Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (5-12, initial licensure - MA locations only) and Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Grade Levels: 5-12
  • Credits for Licensure: 54 (4-5 terms )
  • Credits: 40 (3-4 terms)
  • Degree:
    Master of Education
  • Program Approved:
    Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education and Behavior Analyst Certification Board

Program Description

The Teacher of Students With Moderate Disabilities program prepares special education teachers and leaders to be caring and competent, with the essential and critical skills to understand the use of diverse curriculum design and development. Graduates are prepared to become highly motivated educators who are practitioners of educational innovation, and meet the regulations for licensure of Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities 5-12.

It is essential that all candidates for the program have a current job in a setting that will enable them to meet the BACB’s supervised field work requirements. This includes having a BCBA who has agreed to provide supervision for the fieldwork. Accrual of supervision hours and applied projects requiring access to clients and supervision are essential components of the program.

By completing the Behavior Analyst course sequence, students meet the course requirements to sit for the BCBA examination, earning a credential that is in high demand. 

Please note: At Cambridge College locations outside of Massachusetts, this program is currently non-licensure only.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates demonstrate the knowledge, skills and values necessary to enable their students to excel academically and socially. They understand how moderate disabilities affect progress in learning academic content of the general curriculum that their non-disabled peers learn. They understand their responsibility to provide strategies for their students to access the regular education curriculum. Students will demonstrate knowledge of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and associated scientific principles that govern human behavior and the treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Students will demonstrate knowledge of clinical, educational and ethical issues pertaining to the application of ABA across a broad range of treatment contexts and behaviors.


Students who complete this program will be eligible for licensure to teach in grades 5-12 as a co-teacher, a consulting teacher or a teacher of record in resource room settings. Graduates who also complete the supervised behavior analysis fieldwork requirements and successfully pass the BCBA exam, will be able to work in a wide range of educational and clinical treatment settings as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.


For more information, please contact Admissions at 1-800-829-4723.


Please note: At Cambridge College locations outside of Massachusetts, this program is currently non-licensure only.

