If you want to work in the growing and highly specialized field of applied behaviour analysis, the Behavioural Science program is where you want to be. For over four decades, the Behavioural Science program has trained students to work front-line with a wide range of client populations in a variety of areas within the human services field. Students are taught how to develop and implement behavioural interventions to teach skills to clients and/or reduce challenging behaviours.
Students interested in this program should have a strong desire to work with populations who present with complex behavioural, cognitive, emotional and/or psychological issues. They should also be comfortable to work with any population that presents with disruptive behaviours and/or intellectual challenges. Students coming to the program need to be prepared to complete practicum placements working with any of the client populations listed below under career opportunities. Our program trains students in specific treatment options that can be applied to work with any individual who presents with challenges rather than preparing students to work with only one or a specific client population.
It's important to note that this program is not a generalist counselling/psychology program. Students completing this program should be interested in the learning about the field of applied behaviour analysis.
Check out the student opportunities to be involved with the Centre for Behavioural Studies.
Frequently Asked Questions about the program can be found here.
Our students learn how to:
- Teach children to manage their behaviour and learn adaptive skills;
- Assist people with intellectual disabilities to access community resources, learn new skills, and live more independently;
- Teach youth at risk to improve social skills, manage interfering behaviours, and meet treatment goals;
- Support persons with mental health challenges to reduce their stress, build self-management skills and organize daily activities;
- Assist clients with acquired brain injuries to learn functional skills and develop life skills;
- Work with offenders in correctional facilities to build positive skills and behaviours;
- Recognize what an addiction is and understand various ways to prevent addiction and manage recovery.
This course introduces students to the philosophy of behaviourism and the scientific basis of behaviour. Students learn about the history of behaviour analysis as it emerges from a philosophy to a science. Important contributors to the history of behaviour analysis are highlighted. Students also learn basic principles of behaviourism and begin to understand and explain behaviour using a scientific perspective.
This course introduces psychology as a behavioural science and assists the student in observing and explaining human behaviours and development. Included are the study of physiology of behaviour, sensation, perception, alternate states of consciousness, motivation, emotion, intelligence, memory, cognition and social psychology.
This course is designed to explore specific child and adolescent mental health disorders. Causes, presentation, course, management, and models for understanding each of the disorders are reviewed. Early and multiple factors contributing to mental health disorders are explored. This course also explores the various evidence-based interventions used to treat each disorder.
Entering a new environment presents challenges as we transition to a new set of values and expectations within a new organizational culture. This course is designed to examine the process of adjustment and to equip students with strategies for making successful transitions.
The course introduces students to ethical issues and decision-making strategies pertinent to the field of behavioural psychology.
This course is designed to build on concepts taught in Foundational Concepts in Behaviour Analysis. Students learn how behavioural techniques are applied. Students continue to develop skills in conceptualizing human behaviour in objective specific terms and gain an understanding of how the proper measurement of behaviour can serve as a basis for formal programs to help people change.
This course focuses on developing writing and critical thinking skills needed to create field-specific documents and presentations for specific audiences and purposes.
This course is designed to explore additional child and adolescent mental health disorders. Causes, presentation, course, management, and models for understanding each of the disorders is reviewed. Early and multiple factors contributing to mental health disorders are explored. This course also explores the various evidence-based interventions used to treat each disorder.
This course builds on the fundamental elements of applied behaviour analysis thatwere learned in first year applied behaviour analysis courses. Students will learn how to observe and record behaviour, how to conduct function-based assessments and how to design and write function-based interventions using behaviour analysis principles. Students will also learn techniques used in the behavioural decision making processes.
Prerequisite(s): BEHA 31 + BEHA 55 + BEHA 15 + COMM 66
This course is designed to expand on concepts and methods involved in behavioral assessment and intervention that were introduced in previous courses. The emphasis is on both theoretical foundations and empirical approaches to the development of behavioural strategies. The course also includes an examination of a broad range of behavioural techniques which may be implemented on field placement.
Prerequisite(s): BEHA31 + BEHA55 + BEHA15 + COMM66
This is a practice-oriented course and a safe place to explore new skills. The emphasis is on analysis of your own interviewing, counselling styles and performance. This analysis will grow out of skills and theory presented in class, evaluation of your own competencies, and reflective insight into your own skills, strengths and needs in this area.
