Psychology Behavioral Analysis M.A. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

We seek to train Master's level Behavior Analysts who have a grounding in research and scholarly activities, can develop and utilize scientific knowledge, are skilled in using their critical thinking and analytic tools in problem formulation and solution generation, and have a repertoire of professional competencies including research, teaching, and applied skills as outlined by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

The program emphasizes creative research and applications of  behavioral principles to a broad range of applied problems. The program's faculty and students , make significant contributions in the areas of research methodology, treatment development, outcomes research, program development, program evaluation, training, supervision, technology transfer, basic behavioral research, and philosophy of science. The program values these behaviors, regardless of the setting in which they occur.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical, basic and applied areas of Behavior Analysis and research that form the foundation of Behavioral Psychology as it relates to behavior acquisition and change as outlined by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Completion of core research methods course, core theoretical, basic and applied courses, practicum, and ethics course
  • Successful proposal and defense of a Master's Thesis
Assessment Method
  • Successful completion of coursework at level prescribed by graduate school as assessed by evaluation of exam and classroom performance. Student competency also evaluated by the Behavior analysis training committee (BATC) on an annual basis with feedback to student by advisor
  • Written review by all faculty after input of BATC via the programs annual evaluation system which evaluates academic progress, research, professional activities, and applied work goals on a yearly basis

2. Students will be able to skillfully and ethically apply current scientific principles of behavior change or the development of new behavior change strategies.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Knowledge of ethical standards of the field
  • Participation in treatment development and other organizational settings
  • Oral presentations
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of and sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity
Assessment Method
  • Successful completion of ethics course and program core course requirements. Attendance and supervision by core faculty in clinical or organizational practicum course series. Supervisors' review of proper outcome assessment and intervention procedures
  • Performance evaluation by supervisor regarding students' performance in practicum courses.
  • Evaluated by number of applied presentations in case conferences, national or regional conferences, and workshops. Performance in supervision evaluated by faculty supervisor and reported to BATC with feedback to student
  • Coursework in organizational and clinical interventions with diverse populations of organizational leaders, managers, adults and children, (including gender, ethnicity and physical disabilities); demonstration of knowledge of these issues in clinical, educational, and other organizational settings as evaluated by faculty site supervisors

3. Students will be able to develop and demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of ethical scientific research.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Oral presentation of research
  • Knowledge of research ethics
  • Knowledge of research design
Assessment Method
  • Faculty observation (and feedback) of presentation at scientific conferences
  • Successful completion of research methodology course as evaluated by classroom examinations and performance; successful completion of IRB mandated ethics course as well as our own separate ethics course
  • Successful completion of program methodology requirements as evaluated by classroom examinations and performance
  • Successful submission, approval and completion of an IRB protocol

4. Students will be able to establish independence and demonstrate capacity for scientific creativity.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Successful thesis proposal
  • Career employment
  • Successful completion of Masters research project
  • Successful thesis defense
  • Written presentation
Assessment Method
  • Evaluation by examining committee
  • Alumni survey of satisfaction with employment for 3 years following graduation
  • Evaluation by committee
  • Evaluation by examining committee
  • Evaluation by peer review and/or BATC of manuscripts/ grants submitted for publication