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Becoming an ABA Therapist at Westfield

Westfield State University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Programs.

In Wilson Hall, the College of Education, Health, & Human Services grants the M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis to give Westfield State University post-grads the knowledge and disposition to effectively promote socially acceptable behavioral changes. Directed by Dr. Patrick Heick, the 48-credit, two-year sequence was aligned to the BACB 4th Edition Task List in 2015 for Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Evening, in-person courses like Behavioral Consultation, Pharmacology, and Single Subject Research Design maintain a 16:1 learner-mentor ratio. Partnerships exist with the May Institute, Carson Center, Sullivan & Associates, Beacon Services, Juniper Park Elementary, and more for four practica placements. Some even work on-campus with the Banacos Academic Center’s Learning Disabilities Program.

Westfield also confers a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis to accelerate BCBA Exam eligibility. Chaired by Dr. Jorge Reyes, the 15-credit curriculum teaches ethical intervention skills in five evening courses, such as Behavioral Assessment and Autism Spectrum Disorders, requiring 3.0 GPAs or better.

About Westfield State University

Westfield State University originated in 1839 when Rep. Horace Mann, father of the Common School Movement, created the Normal School at Barre for the nation’s first coed class of 20. Five years later, Dr. Samuel Newman of Bowdoin began constructing today’s 22-building Connecticut River Valley campus. By 1932, it began a four-year Bachelor of Arts and became Westfield State Teachers College. The Graduate & Continuing Education Division now housing the M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis began in 1960. Enrollment quadrupled from then to 1967 as it was renamed Westfield State College. On October 26, 2010, university status was awarded after the largest freshman class ever. Budgeting $116.32 million, Westfield State University enrolls 6,100 Owls from 36 nations with 75+ clubs, including Psi Chi, for 78 percent retention.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Westfield the North’s 112nd best regional university and 32nd top public college. On Niche, Westfield State has the 19th safest campus, 33rd best liberal arts core, and 45th most diversity in Massachusetts. Times Higher Education placed Westfield State University among its top 800 overall. Money magazine named Westfield America’s 184th best buy for a 20-year PayScale ROI of $222,000. College Factual honored Westfield State for the 211st best education department and 50th top psychology value. The Wall Street Journal positioned Westfield 437th nationally for educational outcomes. According to Washington Monthly, Westfield State University offers the 114th best graduation rate and 295th most Federal Work-Study funds. The Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide also crowned Westfield the country’s fourth best.

Westfield State University Accreditation Details

On January 15, 2017, Westfield State University submitted its Interim Five-Year Report to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) to retain the Level III accreditation until Spring 2022 under its 20th president, Dr. Ramon Torrecilha, who received the Woodrow Wilson National Dissertation Fellowship. Headquartered 130 miles northeast via Interstate 84 in Burlington, this superb six-state Upper Atlantic accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Education Department to certify the effectiveness of Westfield’s 88 baccalaureate, six online completion, and 35 master’s degrees.

The College of Education, Health, & Human Services was reaffirmed by the Council on Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP) in April 2013. Specifically, the M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

Westfield State University Application Requirements

Starting at Westfield State University is classified “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since 3,735 of the 4,381 Fall 2017 applicants were triumphant for 85 percent acceptance. Post-grad Owls hooting about the M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis need at least 120 credits from an accredited bachelor’s program first. Education and social science majors are highly preferred. That’s because the prerequisites include Statistics, Child Development, Abnormal Psychology, and Counseling Theories. Baccalaureate courses must combine for a minimum 3.0 GPA. At maximum, six graduate credits graded “B-” or better are transferred. Please note the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis accepts overall GPAs as low as 2.7. Passing the Graduate Record Exam within the last five years is master’s mandatory. Mean GRE scores are 151 verbal and 153 quantitative. Achieving 400+ on the Miller Analogies Test also qualifies.

Westfield State University only considers M.A. and Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis entrants for Fall cohorts until a February 1st deadline. Admission decisions are reached within four to six weeks, then $150 program deposits are paid. Interested post-grads can submit the $50 Graduate Application online or by mailing the downloaded PDF. Sealed official transcripts go to PO Box 1630 at 577 Western Avenue in Westfield, MA 01086. Added materials include the GRE/MAT score, three reference forms, two-page narrative statement, proof of residency, professional vitae or résumé, and classroom teacher licensure if applicable. Please inquire further at (413) 572-8020 or wsucgce@westfield.ma.edu.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, the Graduate & Continuing Education Division at Westfield State University is charging $350 per credit. Each 400- to 600-level course costs $1,050. Two three-credit courses equal $2,100 and three three-credit courses total $3,150 per semester. The M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis bills overall tuition of $16,800. The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis costs just $5,250. However, prices like the $100 practicum fee are extra. Health insurance coverage is $2,985 unless waived. Night classes come with a $60 parking fee. Setting up the delayed payment plan is $100 per term. If chosen, living at the Hampden County campus’ housing like Edward Welch Apartments adds $10,689 for room and board.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office in Horace Mann Center gets 55 percent of full-time Westfield Owls soaring with a median $5,093 offer for $15.87 million combined. Master’s funds include the Amos-Franco Scholarship, Jeff & Lolly Templeton Family Scholarship, Darryl Albert Memorial Scholarship, Nancy S. Cavanaugh Scholarship, Trustee Deanna Clark Scholarship, Mildred Maude Evans Scholarship, and William T. Spears & Mary-Bernadette H. Handy Memorial Scholarship. Graduate assistantships can provide full tuition for 15 to 30 hours of weekly employment. The Westfield Public Schools District pays at least $11/hour for M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis internships. Federal Unsubsidized and Graduate Plus loans are borrowed with FAFSA forms coded 002189 by March 1st. Joining the Volunteers in Service to America would provide $4,725 for loan repayment. Special educators who sign two-year, low-income school contracts are eligible for the Federal TEACH Grant. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education presents a Graduate Tuition Waiver too.

Continue reading about Westfield State University at the Psychology Department website.