This course is designed to prepare the student for the role and responsibilities of the behavioural clinician in practice. It introduces students to the processes and expectations regarding each of the clinical practicum courses. They also further develop techniques designed to enhance their professional behaviour. Emphasis is placed on learning about the fiduciary duties of a clinician.
This course reviews selected topics within the field of abnormal psychology. The topic review considers the issues of diagnosis/classification and physical and psychological manifestations of the current range of psychological treatments with emphasis on the behavioural approach and its efficacy.
This course furthers students' knowledge of common evidence-based behavioural approaches for teaching new behaviours. Students learn to design skill acquisition programs using behavioural language and functional skill assessments. Topics include shaping, chaining, task analysis, behavioural skills training, and errorless learning. Students practice teaching techniques used in skill acquisition programming.
Prerequisite(s): BEHA 25 + BEHA 72 + INTN 11
This course examines common evidence-based behavioural approaches for treating interfering behaviours. Students learn to design a behaviour reduction program based on functional behavioural assessments. Topics include interventions such as antecedent control procedures, differential reinforcement procedures, and punishment procedures, and their use in function-based treatments.
Prerequisite(s): BEHA 25 + BEHA 72 + INTN 11
This course introduces students to the practice of developing, delivering and evaluating a behaviourally-based group interventions. It also examines the influence of therapist and group process variables on group interventions and outcomes. Students have the opportunity to practice key group facilitation skills.
This second placement is designed to allow the student an opportunity to further develop skills in applied behaviour analysis and other core skills learned in previous courses. Students are supervised by site personnel and college faculty and receive feedback on performance from both so that they may build the competencies required in the field. This course offers the opportunity to practice integration of theory and practice in an applied setting.
Prerequisite(s): BEHA 14 + BEHA 17 + INTN 11
This course reviews the principles of effective correctional interventions as they apply to psychological risk assessment and treatment with a variety of offender populations. It enhances students’ knowledge of the criminal justice system, and of legal, ethical, and professional issues related to working with offenders. It helps students develop and refine their ability to work in adult or youth corrections, in both institutions and the community.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC 54
This course is intended to give an introduction to the use of statistical methods in psychological research. The course includes the use of descriptive statistical methods to summarize and present data, the application of inferential statistical processes to make decisions about populations from sample data, the use of correlational techniques to determine if two variables are related, and predictive strategies to make predictions from one variable to another.
Prerequisite(s): BEHA 15
This third placement is designed to allow the student an opportunity to further develop skills in applied behaviour analysis and other core skills learned in previous courses. Students are supervised by site personnel and college faculty and receive feedback on performance from both so that they may refine the competencies required in the field. This course offers the opportunity to further integrate theory and practice in an applied setting.
Prerequisite(s): BEHA 20 + BEHA 28 + INTN 1012 + BEHA 1 (forensic placements) + PSYC 53 (addictions placements)
The course is designed to provide behavioural science students with an introduction to behavioural medicine and the use of medications in applied settings. The course will introduce students to the factors associated with the willingness to seek and adhere to medical advice, as well as the use of behavioural techniques to enhance wellness, and remediate physical illness. The course will also provide students with a basic understanding of the fundamentals of drugs classifications, mechanisms of action, and routes of drug administration.
Co-requisite: BEHA 14 + BEHA 17 & PSYC 10
This course is designed to teach the knowledge and skills needed to be able to work in the field with clients who have acquired a brain injury. Students will briefly review the brain and it’s functioning and will also review the characteristic issues faced by clients who have an acquired brain injury. Students will also learn how to work with these clients in the rehabilitation process with an emphasis on behavioural interventions.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC 54
This course is designed to introduce students to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT is considered part of the “third wave behavioural therapies”. Both theory and techniques are practiced through instruction and experiential exercises. The course focuses on teaching the practical use of ACT as they relate to internalizing disorders (e.g.: anxiety, depression, etc.), treatment techniques commonly used in ACT and the theories underlying them. Another objective of the course is to encourage you to think critically about clinical work and to focus on the power of acceptance, mindfulness and change agents with respect to the principles of ACT.
