Guidance Issued for Thesis or Equivalent Standard - Updated
August 2023: The Accreditation Board updated the guidance document for the Thesis or Equivalent standard. The Board expects to see these thesis/equivalent items in place for at least the last two years of data in the application for accreditation or renewal of accreditation. For programs that have upcoming re-accreditation cycles in the next few years, the program should report (in its self-study application) any such improvements that were made to the thesis/equivalent, if necessary. Please be sure to thoroughly review the Thesis or Equivalent standard, the Supervised Experiential Learning standard, and the corresponding requirements in the self-study report application. This updated guidance document replaces the previous iterations issued in March 2023 and October 2022.
This August 2023 version includes two substantive clarifications: the structure and format of the project proposal is left to the discretion of the program, and the composition of the committee and their oversight has been modified. There are several other clarifications and edits throughout, including considerations for group projects, encouragement for a variety of project types and areas of investigation, and it includes definitions for all faculty types.
August 2023: The Accreditation Board developed two support systems for curriculum development: sample syllabi and syllabus review. Sample syllabi have been curated, reviewed, and published for programs to look to for guidance (rather than replication). Additionally, programs can submit their newly developed syllabi for review, prior to offering the course. This optional resource is available for programs implementing new curriculum components, per the accreditation standards, and interested in gathering input from the Board as to whether it meets the content area requirements. Additional information about these two support systems are on the Tiered Model Documents and Resources page.
Guidance for Separating Programs
August 2023: The Accreditation Board provided gudaince to aid programs in determining whether the program structure and modalities warrant separate designations and applications. If your program offers more than one modality (online and on-campus), please briefly review the published Guidance for Separating Programs document. Programs should submit this document to ABAI before applying for accreditation when unsure if their program may need one or two applications.
Change Report Form
January 2023: The Change Report Form must be submitted via email at least ninety (90) days prior to implementation or occurrence of the change. The Handbook and Change Report Form outline the different types of changes, substantive and non-substantive, and whether prior notice and approval are needed.
New Board Members:
January 2023: The ABAI Accreditation Board elected four new voting members! Dr. Catia Cividini-Motta (University of South Florida) and Dr. Ruth DeBar (Caldwell University) will serve as applied behavior analysts. Dr. Cynthia Pietras (Western Michigan University) and Dr. Raymond Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington) will serve as basic behavior analysts. The next call for nominations will open in July 2023 for one basic behavior analyst and one community representative position. Additional information about the Board's composition requirements is located in the Governance Policies.
2021 Annual Reports are Published
June 2022: Every year accredited programs are required to submit an annual report to the ABAI Accreditation Board with a compilation of data from the previous calendar year. The accredited programs annual report (2021) and the individual accredited program's aggregate reports are available on our website.
New Board Member:
December 2021: The ABAI Accreditation Board elected one voting member, Dr. Benjamin Witts (St. Cloud State University) as the applied member for a three-year term through December 2024. The 2022 call for nominations will open in July 2022 for one basic behavior analyst and one applied behavior analyst position. Additional information about the Board's composition requirements is located in the Governance Policies.
December 2021: ABAI and the ABAI Accreditation Board have approved a $1,000 honorarium for site visitors. The ABAI Accreditation Board is requesting volunteers to serve as site visitors, with an immediate need in January through April. Due to COVID-19, most site visits are occurring virtually, as a series of videoconference meetings over a few business days. Individuals interested in serving as a site visitor should review the qualifications and steps here.
Online Doctoral Programs:
December 2021: The Accreditation Board will not accept accreditation applications for entirely online doctoral programs. Doctoral programs seeking quality recognition should apply to the ABAI Tiered Model of Education as a Tier 2a program. Doctoral programs applying for accreditation may use online technologies for coursework; research and supervised experiential learning must involve on-campus or in-person components.
Tiered Model of Education:
December 2021: Effective January 2022, ABAI will accept applications from academic training programs seeking recognition via the Tiered Model of Education. Accreditation will also be referred to as Tier 1, remaining in accordance with its standards and governance policies. Tiers 2a through 4b specify approximations to ABAI accreditation, taking into consideration different programmatic structures and offerings. Given the range of program capabilities and structures that exist internationally, the tiers offer recognition of quality training by those programs not able to meet the accreditation standards. At the same time, the tiers offer a road map for programs that aspire to eventually seek accreditation. Additional information is available here.
May 2021: The ABAI Accreditation Board is recognized by CHEA.
At its meeting on May 3, 2021, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Board of Directors reviewed the recommendation of the CHEA Committee on Recognition regarding the recognition application submitted by the Association for Behavior Analysis International Accreditation Board (ABAI). The Board of Directors accepted the committee recommendation and recognized ABAI for the following recognized scope of accreditation: The Accreditation Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International accredits degree programs in behavior analysis at the master's and doctoral levels in institutions of higher learning in the United States of America. (2021)
Click to learn more about our recognition.
COVID-19: Updates and Information
December 2021: Programs undergoing re-accreditation and in the process of scheduling a visit remain accredited (as indicated in their program-specific section of the website).
September 2020: The ABAI Accreditation Board voted to approve virtual site visits for programs seeking re-accreditation and initial accreditation. Programs undergoing re-accreditation from the 2019 re-accreditation cycle previously scheduled for (the now suspended) spring 2020 site visits are in the process of scheduling a virtual site visit for fall 2020. These programs remain accredited as indicated in their section of the accredited programs website.
April 2020: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on-campus site visits have been suspended. The Accreditation and VCS Boards released a statement to support accredited programs and Verified Course Sequences (VCS) programs navigate compliance with policies and procedures.
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