FAQs for the Autism Spectrum Disorders and Applied Behavior Analysis Webinar

Posted by Kelly Norris on May 8, 2019 at 12:22 PM

If you missed the webinar, here's the video recording and a list of all the questions asked during the webinar. If you still have questions, just click on the "Speak to an advisor" button at the end of this post and get all of your questions answered.



Click on any of these options for more information:

Autism Spectrum Disorders
Applied Behavior Analysis

Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate

Do I have to have an initial or professional teaching license to apply to this certificate?
Yes, to be admitted into the certificate program and receive an endorsement from Fitchburg State you must hold an initial or professional teaching license.

When may I start the program?
This program begins once a year in the fall (September). Students must begin with SPED 8040 Foundations and Characteristics of Autism, which runs online from September 3 to October 20, 2019.

Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Program

I have a master’s degree in another subject than Behavior Analysis, Education or Psychology, may I apply to your program?
You may absolutely apply to the program; however, as most people applying to the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate program ultimately want to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts, you should know that the Behavior Analyst Certification Board specifies that masters degrees must be in the areas of Behavior Analysis, Education, or Psychology. If you are unsure if your degree will be acceptable, you should contact the BACB through their website.

May I do the 1500 hours of fieldwork where I work?
Absolutely! As long as the work you are doing is behavior analytic in nature. Most candidates choose this route, as the amount of fieldwork required is extensive. Ultimately, that would be a determination you would make along with your fieldwork supervisor.  Remember, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board has several specific requirements regarding Supervised Independent Fieldwork, including that hours cannot begin to be accrued until you have started coursework and have completed a training module on their website.  Be sure to view the Experience Standards on the BACB website to see all of the requirements.  

When may I start the program?
This program begins once a year in September. Students must start with SPED 8013 Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis, as it serves as the building block for all subsequent classes. This course runs online from September 3 to October 20, 2019.

When do the changes to the requirements to become a BCBA take effect?
These changes take effect on January 1, 2022.  The changes include required additional coursework, as well as more independent fieldwork hours, to be able to sit for the exam. As long as you complete all the requirements (the coursework, a master’s degree, and the 1500 independent fieldwork hours) and apply to take the exam prior to January 1, 2022, you will be able to take the exam under the old requirements.  


Do these courses need to be taken in any particular order?
Both of these programs, the Autism Spectrum Disorders and Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate programs, require a specific rotation of courses that begins in the fall. Students may complete the certificate in one year, however, you have six years from the first course you take in the program to graduate. Visit the Student Resource Center for a two year rotation of course schedules.

When may I register for fall classes?
Registration opens July 1. If this is your first time taking a class you may register online  or by phone by calling the Registrar’s Office at 978-665-4196. Full payment for the cost of the course is due at the time of registration.

How many credits may I take before applying?
Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate program students may complete six credits or the first two courses SPED 8013 and SPED 8028 while preparing an application for admission.

How does online learning work?

Many online courses are asynchronous, meaning that you don’t have to log in at a certain day or time as long as you’re meeting the daily and weekly goals set by your instructor. Students enrolled in a three-credit course should expect to spend at least nine hours per week on preparation, assignments, and interaction with the teacher and students. Log in at any time to try an online demo course.


What is the application deadline?
While Fitchburg State offers rolling admission, students should aim to complete their application by mid-July for fall 2019, or by December 1 for a spring 2020 application to allow proper time for processing. Note that for these programs courses start in the fall, and the spring deadline would be in play if you start your fall courses while you’re in the application process.

Students who preregistered for today’s webinar need to submit an application online to receive the $50 application fee waiver.

Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
Students applying to Special Education programs should submit two professional references from someone who works in the field and one academic reference. This can include a supervisor or school principal. Check out our blog for the 5 people you should ask for recommendations.

I earned my initial license through a program at Fitchburg State, do I need to submit a copy of my license?
Yes, upload a copy of your initial teaching license when you complete the online application to the Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate.

I’m a Fitchburg State alum, do I need to submit my transcript?
No, you don’t need to submit your transcript, Fitchburg State Admissions will pull that for you. In the online application, list Fitchburg State in the academic history tab.

What is the required essay topic?
The personal statement (maximum 300 words) should describe your goals and reasons for applying to this program and should include information about previous coursework, training, or work experience related to the program.

Do I need to take the GRE or MAT?
No, the GRE or MAT are not required for applications to Fitchburg State graduate

How will I know if my application is complete?
Once you submit an application online, you may check the status through the application portal. We recommend you check the status once or twice a week as documents take one to three business days to process once received.

I’ve submitted an application and paid the $50 fee, can this be refunded since I registered for the live webinar?
No, unfortunately application fees are non-refundable. Once applied
to an account the fee can’t be returned or refunded.


How may I finance my graduate education?
Fitchburg State has several financing options including a payment plan for fall and spring courses, scholarships, and graduate assistantships, including positions in the Education Department.

May I receive federal financial aid for a certificate program?
Federal financial aid is only available to admitted students in a degree program. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information about alternative funding options.

What is the price per credit?
Graduate credits are currently priced at $377 per credit, which covers tuition and fees includes the online program fee, books are a separate cost.

Still have questions? Reach out to an advisor and get your questions answered.

Speak to an advisor

Topics: Programs, Webinars