This course introduces students to topics that have not yet been explored in previous behavioural courses such as mediator training, alternate schedules of reinforcement, intensive behaviour interventions, and other advancements in the field of behavioural analysis. The student has the opportunity to learn both concepts and their application as techniques. It also examines emerging research in applied behaviour analysis.
Prerequisite(s): INTN 13 + BEHA 18
This fourth practicum is designed to allow the student an opportunity to further develop skills in applied behaviour analysis and other core skills learned in previous courses. Students are supervised by site personnel and college faculty and receive feedback on performance from both so that they may refine the competencies required in the field. This course offers the opportunity to further integrate theory and practice.
Prerequisite(s): INTN 13 + BEHA 21 + BEHA 7 (ABI placements) + BEHA 1 (Forensic placements) + PSYC 53 (Addictions placements)
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M level including the following prerequisites:
- Grade 12 English at the C or U level
- Grade 11 Math at the C, U or M level (Grade 12 Math at the C, U or M level recommended)
- One of Grade 11 or Grade 12 Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Science at the C, U or M level, excluding Environmental Science and Earth and Space Science)
For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.
If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older.
Immunization - Communicable Disease Requirements
Completion of the Immunization - Communicable Disease Form is a mandatory condition for your clinical/practical placement. THIS FORM IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Questions about completing this form can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Full-time student coverage for vaccines received on or after September 1 can be claimed under the Student Sickness & Accident Insurance Plan.
Criminal Background Check:
Applicants are advised that Criminal Background Checks (CBC) conducted by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) are required for programs with field or clinical placements. Certain criminal convictions may prevent participation in placements and program completion may not be possible. Attaining and paying for a CBC and Vulnerable Sector Screening (OPP) is the responsibility of the student, and these may have to be renewed every three to six months. Applicants with criminal records are advised to contact the Associate Dean/Campus Dean of the respective school prior to applying.
Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.
Graduates are employed in a variety of positions in the following fields: Addictions, Autism, Developmental Disabilities, Child, Adolescent and Adult Mental Health, Education, Corrections/Forensics, Brain Injury, Long Term Care/Geriatrics.
Common positions include:
- behaviour therapist
- educational assistant
- rehabilitation counsellor
- adolescent care worker
- instructor therapist
- crisis worker
- residential counsellor
- mental health worker
Students complete four field placements where they receive experience and practical training in the skills they have learned in the classroom.
The first two placements take place in an educational setting so that students have the opportunity to meet specific learning outcomes prior to attempting placement in other settings. In year two, students complete a Field Placement Request Form which requires students to indicate preferred areas of interest for their third year placements. Faculty assign placements to students and the Student Placement Facilitator arranges placements. A site interview is required for each placement.
In year three, if students have met specific academic requirements in their first two placements, they may be assigned to placements in other settings such as: group homes, community-based agencies, hospitals, correctional facilities, or schools.
Students are required to complete SLC Placement requirements prior to being eligible to attend placement. These include:
- 6 Training Modules
- Student Declaration/Oath of Confidentiality
- Student Covid 19 Waiver
- CPIC - VULNERABLE SECTOR
Other site specific requirements (e.g. First Aid, CPR, specific immunizations, enhanced security clearance checks) will be communicated to the student as required.
Due to the foundational courses delivered in level 1 of this program, advanced level entry applications are not considered. Students with previous post-secondary credits who apply to level 1 can request transfer credits through the usual process.
613.544.5400, ext. 1386
Contact a member of our recruitment team
1.800.463.0752 and ask for Recruiting
International Students Contact
+1 613.544.5400 ext. 5514
Credit Transfer Opportunities
SLC graduates have many options to continue their studies with post-secondary institutions across Canada and around the world. Agreements between SLC and other institutions that are specific to this program are listed below. In addition, there are many credit transfer pathway agreements between colleges and universities within the province of Ontario. Please also visit www.ontransfer.ca to search for options relevant to your program area of study.
- Saint Paul University - Honours Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations and Spirituality
- Carleton University - Bachelor of Arts
- Davenport University - Bachelor of Science (BS) Health Services Administration (HSA)