University Series 009 | UC Santa Barbara

Join Operant Innovations as they talk with Dr. Sunny Kim about the online BCBA VCS and the University of California Santa Barbara.

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Dr. Sunny Kim -

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UC Santa Barbara ABA Certificate Program -


Shauna Costello (00:01):

You're listening to the university series from operant innovations. This week we'll be speaking with Dr. Sunny Kim, about the University of California, Santa Barbara, and their fully online BCBA course sequence. Dr. Kim has received her bachelor's of arts master's of arts and PhD in special education and teaching specializing in autism from UC Santa Barbara, where she is motivated and determined to make this world a better place through behavior analytic practices by teaching individuals with behavioral challenges to learn appropriate replacement behaviors so that they can be included in the least restrictive environment, develop meaningful friendships and succeed in life.

Shauna Costello (00:50):

So we're here with Dr. Sunny Kim from UC Santa Barbara. So thank you for joining us. And can you give us just a general overview of the program?

Dr. Sunny Kim (01:04):

Yes. So our program actually was founded by Dr. Robert Cable. He's kind of like the founding father of pivotal response treatment, and he is now at Stanford with his wife, Dr. Lynn cable. And so he developed our program and he left, I believe a year, about a year ago, maybe two years, a little less than two years ago. They moved up to Stanford. And as that transition happened, I took over the role as a coordinator for our program. And since then we've had some slight changes to our program overall, but the overall premise of our program through the extension department is that we offer the program online. So it's a hundred percent online and what I, I mean, I might be biased, but I, what I really like about our program is that, um, students are able to watch the lecture videos at their own leisurely time on a weekly basis. So how it works is our, um, faculty, we upload videos once a week, based on the various topics and students are able to watch it. And some courses will have quizzes that go along with the week's content or various assignments and those are due on a weekly basis. But due to like the crazy like range from students, we have students from Africa all the way to New York, literally all over the world. Um, we just couldn't, we didn't want to offer an online program where students had to meet at a specific date and time, cause that would have been difficult trying to schedule everyone's time zones. Um, so that's kind of the beauty of our program is that it's flexible and students are able to watch the videos on a weekly basis. And, um, we do have like discussion forums. Your students are able to interact with one another. Um, cause that's a little that I think to me is a little weird where you don't actually see other students, but we do want to give a platform where you can talk to your colleagues and peers. And because our programs do the extension department, we don't offer a graduate degree. So coming into our program, you already need to have a graduate degree. So our, we just offer the courses so that you can fulfill BACB's coursework requirements.

Shauna Costello (03:23):

Yes. And you guys are, we've talked to other fully online programs. Um, but you know, it's still a really interesting hearing, the vast differences between them. Um, so what really kind of sets UC Santa Barbara kind of, what would you say really makes you guys unique as an online program?

Dr. Sunny Kim (03:47):

Well, what's very unique is just kind of the caliber of our program as well as the content that we offer. Um, it's, I think I'm not too familiar with all the various online programs, but a few that I am familiar with is, you know, like, you know, some of the students I've supervised in the past, oh, we've done this program before we have to meet at this time on this date and there's all these things. We wanted to make the program flexible enough for professionals, 'cause a lot of students that take our courses are professionals working in the field and they do have that nine to five or nine to six jobs. So we want it to be appealing for those individuals as well as, I mean the UC, I mean out in California, we're out in the West coast. So UC programs, schools in general are very prestigious. And so I think just having that prestige is also nice. Fun other, the other fact is out of all the UC campuses, I believe there's 10, we're the only program through the UC system that offers an ABA program.

Shauna Costello (04:53):

That's awesome. And that just, I mean, that even speaks to the type of network that your students could potentially have at their disposal.

Dr. Sunny Kim (05:02):

Yes. So it's very exciting. I mean, I, in California, at least the only other California schools that offer an ABA program would be like the state schools, but I don't, I'm not, I don't think any of the state's schools offer a fully 100% online program.

Shauna Costello (05:21):

Yup. And I know that we have some more of those coming in the near future, so I'll also be learning about some of the other California schools, which I'm very excited about.

