IPP Learning Outcomes Report

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1 Page 1 IPP Learning Outcomes Report Program: Department: Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Program Psychology Number of students enrolled in the program in fall, 2011: Data unavailable Students become enrolled in the certificate program once they have completed the required coursework and have submitted an application form. Procedures are being developed to track the applications and identify students who intend to complete the certificate through PSYC 171, the first course in the sequence. Faculty member completing template: Becky Penrod, Assistant Professor (Date: 1/27/12) Period of reference in the template: to present 1. Please describe your program s learning outcomes trajectory since : Has there been a transformation of organizational culture regarding the establishment of learning outcomes and the capacity to assess progress toward their achievement? If so, during which academic year would you say the transformation became noticeable? What lies ahead; what is the next likely step in developing a learning outcomes organizational culture within the program? [Please limit your response to 200 words or less] The undergraduate ABA certificate program is designed to give students the didactic training needed to sit for the national certification exam to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). As such, the learning outcomes are based on the coursework requirements of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board ( Specifically, students must have 135 classroom hours of instruction in the following content areas: ethical considerations (10 hours); principles and concepts of Applied Behavior Analysis (40 hours); assessment and intervention strategies (25 hours); experimental evaluation of interventions and measurement of behavior (20 hours); and behavioral change procedures (40 hours). Since curriculum adjustments have been made in accordance with changes to coursework requirements made by the BACB. In a new course was established in an effort to more adequately address each of the content areas required by the BACB. Specifically, PSYC 191 was created (Practicum in Behavior Analysis). In addition to PSYC 191, three other courses are included in the certificate program: PSYC 171 (Applied Behavior Analysis), PSYC 181 (Experimental Analysis of Behavior) and PSYC 184 (Clinical Issues in ABA). Student progress toward mastery of the learning outcomes is measured based on performance of course requirements; in order for students to obtain their certificate they must maintain a 3.5 GPA across all courses.

2 Page 2 In the years to come, curriculum adjustments will be made as necessary in order to maintain program approval by the BACB. 2. Please list in prioritized order (or indicate no prioritization regarding) up to four desired learning outcomes ( takeaways concerning such elements of curriculum as perspectives, specific content knowledge, skill sets, confidence levels) for students completing the program. For each stated outcome, please provide the reason that it was designated as desired by the faculty associated with the program. [Please limit your response per outcome to 300 words or less] a) Specific content knowledge (Competence in the Disciplines): This is a designated learning outcome because it is a prerequisite to practicing applied behavior analysis (ABA); one must have a strong knowledge base in basic concepts and principles of ABA in order to develop and modify programs and interventions for various populations who benefit from ABA services (e.g., children with autism, individuals with developmental disabilities, organizations, etc.). It is pertinent that students graduating from the program be able to apply their knowledge of basic principles to various problems they may encounter in the professional community; it is also crucial to the field of behavior analysis in that as a field, we have to be conceptually systematic in order to continue to ensure practitioners are providing the best standard of care to our consumers. b) Clinical skill sets (Intellectual and Practical Skills): This is a designated learning outcome because most graduates of the program will be providing direct care to clients/consumers in the community. Not only is this necessary to ensure quality control in terms of practice, but it ensures that the reputation of the ABA certificate program remains in tact so that we can continue to attract students pursuing studies in behavior analysis. c) Knowledge and practice of ethical guidelines set forth by the discipline (Personal and Social Responsibility): This is a designated learning outcome because it ensures that consumers of ABA services in the community are protected as well as practitioners (former graduates). Further, practice of ethical guidelines is related to best practices/standards of care, which is necessary for those practicing to receive funding from various funding sources (e.g., regional centers, school districts) as well as insurance coverage. d) Critical thinking skills (Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World): This is a designated learning outcome because the program follows a scientist practitioner model and it is expected that practitioners stay current in order to continue to provide quality care to the consumers they serve. It also ensures that those in the field disseminate their knowledge to others in a conceptually systematic manner. Further, it is critical that students are able to apply basic concepts and principles to areas of application; in other words, they should be able to generalize their knowledge of behavioral principles to solve a variety of problems they may encounter in clinical practice.

