Associate of Science in Canine Behavior Analysis, Care and Counseling 60 Credit Hours
The program is designed to prepare individuals for a career as a community dog behavior analyst, behavior change agent and caregiver counselor. It also serves as a prerequisite for entering into a bachelor degree program with the college or at another institution. 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 utilized 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 Associate in Science degree program in Canine Behavior Analysis, Care and Counseling 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 program typically takes 24-48 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.
Associate in Science Degree Program - Canine Behavior Analysis, Care, and Counseling
***CORE ONLINE COURSES***
TOTAL 24 Cr.
Principles of Learning and Behavior Analysis
Behavior Assessment Intervention and Counseling
Canine Phylogeny and Behavior
Canine Husbandry and Wellness
Principles of Pharmacology
Business Practices, Ethics and Careers with Dogs
Animal Loss, Bereavement and Compassion Fatigue
***GENERAL EDUCATION ONLINE COURSES***
TOTAL 27 Cr.
Composition and Literature
Expository and Argumentative Writing
Principles of Communication
Principles of Biology
Principles of Ecology
Family Systems and Cultural Diversity
***RESIDENCY LAB COURSES AND PRACTICUM CAPSTONES***
TOTAL 9 Cr.
Canine Behavior Academic Residency Lab
Animal Husbandry Externship Practicum
Animal Behavior Externship Practicum
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS
Technical Standards and Physical Requirements
Students enrolled in this program are required to work with dogs in academic residency labs courses and externship practicum. 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.