Dr. Sunny Kim (05:32):

Um, I would say also for our program we're kinda still we're growing, we first launched in 2016, I believe are we had 13 students. So it was very small and now we have significantly more students. Um, every year it just, the numbers keep growing. And we got, we actually got a big contract with Centria healthcare where we train, um, over a little over a hundred of their students to kind of complete the coursework through our program. So we're very excited to kind of expand and grow. Um, and in a short amount of time, I think we've been able to really figure out what works, what doesn't work kind of adjust it as we go along. So it's still a small program compared to some of the other online programs out there. But I think with us being so small, the class sizes are smaller and we like to cap it. Um, and so we don't like to have more than like 30, maybe 40 students per course. Um, so that way the students do have that opportunity to interact with instructor.

Shauna Costello (06:41):

Yes, and what are some who are some of the instructors that you have teaching the courses?

Dr. Sunny Kim (06:48):

So it's myself and we have one other instructor. Her name is Lindsay Glugatch and she is pursuing her PhD at university of Oregon.

Shauna Costello (06:58):

Great. I know, I know some people from up there myself, that's also a wonderful program.

Dr. Sunny Kim (07:04):

We are in the process of, um, trying to get our fifth edition, um, application like approved.

Shauna Costello (07:12):


Dr. Sunny Kim (07:13):

And once that gets approved, we're in the process of also hiring additional instructors as well.

Shauna Costello (07:21):

Yes. It sounds like you guys are going to need it soon. You guys seem to be growing like a weed.

Dr. Sunny Kim (07:25):

Yes, exactly. So it's exciting all around. Um, and it's, wasn't like earlier on, when we had such a small number of students in our program, it was really nice. Cause we wanted to take everyone's feedback in terms of really improving our program. So yeah.

Shauna Costello (07:40):

Yes. And I know I'm looking online at some of the courses, um, that you guys offer and I'll make sure that the website is in the description. I'm very easy to find though, if you just Google. Um, but what are some of, I'm looking at some of the courses right now. Um, but what are, I'm assuming that cause fall semester is probably starting very soon. Um, do your guys's classes start? When do your classes start? Like when do your cohorts come in and what are some of the courses that they'll be looking at taking, because it is the verified course sequence.

Dr. Sunny Kim (08:18):

So we are on a quarter system. And so the fall quarter, I believe starts in September. Like I want to say the third week in September is what I heard. And that will take you all the way through December and then in January, right after like the new year, that first full week in January, that's when we offer our winter course. And then we after that will take you all the way till the end of March. And then in April we offer the spring course and then end of June is when we offer the summer course. So currently our students are in the summer course and during summer we offer the single case experimental design class. And so for example, in that class, we wanted students to have exposure to the various different types of single case design methods. And how do you take data? How do you graph, how do you analyze? And for that class, students are expected to take data graph and analyze at least two different types of single case design methodologies and write a report for their assignments. So it's a lot of work, but it's good work. It's work that they'll need to know how to do as a future BCBA. So that's exciting in the fall, we're going to be offering our ed X 312.1, which is the autism. I like to call it the autism class. And that's probably one of my favorite classes to teach just because I get to talk a whole lot about pivotal response treatment. But I also talk about some of the other models that utilize principles of ABA, such as DTT, incidental, um, various naturalistic interventions. I talk about the importance of like social interventions for, especially for kids with autism and um, how we target communication and how communication is related to behavior and all of that good stuff.

Shauna Costello (10:12):

That's yeah, that's really, really great. And I know that with online programs, how are your students doing their practicum? I know that you had mentioned that you have a partnership with Centria and, and I know that you said you're training some of them, but how does, how does that, how does that work if you maybe if they're not, you know, in that partnership with Centria or, and I know that Centria is a, I know them as a nationwide company, so I don't know if they're further than that, but how does, how did the, how did the practicums work and you know, with the supervisions, what kind of questions might you get from your students, things like that?

Dr. Sunny Kim (10:56):

