up to date on vaccinations, passed a criminal background check and had a recent physical. Students who have not taken any special education classes will need to take a class called The Exceptional Child Perspectives an Issues before starting the MAT program.
Students applying to the MAED program must be eligible to earn a teaching license in Kentucky. The university requires that those who graduated from another college or university have a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Those with a lower GPA need to supply an official GRE score with a minimum of 139 on the quantitative and verbal sections of the test and 3.5 on the writing section. This program has a final application deadline of May first for the fall term, November first for the spring and March first for the summer. WKU has the same requirements for students applying to the moderate to severe disabilities MAT program and the advanced behavior management certificate program.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Graduate students pay the same rates in the WKU certificate programs as they do in the university’s degree programs. This includes a rate of $607 per credit hour for students who are residents of Kentucky and those who are in the military. Both veterans and military dependents qualify for this rate too. Students who work in K-12 settings in Kentucky qualify for a discount and pay only $415 per credit hour. Graduate students coming from outside of Kentucky pay a rate of $917 per credit hour.
Students enrolled in at least six credits can apply for one of the WKU assistantships. They need to pass a criminal background check and apply for one of the jobs. The duties that they need to do will depend on whether they work as graduate, teaching or general assistants. WKU also hires students to work as assistant instructors. All positions include stipends and a weekly salary and help students qualify for subsidized health insurance. All graduate students enrolling in the ABA and special education programs at Western Kentucky University can use student loans too.