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The Benefits of a Behavior Analysis in Criminal Justice Studies

Understanding the workings of the human psyche, and treating and modifying aberrant behavior is the nucleus of the dynamic field of Behavior Analysis. As society experiences heightened criminal activity, juvenile delinquency, addiction and the rise of developmental disabilities, the demand for professionals credentialed in this area escalates steadily.

How can learning the principles of applied behavior analysis, as it relates to autism spectrum disorders versus something like chemical dependency, help with career advancement? It seems like a very diverse range of practitioners studying the same protocol...

You're right! Behavior Analysis is recognized as a "best practice" in the fields of autism, behavioral health, addiction, corrections and more. It indeed has a very diverse range of practioners. Many are behavior specialists, mobile therapists, educational consultants, speech-language pathologists, school counselors, social workers, criminal justice professionals, and human service professionals – all seeking to supplement their existing skills and earn the credentials they need to pursue additional opportunities. Regardless of the career path, practioners will need to develop the skills to transfer basic principles of behavior analysis into effective, comprehensive, functional behavioral assessments, behavioral interventions, and program evaluation.

As an educator, you may wonder why you should study in the criminal justice field or vice versa. The main advantage of a comprehensive program is that it offers an expanded education that you can use for careers in other fields if you choose to alter your career path later in life. In addition, as an educator, you can benefit from learning about chemical dependency and criminal issues, both of which affect youth in the school system.

What can you do with a Behavior Analysis Certification?
Over the past 60 years, behavior analysis has become recognized as the treatment of choice for behavior problems associated with chemical dependency, addiction, mental health, co-occurring disorders, autism-spectrum disorders, brain injury, co-morbidity, and other disorders. Many people also recognize that applied behavior analysis is capable of producing remarkable results in classroom learning.

Behavioral analysts are employed by criminal justice organizations, hospitals, residential treatment facilities, local and state governments, individual service providers, child welfare organizations, educational institutions and even businesses looking to improve their workplace structure or culture. And here's some good news: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that behavior analysis positions are expected to grow by 27% through 2020, with the biggest gains in employment expected for those with advanced education and certification.

How to choose a program that fortifies your marketability within this dynamic field:
Look for a program that prepares you to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA) exam. This means that the curriculum has meet the regulated requirements set forth by the board, today's gold standard in the behavior analysis field. Saint Joseph's University offers an exceptional program for a variety of reasons:

  • Of the ten board members who oversee the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Exam, three are online faculty members at Saint Joseph’s University, meaning you’ll learn from those who drive the industry.
  • The faculty at Saint Joseph's University helps develop the courses and are still employed in the field; they provide valuable and current insight to the industry.
  • Saint Joseph's University offers one of the only BA programs residing in Criminal Justice studies that is approved by the BACB; this is a benefit not just to CJ professionals, but educators and human service professionals alike.

What about earning the certification online? How does that stack against other options?
Completing your degree online is a great way to expand your career opportunities while enjoying the flexibility to arrange your studies around your professional and personal schedule.

  • Do your coursework when and where it's most convenient for you
  • Asynchronous courses

There's 24/7 technical support and the interactive format fosters discussion among students and instructors. In that the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has approved the course sequence delivered by Saint Joseph's University online, you can rest assure it's a quality education. In addition, students who attend an online education program have been shown to have a higher pass rate for the BCBA exam than students who attend school in a traditional setting, according to the September 2011 BACB Newsletter.

So there you have it, a little insight into the makings of a well-rounded Behavior Analysis program. Give us ring at (866) 758-7670 or reach out to one of our Program Managers.

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