So luckily we've been very lucky. Most of our students are able to find their, so because we're independent, we're considered independent field work. So it's a little different because two of our courses is called research practicum and it's called research practicum because when dr. Cable developed the courses, that's what it was called and students have to do a research project. And so we wanted to keep the same kind of information and content, but it's not, it's just like an extra class. So you don't really get hours for taking that class that counts towards your field work hours, but it's just it only counts towards your course work. And so in the research practicum courses, we have A and B um, students pick a topic and they're to, um, do some research on it, read articles on it, develop a nice presentation at the end. And we kind of do a round Robin where, um, throughout the 10 weeks, various students present on the different topics that they researched and kind of worked on. So I would say the first five weeks I had like over like very basic, like ABA, like jargon, like the principles and concepts and stuff like that. And then the second half of the course that's when students are like sharing stuff that they've researched and how it's applicable in their field. Um, so the A and B it's just different topics that we cover now in terms of students. So most of our students are able to find their own supervisor and they're able to get their own field work hours. Um, I would say a good majority of our students are educators. They're in the field of education and at least in California, there's a huge demand for BCBAs in the schools like just a huge demand and that might be due to various lawsuits. Um, but I think at least here, the schools are finding that it gets very expensive to fund a student who has extreme behaviors. So for various reasons, I think they're turning to BCBAs. Um, so I have a lot of teachers, a lot of counselors, a lot of school psychs, um, taking our program.

Dr. Sunny Kim (12:58):

And luckily they're able to get the supervision through their work. Now I do have a few students who just have a really difficult time finding supervisors. They might be able to find the work, but they can't find the supervisor cause they're in remote locations. For example, I had two students last year where they were both in Africa and Senegal and Dakar and there's no BCBAs in Dakar. And so I, yeah, so we do offer internal supervision for students who really can't find supervisors. Um, and for that, we meet face to face on a biweekly basis. They have to send video clips to us, of them working with their client and we're able to then give them feedback. I mean, it's not, it's not like the best thing, but I think it's the best we could do in regard to like their distance.

Shauna Costello (13:54):

And I mean, it's nice to know that you are making sure that you're there for your students. You're supporting them no matter where they are, because I mean, even yes, Africa, there's probably a lot lower number of BCBAs, but I mean, even in rural United States, I know that I came from, I just moved on down to Florida, from Michigan. And once you get into the upper peninsula of Michigan, the number of BCBAs is minuscule. So that also means the number of services are minuscule. So I completely understand that. And it's nice to know that you guys go out of your way to make sure that even though it's not the perfect scenario, you're still giving your guy, you're still giving your students the best chance possible to become great practitioners.

Dr. Sunny Kim (14:46):

Yeah. Because at the end of the day, what we really want is we want to have enough BCBAs, you know, where our kids can access these services because you know, it it's really needed in the world. Um, and so, you know, that's kind of, our priority is like, we really want to train good BCBAs so that in the future, all these children or even adults, anyone really benefits from these services.

Shauna Costello (15:15):

And that's, yeah, that's absolutely wonderful. And that's the goal is to disseminate and get our services out there and spread the word. And as Dick Malott would say, save the world with behavior analysis. Um, but so what kind of experiences and situations do you find when your students are talking that, you know, they, you said a lot of them come from education, but how, how do you see them interacting in like the chat rooms and when they're interacting with each other?

Shauna Costello (15:43):

So for the most part, they are very supportive and they actually give each other really good ideas. So they'll suggest, like I had last quarter, I had one student and he, I mean, his school really figured out, you know, like ABA stuff and they were able to incorporate it and like really do a systems change, which is like, fantastic. And so he was able to kind of share with his peers in terms of like, these are the steps that happened. He's like, it's not perfect, but these are the steps that we have to take. And he was kind of able to like, outline like, step one, step two. And, you know, from that like other educators who were like, this is a great idea. Like, let me run with this or what can I do so that my school's going to start seeing some of these changes. Um, you know, I've had various educators from, you know, ranging from teachers all the way up to, you know, like administrators, like principals, like taking the course or just various educators, um, in our program. And for the most part, I think they're just very positive. I mean, just a lot of positive reinforcement is kind of what I see, you know, I read through all those discussion forums just to make sure there's no like negativity. Um, but you know, I think it's really nice to see that everyone is here to support each other.

Shauna Costello (17:04):

That's great because I know that really building that community with an online program can really help the students excel.

Dr. Sunny Kim (17:11):

Right. And I think, oh sorry to cut you off.

Shauna Costello (17:14):

Nope, go right ahead.

Shauna Costello (17:17):

And I've had this happen a few times where some of the students will realize they're from like the same area or from the same hood. And so they'll be like, oh, let's form a study group, you know, which I'm like awesome you guys, great job.

