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ABA Experience Help You Get into Grad School?

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Hello Everyone!

Can those of you with ABA experience elaborate on whether or not it helped you to get into a program. Can you share what schools you got into or what schools consider applicants with ABA experience? I understand a lot goes into an application (GPA, GRE score, etc) but I was told by a professor that ABA experience does not matter at all. I have heard otherwise on this forum and would love to get your opinion. Is there anyone who feels ABA experience was a major factor that helped them get into a program?


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I had ABA experience and know a number of grad students who also worked in ABA. All or most schools will strongly consider applicants with ABA experience, because they will strongly consider applicants with experience period. I think that professor probably meant that your experience doesn't have to be specifically in ABA to get into a program. You can have experience as a para, or SLP-A, or preschool teacher, or volunteer at a hospital or SNF, etc. they will all matter to a program so feel free to pick what you like and know it will mean something - if not to the programs, then to your own development!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had two-ish years of ABA experience and was admitted to UT Austin's graduate program (the only program I applied to). I had a good GPA (high 3.8), average GRE scores, strong letters of rec, and ABA experience. I don't know if my experience gave me any sort of advantage in the decision process, but I can tell you that the graduate committee looks to include individuals from all settings and backgrounds.  Only one other person in my cohort had an ABA background, while others had anywhere from no relevant experience to being SLPAs. My position as an ABA therapist gave me different examples to write about for my SOP and how working with developmental disabilities such as ASD is my passion. I feel like my experience is helping me out in clinic, as I already had knowledge and experience on reinforcement, behavior management, and recording data. Also, I came into clinic knowing how to manipulate different toys or activities to evoke speech and incorporate client specific goals. You have to consider too that a good portion of people in your cohort will not have ABA experience, let alone exposure to those on the spectrum, so you will have valuable insight and can provide a lot of help to many. One of the clinic directors at UT Austin has both her CCC-SLP and BCBA, she teachers courses and clinical practicum with emphasis on ASD. If you're really interested in pursuing the ASD population, I would say to look into programs that have a clinical director with both credentials or emphasis on ASD. 


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