Ellie Kazemi, PhD

Training and Supervision

Research Laboratory

Please feel free to download the brochure.







We operate like committed scientists part of the time and like caring clinicians the rest of the time.” - Jon Bailey and Mary Burch How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst



Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Behavior Analyst?

A behavior analyst is concerned with improving and understanding human behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). A behavior analyst uses direct observation and experimentation to find causes for desired and undesired behaviors before offering any clinical interventions. Behavior analysts design strategies to alter socially significant behavior by changing existing behaviors, teaching new behaviors, teaching what behaviors are appropriate to use in different situations, and consistently evaluating the effectiveness of their behavioral interventions.


“...behavior analysts are primarily interested in making clinically significant changes in socially important, observable behaviors of individuals who need assistance with behavior problems.” -Jon Bailey and Mary Burch How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst



 What is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® (BCaBA®)?

“According to BACB the BCaBA conducts descriptive behavioral assessments and is able to interpret the results and design ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions for clients. The BCaBA designs and oversees interventions in familiar cases (e.g., similar to those encountered during their training) that are consistent with the dimensions of applied behavior analysis. The BCaBA obtains technical direction from a BCBA for unfamiliar situations. The BCaBA is able to teach others to carry out interventions once the BCaBA has demonstrated competency with the procedures involved under the direct supervision of a BCBA. The BCaBA may assist a BCBA with the design and delivery of introductory level instruction in behavior analysis. It is mandatory that each BCaBA practice under the supervision of a BCBA. Governmental entities, third-party insurance plans and others utilizing BCaBAs must require this supervision.”


To become Board Certified you must apply to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) and pass the BCaBA exam. To sit for the exam you must apply to the BAaCB® providing evidence of having a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, completion of 135 hours of classroom instruction in the specified content areas established by the BACB® (this is what the current  undergraduate BCaBA coursework at CSUN meets),  and 1000 supervised experience hours that meet the BACB® standards. For more specific information regarding the certification process, you may visit the BACB® home page by clicking on this link.


Currently at CSUN you can: 


· Complete your BA degree and BCaBA coursework simultaneously.


· Obtain applicable skills that enable you to make a difference in people’s lives.


· Access better employment opportunities.


· Prepare for rigorous graduate training.



What do BCaBA®s do & what are their employment opportunities?

Assistant behavior analysts work with people of all ages, from early childhood to geriatrics, and in multiple settings such as homes, schools, hospitals, residential facilities, rehabilitation centers, research labs and places of business. For information on job postings or local employment opportunities, check out the “Employment Board” which can be found here on this site under Job Opportunities or on the juncture of Sierra Tower and Sierra Hall, or visit http://www.calaba.org/ employment.asp, www.autismspeaks.org, www.abainternational.org .


Depending on state funds and regulations, BCaBA’s work with people of all ages (i.e., from early childhood to geriatrics) and in any setting (e.g., home, school, hospital, residential facility, rehabilitation center, research lab or a place of business). The scope of Applied Behavior Analysis includes, but is not limited to: developmental disabilities (e.g. Autism, Mental Retardation), severe problems (e.g. Schizophrenia), anxiety, parenting, marital conflict, gerontology, behavioral medicine, sexual dysfunction, addiction, crime and delinquency, school, classroom and organizational management (see www.abainternational.org for various special interests such as Behavioral Medicine, Organizational Behavior Management).


Click here for a PDF file released by the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts for information on salary and job demand http://www.apbahome.net/survey-report-johnston.pdf


Who should pursue certification in Behavior Analysis and why?

Individuals who are interested in and enjoy working directly with clients and organizations should pursue this certification. Given the growing demand for well-trained board certified professionals in behavior analysis and the limitless career opportunities – becoming a certified professional can ensure job growth and security but most of all it will make you a more competitive and marketability candidate.


What does CSUN’s offer in regards to Behavioral Training?

Undergraduate student in Psychology have access to coursework they can complete while obtaining their bachelorette degree at CSUN. The CSUN psychology, in collaboration with the Tseng College of Extended Learning, offers an MA in Psychology: Behavioral Clinical Psychology Option 



CSUN’s BCaBA Route Overview

The BCaBA route is designed for those individuals seeking to complete Behavior Analyst Certification Board Approved Course-work requirements for qualifying for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) examination.  There are 3 undergraduate-level courses (please see below for a detailed description of courses) and a single learning service course (please see next questions for more details about this internship opportunity)  within the BCaBA route which have been formulated to address the Task List Content Areas detailed by the Board. Special emphasis in these courses is placed on assessment, measurement, experimentation, and intervention. See http://tsengcollege.csun.edu/mabcba/program.htmlfor more information. 


PSY 351 - Behavioral Psychology & Therapy (3 units)

 Prerequisites: PSY 150, PSY 250, completion of the lower division writing requirement. Recommended Preparation: PSY 301. The focus of this course is on how we learn certain behaviors, why we behave as we do, and how human behavior can be modified. Topics include basic concepts, research methods used to study adaptive and maladaptive behaviors, assessment procedures, intervention strategies and outcomes, self-management, and ethical considerations in practice. This course may be used to fulfill the 300-level Clinical/Personality Psychology Cluster Requirement for psychology majors.


PSY 406 - Developmental Psychopathology (3 units)

Prerequisites: PSY 313 and completion of the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam with a score of 8 or higher; Recom-mended Preparation: PSY 301. Study of disorders diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence (e.g., autism, mental retardation, communication disorders) and the empirically validated interventions appropriate for each population.


PSY 471AB - Advanced Inquiry in Clinical Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis (5 units)

Prerequisites: PSY 301, PSY 320/L, PSY 321/L, any course from required Clinical Cluster (PSY 310 or PSY 351 or PSY 353 or PSY 370 or PSY 380), and a score of 8 or better on the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam. Co-requisite: PSY 471 ABS. The focus of this course is on the science of behavior analysis and its application to improve problems of social significance. Available for graduate credit with consent of student's graduate advisor.


Is practicum or supervised experience offered in this program?

The CSUN Psychology Department may offer various high quality experience and research opportunities that may count for some of your supervised experience hours. These courses and activities will be supervised by BCBA faculty, highly encouraged, but not required, for students looking for behavior analytic experiences under faculty supervision. If you are seeking such experience, be sure to use the contacts below. Please read the Certification Board’s standards for appropriate supervised experience, amount of supervision required, appropriate clients & activities, supervisor qualifications, and more.


For a fun, easy, cheap but informative read on this topic we suggest you obtain “How to think like a behavior analyst” by John Bailey and Mary Burch (2006)





BCaBA brochure