Special Education Courses
Teaching Phonological and Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
ELE 500
This course is a prerequisite for ELE521. This course will emphasize the development of children’s phonemic awareness, phonological awareness and phonics skills and the learning environment that supports the development of such skills. It will also cover concepts of print, explicit/implicit instruction, analytic/synthetic methods, word analysis skills, the alphabetic principle, and language development.
Adapting Materials for Students w/Disabilities in Gen Ed Classrooms
ESP 592 1 credit(s)
This course introduces models of inclusion, and teaching techniques for students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Educators discuss solutions to difficult problems, academic interventions, lessening anxiety and frustration and increasing participation, organizing thinking, strategies to create a positive learning environment, writing a paragraph, reasonable classroom accommodations, lesson presentation, realistic alternatives, , classroom management, and adapting assessments.
Collaboration and Consultation Techniques
ESP 594 2 credit(s)
The course explores the concept of school and community working together as partners to support each other in a strong coalition. A school district serves several smaller communities in one, and rarely does a community act as a single entity. To establish and sustain community and school linkage is critical to an effective partnership. The course explores the core mission of public schools and creates an environment that helps young people learn and achieve at high standards. The community school approach supports young people’s academic, social, and interpersonal goals by creating an effective learning atmosphere. Schools are a microcosm of societal values and community philosophy that daily affects students’ lives. The power structure of a community — its formal and informal networks and the people in them — that makes things happen is studied.
Principles of Language Development; Bridging Differences and Disorders
ESP 662 3 credit(s)
This course develops a thorough understanding of how children acquire language and how language develops over the life span. Language acquisition is one of the most important domains within the sciences of the mind. Developments in cognitive neuroscience have made it evident that language, once acquired, is not static, but rather has constant neural reorganization. Students develop an overview of the course of language development, biological foundations for language, the major linguistic systems individuals must acquire, and finally the methods of study for language development. Theories of first and second language acquisition and development are introduced. Because there is no single process of language acquisition, students are exposed to different theories of semantic development, phonological development, morphological development and syntax. Students come to understand the relationship between language acquisition, language impairment, and treatments of children with communicative handicaps are also discussed. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Theories of Typical and Atypical Human Development
ESP 689 3 credit(s)
This course examines current research and theoretical models that focus on typical and atypical development of children. Emphasis is on understanding children’s psychological, intellectual, and physical development. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is examined along with more recent investigations and adaptations. Theories of the role of context (physical, social and cultural impacts on development) are compared. The course also investigates the impact of developmental theories on the education of children with disabilities. Formulation of developmentally appropriate Individual Educational Programs is discussed. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Psycho-Educational Assessment for Teaching Exceptional Students
ESP 607 3 credit(s)
Pre-practicum: 10 hours required: directed field-based training. This course increases educators’ ability to assess various educational test instruments, understand outcome data, analyze various data sets and make hypotheses, and formulate academic goals and objectives. Educators develop a conceptual framework in which to understand their students’ academic needs and develop appropriate interventions based upon testing outcome data. A general understanding of statistics, ethics, and test construction is introduced for evaluating various assessment instruments and the appropriateness of their use. Students utilize formal and informal assessments, standardized instrumentation, and screening instrumentation to gather data and formulate appropriate interventions and accommodations for various educational plans. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Assistive Technology: Modifying the Curriculum for Diverse Learners
ESP 615 3 credit(s)
How do we as educators implement the mandated requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that calls for assistive technology to be considered in each Individualized Education Program (IEP)? Educators in this course examine assistive technologies and the federal laws affecting the education of students and children with disabilities. They look at assistive technologies addressing seating and positioning, access to the technology, augmentative and alternative communication (low-tech and high-tech). Educators will also look at curriculum modifications using technology, and software that addresses these modifications and individual learning styles. They will have a comprehensive understanding of the various augmentative and alternative communications (AAC) methodologies, including the appropriate use of aids and devises.
Pedagogy in Reading and English Language Arts
ESP 680 3 credit(s)
This course develops a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of English/ language arts, focusing on the inter relationships among reading, writing, speaking and listening. The course also focuses on the student a learner, and the processes involved in content reading and literacy. There is a direct correlation between the growing social and cultural diversity in today’s contemporary society, children and families need to expand literacy activities to provide a range of options available to them in work and life. Diagnostic tools and classroom techniques for assessing, decoding, encoding, comprehension, literacy and fluency skills are explored, along with related theories and research, and developmentally appropriate practices. The language arts are incomplete without making connections to all parts of the curriculum. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Diagnosis & Remediation of Learning Problems in Mathematics (K-12)
MAT 708 3 credit(s)
This course examines the nature of mathematics learning, major types of mathematics learning problems, and their etiology. It discusses possible causes of these problems and suggests remediation strategies that teachers and parents can use to help children learn mathematics more effectively. Teachers focus on selected areas of mathematics at the K-8 levels that challenge children, and on how to remediate and facilitate mathematics learning in classroom and one-to-one settings.
Supervised Learning Project
ESP 800B 2 credit(s)

The Supervised Learning Project is a culminating learning experience that helps educators/behavior analysts integrate their personal and formal learning, along with their extensive field work into a meaningful whole. Students will integrate their experiences into a field-based research document which reflects the area of study and of licensure. It is project-based and is combined with a poster demonstration.

Laws and Regulations Pertaining to Behavioral Intervention and ABA
ESP 698 1 credit(s)
Pre-practicum: 12 hours of directed field-based training required. This course reviews special education laws and specific regulations regarding behavioral intervention and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) including early Intervention (EI) for infants until age 3, the public school referral process, for special education services, referral, evaluation and eligibility determination for children with disabilities on the Autism spectrum, and the development of an Individual Educational Program (IEP).
Additional Course for 5-12

Take SCI 680 or ESP 636.

Attaining Science Literacy
SCI 680 3 credit(s)
This course addresses science literacy by (1) examining the development of the knowledge and skills needed to understand the natural world and to intelligently participate in decisions that affect it, (2) considering science as a way of knowing and as a basis for thinking and problem-solving, and (3) reviewing strategies for promoting science literacy in school programs. Course content includes practical and theoretical constructs with emphasis on connecting theory to practice, applying conceptual understandings to individual teaching settings, and developing skills for independent professional development and scholarship. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching, Social Science, History and Multicultural Education in Grades 5-12
ESP 636 3 credit(s)
This course prepares special educators to co-teach and consult in the area of social studies that includes the major factors of historical development. This course addresses the many multicultural contributions of those who settled the colonies and formed the new nation. Students gain skills and varied methods for teaching basic information in social studies, history and geography. They gain a basis for researching issues in social studies and history that give their students more universal perspectives. The materials chosen are appropriate to the Massachusetts Curriculum frameworks/Common Core in history and social studies. Educators will gain the basic information and know the principles for teaching social sciences, history and geography as outlined in the Massachusetts regulations for educator licensure.
BCBA Course Sequence

Courses must be taken in the order deliniated below.

Basic Applied Behavior Analysis -ASD
ESP 622 3 credit(s)
The basic principles of applied behavior analysis relevant to the design and implementation of behavioral interventions in educational and human service environments will be presented in this course. Behavioral principles such as schedules of reinforcement, measurement techniques, analysis and interpretation of behavioral data, ethical, and pragmatic issues will be covered. Students will critique the validity and usefulness of behavioral research to applied problems. The course will provide credit hours towards eligibility for the behavior analysis certification examination.
Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis ASD
ESP 726 3 credit(s)
Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Behavior Analysis
ESP 704 3 credit(s)
This course prepares students for the ethical and professional practice of applied behavior analysis. Students will learn about the foundations of ethical and professional behavior to ensure a high quality of practice in both behavior analysis and education in general. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board Guidelines for Responsible Conduct will be reviewed in detail. Ethical dilemmas and case studies will be presented for behavior analysts working in a variety of educational and therapeutic settings. Professional issues such as representation of one’s self and the field of behavior analysis, collaboration with other professionals, relationships with colleagues and clients, the evaluation of treatment and instructional procedures, and interpersonal communication will be explored. Learning activities will include synchronous instruction (lectures, group exercises, role play), asynchronous instruction (video lecture, responding online to questions and peer review of responses) and project-based instruction (writing exercises or papers). Students will take an active part In forums and problem solving ethical issues.
Research Design in Applied Behavior Analysis-ASD
ESP 724 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on research design and study of human behavior. You will learn about the characteristics of science and the rationale for having behavior as the focus. You will be exposed to issues related to measurement, specific research designs, and the important issues (such as variability) associated with designs. You will learn how to accurately analyze and interpret research data from a variety of research experiments. Related issues relevant to identifying functional relations among environmental and behavioral variables in behavior analysis will also be explored. This course provides credit hours toward educational qualifications required to sit for the behavior analysis certification examination.
Clinical Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis - ASD
ESP 722 3 credit(s)
Contemporary developments and issues in ABA including behavior change strategies, recent developments in ABA, generalization and ethical use of treatment methodologies are addressed. Part of the educational qualifications required to sit for the behavior analysis certification examination.
Applied Behavior Analysis Fluency Seminar
ESP 705 1 credit(s)
This one-credit course is designed to strengthen students’ ability to demonstrate key core knowledge competencies in the field of applied behavior analysis. During the course of the semester students will engage in a number of fluency based instructional activities that will enable them to demonstrate knowledge in all of the BCBA task list content areas. Students will be required to practice these skills both during class sessions and via software specifically designed to support fluency training and competence demonstration. Students must demonstrate proficiency in each of the task list content areas in order to successfully pass this course.
Implementing Behavior Analysis in Educational Settings - ASD
ESP 723 3 credit(s)
Focuses on the clinical practice of applied behavior analysis in a variety of settings. The application of the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in educational and treatment settings will be examined and the unique issues presented in these contexts will be reviewed and discussed. These issues include functional behavior assessments, ethics of practice, staff/parent training, and behavioral education in public schools.
Practicum (licensure students only)