3 Page 3 3. For undergraduate programs only, in what ways are the set of desired learning outcomes described above aligned with the University s Baccalaureate Learning Goals? Please be as specific as possible. [Please limit your response to 400 words or less] a) The first learning outcome (specific content knowledge) is related to the Baccalaureate learning outcome of Competence in the Disciplines in terms of being able to demonstrate competency in a major field of study. b) The second learning outcome (clinical skill sets) is related to the Baccalaureate learning outcome of Intellectual and Practical skills in that the clinical skill sets taught in the certificate program focus on such things as critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork, and written and oral communication. c) The third learning outcome (knowledge and practice of ethical guidelines) is related to the Baccalaureate learning outcome of Personal and Social responsibility in that ethical reasoning is practiced through active involvement in the community; specifically in the practicum course (PSYC 191), one of the requirements is an internship at a site that provides ABA services as such, students are in direct contact with consumers (e.g., children with autism) and must practice and adhere to those ethical guidelines learned in class. d) The fourth learning outcome (critical thinking skills as a consumer of scientific research) is related to the Baccalaureate learning outcomes of Intellectual and Practical Skills and Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World. Specifically, a component of each of the classes included in the certificate program is critical thinking in which students must engage in intellectual discourse surrounding various topics related to human behavior. 4. For each desired outcome indicated in item 2 above, please: a) Describe the method(s) by which its ongoing pursuit is monitored and measured. b) Include a description of the sample of students (e.g., random sample of transfer students declaring the major; graduating seniors) from whom data were/will be collected and the frequency and schedule with which the data in question were/will be collected. c) Describe and append a sample (or samples) of the instrument (e.g., survey or test), artifact (e.g., writing sample and evaluative protocol, performance review sheet), or other device used to assess the status of the learning outcomes desired by the program. d) Explain how the program faculty analyzed and evaluated (will analyze and evaluate) the data to reach conclusions about each desired student learning outcome. [Please limit your response to 200 words or less per learning outcome] (If the requested data and/or analysis are not yet available for any of the learning outcomes, please explain why and describe the plan by which these will occur. Please limit your response to 500 words or less.)

4 Page 4 a) The ABA certificate program does not currently have an approved assessment plan to evaluate students progress toward the desired learning outcomes; however, moving forward, pre post tests will be developed as a measure. Specifically, a pre post exam will be developed to assess specific content knowledge, critical thinking, and knowledge and practice of ethical guidelines. Clinical skill sets will be evaluated through supervisor ratings. Specifically, students supervisors in their internship/work placements in the community will be asked to rate their students on their performance of various clinical skill sets; supervisors will be asked to provide this information while students are enrolled in PSYC 191 (Practicum in Behavior Analysis). Attached is an example of a student intern evaluation form (see Appendix A) used at the Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State where a number of students in the certificate program complete their internship requirement. A similar rating scale will be developed to send to supervisors at other sites in the community where students may be placed. Below is a table outlining which courses in the certificate program are linked to the aforementioned learning outcomes and the assessment strategy that will be used to measure each learning outcome. Multiple choice questions will be used for the pre post exams; factual questions will be used to measure the learning outcome of specific content knowledge and scenario based questions will be used to assess critical thinking skills. LEARNING OUTCOME ASSESSMENT STRATEGY I. COURSE PSYC 171 (Intro to ABA) PSYC 181 (Exp. Analysis of Behavior) PSYC 184 (Clinical issues in ABA) PSYC 191 (Practicum in ABA) Specific content knowledge Specific content knowledge Critical thinking skills Specific content knowledge Critical thinking skills Knowledge and practice of ethical guidelines Clinical skill sets Pre post exam Pre post exam Pre post exam Pre post exam Supervisor rating b) The assessment data above will be collected from all students enrolled in the certificate program; data will be collected every semester given that learning outcomes will be measured using pre post exams administered in each of the ABA courses.

