The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Follow our Twitter
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

John Carroll introduces 3+2 Psychology to BCBA pathway

The Psychology Department is located on the third floor of The Dolan Science Center.

Psychology-based jobs are skyrocketing in popularity all across the country as more emerging college students look for a career to make a difference in the world of mental health. John Carroll is helping to usher in this new era on its own campus by introducing a new program that offers students preparatory coursework and learning experiences to ready them for their chosen field. This comes through a new program called the “3+2 Pathway: Psychology to BCBA.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in psychology are on the rise and are expected to increase by 6% between 2022 and 2032. The American Psychological Association has even higher hopes with a documented 12% increase. This growth could be due to a multitude of reasons including increased mental health awareness, further research on previously taboo disorders or the recent emphasis of mitigating stressors across a variety of fields from politics to Hollywood. The John Carroll newsroom specifically highlighted rising autism rates and developmental disability statistics that prompt the need for programs like the psychology to BCBA pathway. 

“I would say that I chose to be a psych major because of the importance mental health has in our everyday lives,” Nick Haselwood ‘24, a psychology student, told The Carroll News. “Mental health is an up and coming field which has only emerged into the public eye about 40 years ago and there are so many people who still don’t understand how much it impacts themselves and the people around them.”

“Conversations about the accelerated dual degree program started fall 2023 when the Master’s in ABA program was launched,” Dr. Maria Helton, the pathway’s program director, told The Carroll News. “Dr. Angela Canda [and I] knew this would be a great opportunity for students and embarked on creating this pathway very early on.” 

This initiative allows undergraduates majoring in psychology to transition seamlessly into JCU’s Applied Behavioral Analysis Master of Science cohort upon receiving their degree. From there, those who finish their studies will be prepared to take both the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and the Certified Ohio Behavior Analyst (COBA) examinations. This includes specifically designed coursework and experiential learning.

“This program combines the field of psychology and the field of behavior analysis (a branch of psychology) together to support students in learning about the field as a whole and then more narrowly as it relates to the science of human behavior change,” Helton continued. “This program is an opportunity for psychology majors to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees in as little as five years. This gives our students a chance to get out into the workforce earlier thus positively impacting the community.”

This program is an opportunity for psychology majors to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees in as little as five years.

— Dr. Maria Helton

Helton says that this program would draw in students as it is unique to the greater Cleveland area and because students can “earn a master’s degree and practice independently under your own licensure,” where other regions require a Ph.D. She goes on to say that the program makes students competitive to employers and they are able to enter their career at an accelerated rate.

There are also other benefits from the program including supportive and creative learning environments generated by the faculty as well as the added flexibility that comes through both hybrid sessions and part-time coursework options. All of this is geared to push Blue Streaks out into post-graduate roles in the realms of what John Carroll describes as “working with individuals with autism, to education, counseling and roles across a range of industries including organizational behavior management and public health.”

“For those who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in the future, this program affords you the opportunity to get more research experience and walk away with two degrees on your application to programs,” Helton said.

“When I transferred here from Belize last semester, I also decided to change my major from Biochemistry to Psychology,” Nazette Guerra ’27, president of JCU’s psychology club, told The Carroll News. “This switch was mainly because I want to work with kids with special needs, and psychology is more beneficial for that purpose. However, as I learn more about the field, I feel more secure in my decision because the job opportunities in the psych field are surely bountiful. Additionally, even if you don’t want to go directly into the psych field, psychology can be implemented in any profession regardless of the field, making it a really useful area of study. Learning to read and understand people will make you a better leader and help you improve yourself no matter what you choose to do in life.”

Helton stated that she as well as Dr. Canda would love to speak with any student interested in this program to discuss the opportunities and different options available to them.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Laken Kincaid
Laken Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief
Laken Kincaid is the Editor-in-Chief for The Carroll News from Beckley, West Virginia. They are a senior at John Carroll University who is double majoring in political science and communications (digital media) and minoring in leadership development. Laken has written for The Carroll News since the start of their freshman year and has previously served as a staff reporter, campus section editor and managing editor of the paper. They have received 18 Best of SNO awards, a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for Region 4 and two honorable mentions from the College Media Association. They have also been recognized by universities like Georgetown for their investigative reports. Additionally, they also write political satire for The Hilltop Show and feature stories on global poverty for The Borgen Project. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Laken is involved with the Kappa Delta sorority, the speech and debate team, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Improv club and other organizations. They also serve as the news director for WJCU 88.7, John Carroll's own radio station, and as the president for John Carroll's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.  Laken also started their own national nonprofit organization known as Art with the Elderly which they have won the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Humanity Rising Award for. When not writing, Laken can be found doing graphic design for their internship with Union Home Mortgage or working as a resident assistant and peer learning facilitator on campus. Laken also enjoys skiing and watching true crime documentaries. In the future, Laken hopes to become a political journalist for a national news organization or to be a campaign commercial editor for politicians. To contact Laken, email them at [email protected].

Comments (0)

The Carroll News allows comments on articles to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards.
All The Carroll News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *