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Behavioural Interventions

Get the specialized skills you need to motivate, initiate and support individuals' behavioural changes.

Two women sit at a table and look at a computer screen in a brightly lit room.
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
1 Year
Credential:
Graduate Certificate

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Overview

As a Behavioural Interventionist, you assess, design, implement, modify and evaluate behavioural interventions to address learning, behavioural and emotional growth for a variety of populations of differing ages and abilities.

Upon graduation, you are expected to:

  • Demonstrate respectful, person-directed interventions based on behavioural science
  • Facilitate growth within social, emotional, cognitive and mental health areas using teaching procedures based on behavioural science
  • Apply assessment protocols to identify and understand behaviours and support the development of new skills
  • Collect and graph data to document, analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and behavioural programs
  • Design supports and environmental modifications for many populations, including dementia, traumatic brain injury, learning and neurodevelopmental challenges
  • Design and apply positive behavioural supports that use multi-tiered models (e.g., Multi-tiered Systems of Supports, Pyramid, Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports) of intervention and supports

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
    • You participate in three supervised work placements in selected settings throughout the province.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience courses are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.
  • International students - all international students require a co-op work permit; you can't complete your NSCC program without one. This program also requires a medical exam to receive your co-op work permit. View co-op work permit - medical exam details.

Choose NSCC

  • Learn from faculty with experience, expertise and knowledge of the field.
  • Project-based learning and work placements provide you with the practice you need to develop your skills and gain the experience employers look for on a resume.
  • Small class size enables you to be fully engaged with your learning in a safe, supportive environment.

Availability

Seats are available at Annapolis and Strait Area Campus for domestic applicants only. International applicants will be waitlisted.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Annapolis Valley Campus/Online
Middleton
Full time Blended
Delivered through a combination of online and in-person classes. At least 50% of learning is in-person.
Seats available
Strait Area Campus/Online
Port Hawkesbury
Full time Blended
Delivered through a combination of online and in-person classes. At least 50% of learning is in-person.
Seats available

Admission requirements

  • Diploma or undergraduate degree in one of the following areas: behavioural science, child studies, education, human kinetics, psychology, social work or sociology, disability support services, human services, social services, early childhood education, child and youth care or therapeutic recreation.

Program requirements

  • A current, official criminal record check and vulnerable sector check are required to complete work placements in many programs. A conviction may impact your ability to complete program requirements.
  • All programs in Health and Human Services require First Aid/CPR as a graduation requirement. For specific program requirements, view additional Health and Human Services program requirements
  • Many Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements, including immunizations. You must submit proof that you've completed these requirements by the date provided to you at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services program requirements
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete.
    • Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement, which will impact your ability to complete program and graduation requirements.
  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$5,540
Tuition (International):
$11,690

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • There is an increasing demand for graduates skilled in applying behavioural strategies to support learning or improve quality of life across the lifespan.

Graduates of this program are finding careers as:

  • Behavioural interventionists within residential facilities, vocational workshops, small option homes and continuing care
  • Behavioural specialists within licensed daycare facilities
  • Behavioural interventionists within health centre teams (First Nations)
  • Autism skills workers and program implementers with early intensive behavioural intervention teams with the IWK Health Centre and Nova Scotia Health
  • Developmental interventionists within Nova Scotia early childhood development and intervention programs
  • Various roles within provincial educational centres and school outreach programs

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

BIAD 3101 - Applied Behavioural Analysis I: Concepts and Principles
This course introduces the processes, concepts, terminology, learning principles, and skills which form the basis for Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) interventions. Students will examine the philosophical underpinnings of ABA, identify and apply key behavioural terms (e.g., positive and negative reinforcement, motivating operations, generalization), and learn how to explain these concepts to professional and non-specialist audiences. These foundational skills will be used to identify effective evidence-based supports to promote person-directed behaviour change.

BIAD 3102 - Behaviour Assessment
Students will learn how to conduct a Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA) using indirect informant interviews and direct observation to develop a hypothesis of the function of behaviour. Students will learn how to summarize FBA results in preparation for developing an individualized support plan. Students will identify the components of a Functional Analysis (FA) and explain corresponding graphs. A focus will also be placed on demonstrating respectful, effective interprofessional behaviour and communication skills related to conducting assessments and working within a team environment.

BIAD 3103 - Neurodiversity I
This course introduces developmental trajectories in childhood and youth, specifically attending to the interplay of neurodivergence with risk and resiliency factors. The process of working in partnership to identify and select culturally relevant behaviour supports that are informed by human rights is introduced. Current evidence is featured, while bringing first person voices to the fore. The role of carers in using neurodiversity-affirming approaches in supporting children and youth is explored.

BIAD 3104 - Ethics and Professional Practice
This course focuses on understanding established ethical and professional principles that relate to behaviour support with clients, families and service providers. Students will examine human rights, federal, and provincial legislation and the Ethics Code for Behaviour Analysts. Students will systematically apply ethical decision-making processes to common practice scenarios, examine examples of boundary areas, scope of practice, and scope of competence in professional practice and professional conduct.

BIAD 3105 - Data I: Measurement, Data Display, and Interpretation
Students will be introduced to defining and measuring behaviour by establishing objective descriptions. Students will practice recording quantitative and qualitative data using a variety of data collection procedures (e.g., frequency, duration, trials-to-criterion, time sampling) and will evaluate the reliability and validity of these data collection procedures. Emphasis is placed on creating visual, verbal and written summaries of data to share progress including graphing data, visually analyzing graphs (i.e., level, trend, variability), and explaining the results. Students will learn strategies for protecting and maintaining client confidentiality during data collection and ways that data can be used to advocate for, and maintain, client support and services.

BIAD 3110 - Practicum I
Students will spend one day per week observing the application of behavioural intervention techniques in a variety of settings (e.g., vocational programs, small options homes, early intervention programs, schools, health care settings). The goal of this 30-hour placement experience is for students to familiarize themselves with the placement setting and to practice clearly defining and measuring a behaviour that could benefit from person-directed behaviour supports to achieve meaningful change. Students will also focus on demonstrating appropriate professional behaviour and effective interpersonal interactions at their placement settings.

BIAD 3111 - Practicum I Seminars
These seminars provide an opportunity for Practicum I participants to share and reflect on their applied learning experience. Students will be encouraged to explore opportunities for behavioural placements within Nova Scotia. Through dialogue and class discussion students will identify how behavioural science can be applied with diverse client populations, relate specific course content to placement observations and experiences, and examine career and continuing education opportunities. Students will also engage in self-assessment and reflection of their professionalism competencies.

BIAD 3201 - Applied Behaviour Analysis II: Supporting Behaviour Change
This course builds on the foundational skills of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) learned in BIAD 3101. It focuses on the application of behavioural principles in the creation and use of specific behaviour change procedures (e.g., shaping, chaining, prompting, self-management, visual supports) to effectively teach and maintain individualized skills. Emphasis is placed on developing supports that are informed by a person-directed approach to increase behaviours that lead to improved quality of life.

BIAD 3202 - Positive Behaviour Applications
Students are provided the opportunity to practice how to select, explain, and implement person-directed behaviour-change procedures based on the results of a Functional Behavioural Assessment (FBA), in case-study and role-play scenarios. Students will learn how to create behavioural pathway diagrams to represent the link between FBA results and alternative positive behaviours that can be taught and reinforced. Students will select evidence-based strategies to include in the support plan to prevent the behaviour that challenges, to teach and reinforce alternative skills. Students will also practice how to support the team to plan for and implement the support plan.

BIAD 3203 - Neurodiversity II
This course introduces factors that shape neurodivergence in adulthood. The process of working in partnership to identify and select culturally relevant behaviour supports that are informed by human rights. Current evidence is featured, while bringing first person voices to the fore. The role of social networks in using neurodiversity-affirming approaches in supporting adults is explored.

BIAD 3204 - Safe Approaches to Supporting Behaviour Crisis
Students will focus on analyzing and evaluating support strategies that may be used during a behavioural crisis from a human rights and ethics perspective. Emphasis will be placed on how to apply a range of ethical behaviour supports focused on reinforcement to prevent behavioural crisis, and how to respond safely and effectively in a behavioural crisis using a trauma-assumed and culturally responsive approach. Students will learn how to analyze a continuum of support for a client and team in a behavioural crisis such as components of a safety plan, coaching, supervision, and monitoring of safety plans necessary to promote physical and emotional safety. Students will practice verbal and non-verbal de-escalation strategies and consider how these strategies can be adapted for specific populations (e.g., individuals who have experienced trauma, individuals living with dementia).

BIAD 3205 - Data II: Single Subject Research
In this course students will identify and explain components of single-subject research design used in behavioural science. They will locate and summarize single-subject research designs (e.g., reversal, multiple baseline, changing criterion, alternating treatments) including the strengths and limitations of each design. Emphasis will be placed on the role of research designs and data collection procedures to inform effectiveness of interventions. Students will learn how to visually analyze and summarize graphs from single-subject research and explain the results based on the audience receiving the summary.

BIAD 3220 - Practicum II
Students will spend one day per week observing and supporting the application of behavioural intervention techniques in a variety of settings (e.g., vocational programs, small options homes, early intervention programs, schools, health care settings). The goal of this 60-hour placement experience is to participate in creating and implementing person-directed supports to teach or strengthen skills and/or replace behaviours that challenge. Students will also focus on demonstrating appropriate professional behaviour and effective interpersonal interactions at their placement settings.

BIAD 3221 - Practicum II Seminars
These seminars will provide an opportunity for students to reflect on and share their applied learning experience. Students will be encouraged to refer to behavioural principles and ethical and professional frameworks to brainstorm, problem-solve, and plan basic behavioural interventions based on their experiences in their placement settings. Students will also practice professional development strategies to prepare for job interviews, networking opportunities, recognizing scope of competence, and creating a professional portfolio to demonstrate key skills.

BIAD 3330 - Practicum III
Students will observe and support the application of behavioural science techniques in a variety of settings (e.g., vocational programs, small options homes, early intervention programs, schools, health care settings). The goal of this 150-hour placement experience is to participate in creating and implementing person-directed supports to teach or strengthen skills and/or replace behaviours that challenge. Students will also focus on demonstrating appropriate professional behaviour and effective interpersonal interactions at their placement settings.

BIAD 3331 - Practicum III Seminars
These seminars provide an opportunity for students to reflect on and share their applied learning experience. Students will be encouraged to refer to behavioural principles and ethical and professional frameworks to brainstorm, problem-solve, and plan behaviour supports based on their experiences in their placement settings. Students will have the opportunity to practice demonstrating professional development strategies such as job searching, mock interviews, and how to use their professional portfolio in interviews. Students will also create a professional development plan to prepare for ongoing learning in the field and practice how to identify scope of competence and scope of practice based on case examples and placement experiences.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1050 - Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (12 Hours)
This course is designed to provide high quality, meaningful training in the safe management of disruptive and assaultive behaviour. This 12-hour course includes both theory on crisis development and personal safety techniques.

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02
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