Practicum Prerequisites

  • Pass all teacher tests required by the state for this license. Massachusetts MTELs: 5-12: Those seeking this license for 5-12 must take and pass the Communications and Literacy, Foundations of Reading and pass either the General Curriculum test or a subject matter test in one of the following academic subjects: English, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, earth science, general science, and physics), history, middle school humanities, middle school mathematics/science, or political science/political philosophy at the 5-8 or 8-12 grade level.
  • SEI605    Sheltered English Immersion (3 additional credits) or Mass. ESE-endorsed course or SEI MTEL.
  • Pre-Practicum — 75 hours embedded in courses, in diverse settings (0 credit)
  • Pass all required courses.

The practicum (5-12) is 300 hours in an inclusive general education classroom or 150 hours in an inclusive general education classroom and 150 hours in a separate setting for students with moderate disabilities.

Guided and evaluated by a licensed/certified special educator in the classroom and by a licensed/certified Cambridge College supervisor. Practicum locations are subject to state regulations and are to be approved by the program coordinator or regional site director.

SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) Content License Endorsement Course
SEI 605 3 credit(s)
This Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Content License Endorsement Course is designed for educator licensure candidates in all core academic areas, to prepare them to address the needs, and build on the multilingual and multicultural assets, of a diverse and ever-changing student population in Massachusetts. The course is a key element of the Massachusetts RETELL initiative (Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners). RETELL also includes statewide implementation of the WIDA ELD (English Language Development) standards, and the WIDA-ACCESS assessment tools. Participants will be introduced to ELD standard and WIDA tools, and will practice applying research-based SEI instructional strategies as they teach their content to English language learners (ELLs). They will also be introduced to a variety of professional growth opportunities to prepare them to extend their learning by making SEI the focus of professional practice within the new educator evaluation process.
Practicum: Special Education (5-12) 300 hours
ESP 790B 3 credit(s)
300 hours in an inclusive general education classroom or 150 hours in an inclusive general education classroom and 150 hours in a separate setting for students with moderate disabilities. The Practi- cum experience is in the role and at the level of the license sought, under a supervising practitioner with the appropriate license, with Cambridge College supervision. The Practicum experience provides student teachers opportunity to gain insights into the profession and to master the current Professional Standards for Teachers by working with young people with moderate special needs in public schools and classrooms. Students work with the guidance and support of an experienced educator and by observing his/her instructional and classroom management strategies in action. Students develop instructional strategies for a variety of learning formats, appropriate curriculum materials, classroom management skills, strategies for creating a learning environment that fosters an appreciation of diversity and interactive learning. Students reflect on their own professional growth and examine theory through actual classroom practice. An Exit Performance Portfolio documents their experiences.
Practicum Seminar: Special Education
ESP 791 2 credit(s)

Program Chair

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required for admission into non-licensure programs.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

Program Requirements

Licensure Programs

  • MTEL Communications and Literacy Test
  • GPA of 3.0
  • Program Chair consultation and approval

Students may enter the College without having met the MTEL and GPA requirements. Enroll in the non-licensure program aligned with the licensure desired. When the MTEL test is pased and a GPA of 3.0 earned, seek approval to transfer into the licensure program.

Learn more about School of Education and licensure program admission requirements.

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Education


State Health Requirements

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form 

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit

Graduate program applicants, please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more.

Undergraduate program applicants, once you are accepted, your official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit.



  • Credits for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $1,995 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of September 2015, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

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Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

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