5 Page 5 c) The pre post exams have not yet been developed but the questions will be directly related to the BACB task list attached (see Appendix B). d) Program faculty will analyze and evaluate data to inform whether the current curriculum is adequately targeting the desired learning outcomes or if changes need to be made to better prepare students. 5. Regarding each outcome and method discussed in items 2 and 4 above, please provide examples of how findings from the learning outcomes process have been utilized to address decisions to revise or maintain elements of the curriculum (including decisions to alter the program s desired outcomes). If such decision making has not yet occurred, please describe the plan by which it will occur. [Please limit your response to 200 words or less per item] Decisions to revise and/or maintain elements of the curriculum have not yet been made. Such decision making will be made based on evaluation of data collected through pre post tests, as described above. Assessment data will be used in conjunction with current BACB requirements and guidelines to make curricular adjustments. 6. Has the program systematically sought data from alumni to measure the longer term effects of accomplishment of the program s learning outcomes? If so, please describe the approach to this information gathering and the ways in which the information will be applied to the program s curriculum. If such activity has not yet occurred, please describe the plan by which it will occur. [Please limit your response to 300 words or less] To date, data from alumni of the ABA certificate program have not been gathered. Data will be gathered in the future by including additional questions specific to those students who were enrolled in the certificate program on the existing alumni survey that is sent out to all psychology majors. Examples of additional questions that will be included are listed below: Did you sit for the national certification exam to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)? If you sat for the national certification exam, did you pass? Are you currently working in the field of ABA? Has your background coursework in ABA been beneficial to your career? If so, how? Is there information you did not receive while enrolled in the certificate program that you feel would have been helpful to you in your profession?

6 Page 6 In the future, information obtained from alumni will be used to revise the curriculum to ensure that students are well prepared to sit for the national certification exam as well as to ensure important content relevant to clinical practice in the community is being adequately covered. 7. Does the program pursue learning outcomes identified by an accrediting or other professional discipline related organization as important? Does the set of outcomes pursued by your program exceed those identified as important by your accrediting or other professional discipline related organization? [Please limit your response to 300 words or less] The ABA certificate program is consistent with the learning outcomes set forth by the BACB. Attached is the BACB task list (see Appendix B) outlining all of the required content areas; the table below indicates areas of substantial overlap between student learning objectives of the certificate program and the goals of the BACB. Further, the set of outcomes pursued by the certificate program exceed those identified as important by the BACB, specifically with respect to our emphasis on critical thinking. Content areas required by the BACB Client Centered Responsibilities Basic Behavior Analytic Skills Foundational Knowledge Specific Content Knowledge Student Learning Objectives Critical Ethical Thinking Guidelines Skills X X X X X X Clinical Skills X 8. Finally, what additional information would you like to share with the Senate Committee on Instructional Program Priorities regarding the program s desired learning outcomes and assessment of their accomplishment? [Please limit your response to 200 words or less] Although the ABA certificate program does not currently have an approved assessment plan, as a result of this process, it has become clear that we need to formalize our methods of assessment to better monitor student progress toward identified learning objectives and to inform our decisions regarding curriculum changes. A major strength of the ABA certificate program is that it prepares students for job placements in the community and specifically jobs related to their psychology major. Psychology related jobs often require graduate degrees. Applied Behavior Analysis is a unique subfield of psychology in that there is a significant demand for bachelor s level therapists to provide direct

7 Page 7 care to the consumers who benefit from ABA services. However, without background coursework specific to behavior analysis, such jobs will not be attainable. With new insurance mandates to provide coverage for ABA services for children with autism, there is an increased need for certified assistant behavior analysts (BCaBA) who can provide direct care (paraprofessionals without a degree will no longer be able to fill these jobs). The ABA certificate program affords students with the opportunity to become a BCaBA and in doing so offers a great service to the community.

8 Appendix A Psychology: ABA Certificate Program Page 8

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11 Appendix B Psychology: ABA Certificate Program Page 11

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