Professional Development Diploma in Canine Behavior Analysis and Counseling 27 Credit Hours/487.5 Clock Hours
This is a non-degree professional development diploma program. Students who enroll in this program may 1) hold an undergraduate or graduate degree in another field of study, do not wish to enroll in another degree program, and wish to practice in the field of applied animal behavior with dogs and apply for professional board certification or 2) do not wish to complete a degree program at this time but wish to practice in the field of applied animal behavior with dogs and apply for professional board certification. All credits earned in this professional development program will transfer to the American College of Applied Science Associate in Science degree program in Canine Behavior Analysis, Care and Counseling.
The non-degree professional development diploma is designed to prepare individuals for a career as a community dog behavior analyst, behavior change agent and caregiver counselor. All courses are transferable to the ACAS Associate in Science degree program in Canine Behavior, Analysis, Care and Counseling. The program is founded in the scientific principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA is the science of applying experimentally derived principles of behaviorism to modify the environment which, in turn, changes behavior. Quantifiable dimensions of behavior are observed, analyzed, measured and then graphed to show change and trends. Caregivers are then trained to implement the behavior intervention program (BIP), continue to take data and eventually fade out the BIP using reinforcers found in the natural environment. The dog behavior analyst-counselor leads a behavior intervention team consisting of the analyst-counselor, the caregiver(s) and the family veterinarian with the purpose of analyzing problem behavior in dogs and establishing and maintaining socially acceptable behavior and public safety in and around the living environment. Behavior analysts can also establish new behaviors using the existing behavioral repertoire of the species.
Graduates of this program may choose to be self-employed by establishing a dog behavior consulting practice, animal behavior clinic or related business or non-profit organization. Others may seek employment with governmental animal control agencies, veterinary practices, animal training/behavior businesses, animal shelters, animal sanctuaries, humane societies or SPCAs, service dog or guide dog organizations or other animal-related organizations. This program focuses on methodology that is humane and motivationally based. It utilizes Gentle Leader head collars and clicker signaling devices while discouraging any form of physical punishment. ACAS subscribes to the Delta Society’s Professional Standard’s for Dog Trainers and the Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors Code of Ethics and Standards.
The Canine Behavior Analysis and Counseling professional development diploma program is a professional certification track program. Completion of this program satisfies the theoretical and practical requirements for board certification as a board certified Canine Behavior Analyst and Counselor (CBAC) through the Board of Professional Certification of the Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors www.animalbehaviorcounselors.org. The CBAC is a professional credential granted to members of this non-profit independent peer-reviewed professional membership organization.
This Professional Development diploma program is not an unsupervised home study or correspondence course.
This program typically takes 12-24 months to complete on a full-time/part-time basis. 12-week semesters begin in the spring, summer, fall and winter of each year. Academic residency lab courses are held several times each year during the regular semester. Externship practicum is scheduled by the student within any semester.
Students enrolled in this program are required to work with dogs in academic residency, field project or externship courses. Working with animals requires certain physical requirements including, but not limited to, responding quickly to animal movement, bending, use of hands to hold leashes, food reinforcers, and clicker signaling devices; restraining an animal such as a large dog on a leash, donning and removing training equipment used with the animal’s training, placement and removal of animals into cages or carriers, etc. Students should be confident that they are capable of performing these physical tasks, with or without accommodations, prior to enrolling in a program. If a student has questions about their ability to perform these physical tasks, it is advised that they seek the guidance of their personal physician before applying.