The Honours Bachelor of Behaviour Analysis is a four-year degree program that takes an in-depth look at Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) – a field of study that uses a systematic and analytical approach to modify behaviour in a desirable way.
Students eligible for this S303 program complete a summer bridge (semester 4 in the Outline section) before entering semester 5 of the degree program.
George Brown College was the first college in Toronto to offer the Behavioural Science Technology advanced diploma and spearheaded the development of the Provincial Autism and Behavioural Science programs. We have a 15-year history of providing training and education in applied behaviour analysis in Toronto and our graduates are leaders of behavioural treatment in fields as varied as forensic mental health, autism spectrum disorder, and acquired brain injury.
ABA is an effective practice that is often used with populations who have:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Brain injury
- Developmental disabilities
- Mental health disorders
What you will be studying:
Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to the treatment and understanding of human behaviour. This approach can be applied to the entire range of human behaviour (i.e., thoughts, feelings and actions). Research has shown that an evidence-based approach such as ABA is most effective at decreasing problem behaviour and developing a variety of skills.
The ABA approach involves three main components:
Component 1: A complete behavioural assessment is conducted. A variety of interview and observational techniques are used to gain an understanding of the behaviour to be changed. Students learn how to observe and analyze behaviour in a variety of situations in order to develop an effective treatment strategy.
Component 2: The next step is to use the results of the behavioural assessment to develop an effective plan that will reduce specific problem behaviours and develop or strengthen cognitive and behavioural skills. Students will learn a variety of behavioural and cognitive behavioural techniques that can be used to change behaviour.
Component 3: The final phase is an ongoing evaluation of components one and two. Students will learn how to measure the effectiveness of their interventions, and continue to refine and revise their interventions based on the results of these measures.
A foundational aspect of this degree lies with the research component of the program. Students will begin preparing for this capstone project in Years 1 and 2 through research preparatory courses. During the winter semester of year 3, students will prepare an Applied Research Proposal. The actual research will be conducted during the summer internship between years 3 and 4. The research thesis will be written during the fall semester of year 4. Students will receive faculty support throughout the entire process.
PREPARING FUTURE LEADERS
In addition to preparing students to be practicing behaviourists, the degree program helps prepare them to become leaders in this emerging field. Not only will students be supported in becoming client-centred clinicians, they will also have the opportunity to learn the skills to advance behaviour analysis from a system-wide perspective, to support large-scale changes in agencies, organizations and government.
This intensive program, delivered on-site at George Brown's state-of-the-art Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences located at the Waterfront Campus, is suitable for students who are data-driven, enjoy analyzing patterns and like to work with challenging behaviours.
The program's core courses are focused on five areas of learning:
- Behavioural Science Theories, Principles and Methods
- Special Populations
- Research Methods/Statistics
- Ethics, Professionalism and Leadership
While classroom theory is a very important part of your learning experience, we believe that field placement plays a critical role in solidifying that experience because it lets you practice your skills in a real-world environment.
You can expect to participate in field placement one day (eight hours) per week in semesters 5 and 6. Between semesters 6 and 7 (between years three and four), you will complete one 14-week field experience term (unpaid) during which you will be expected to conduct a research thesis.
Prior to starting the field experience term, a field coordinator will help students:
- explore their interests
- prepare for interviews
- facilitate interview meetings by providing feedback
Once students are in their placement settings, they will obtain support from the agency on-site supervisor as well as support from a college faculty field liaison.