Shauna Costello (17:29):

No, that's, that's perfect. That's really perfect. And I mean, that might even be something that you guys start implementing in the future too. Like when you get feedback from your students, like, hey, I want to know where, where my classmates are from, because I'm going to be taking classes with them for forever, not forever, but I want to know. Um, so what does, what does the typical like application process or interview process look like for you guys?

Dr. Sunny Kim (17:57):

So it's very straightforward. The application is all online and, um, there's no interview involved, but the only thing is we do kind of check your credentials and make sure you have the right credentials, right degrees in order for you to like take our program. Um, we also have a really strong administrative team at UCSB through our program and the girl Sophia she's just amazing in making sure, like, if you have questions like she's available, um, if she can't answer it, she'll like forward it to the right person. Um, so I think that's been very kind of helpful too, to get that support from our home office and just making sure that students who are interested in our program, get the answers in a timely manner.

Shauna Costello (18:43):

Thinking about the application process, what are some of the questions that you might be getting from students who are maybe looking at UCSB when they're looking for programs?

Dr. Sunny Kim (18:55):

I think they're, so the most common questions I get is supervision. You know, do we offer supervision and you know, the response is, it just depends. If you really have a hard time finding a supervisor, then we can offer supervision. But you know, that's something that we don't necessarily offer to everyone because then that would be, you know, like 60 plus students, we would have to supervise and that would just be impossible. So we do encourage students to try to find their own supervisor, but you know, worst case scenario, we are here to like help and support them. So that's like one of the questions we get asked a lot. The second one is like, how long does the program typically take? And you know, it varies if you were to take only one class each quarter that would take six quarters, which is about a year and a half, if you want it to double up, because the practicum courses we do offer those year round. If you wanted to double up, then it's going to take you about a year to finish the coursework.

Shauna Costello (19:55):

Okay. So your students can actually get their verified course sequence, you know, after they have to have their, their degree already, but they can get their verified course sequence done in a year.

Dr. Sunny Kim (20:07):

Yes. So some students have actually like, they're like super on it and they're working full time and they're taking the course and they're able to get all of the hours, 1500 hours and all the coursework hours completed in a year time. So,

Shauna Costello (20:25):

That's very impressive.

Dr. Sunny Kim (20:28):

Most students, I think, will take anywhere about six quarters, the ones that kind of want to take their time, especially if you have a hard time finding a full time position, um, then they'll want to take a little bit longer, which is still only a year and a half. So it's not too bad. That's going to change with the fifth edition.

Shauna Costello (20:47):

Yeah. What are, what are some of your changes that you foresee to like, what do you, what are those going to be when the fifth edition does roll out?

Dr. Sunny Kim (20:54):

So we are anticipating actually more students for that, with the fifth edition. Cause we have getting a lot of inquiries of about students asking if they can start taking the fifth edition courses. Unfortunately we're aiming to offer that starting January. So early 2020 is when we'll start offering hopefully, if everything goes as planned, but the changes will be obviously they're going to have to take more courses and that's not because we want them to take more courses that's because the hours have changed for the board. And so instead of taking six classes, they now have to take seven classes. But if you take all seven classes, you are going to be, that will give you 315 course work hours. And then you're going to have to go from 1500 hours to 2000 field work hours. So we calculated that that's going to take students about two full years. So our course should take you about a year and a half. But if you wanted to time that with your field work it's should take you about two years.

Shauna Costello (21:53):

Okay, it's really nice that you've done the math just to show students that yes, you can get the coursework done in this amount of time, but you're still gonna have to have some more hours done. So that's where this other part comes in. So it's nice to know that, you know, there is, you've taken all of that into consideration to make sure your students do know what to expect when coming in.

Dr. Sunny Kim (22:19):

I think we have, we've been getting a lot of interests from individuals in China, which is very exciting. I think a big part of that reason is one of the faculty at UCSB. Um, he does a lot of like work with China. Um, and so I think that, and in China, I believe there's only like five BCBAs in the entire country, which is crazy considering that there's over a billion people, there's only like five BCBAs. So it's a big need out there.

Shauna Costello (22:47):

Yeah, and even thinking of some of the cultural differences and language differences and barriers and yeah, so that could be a really great way to start spreading out. And especially with the degree requirements that are changing as well, coming up in a few years, um, that should probably, I'm assuming open up the gates to allow more people to come in and start taking these.

Dr. Sunny Kim (23:13):

When we did the math. If we offer it in January of 2020 students, if it takes them two years, they'll be able, they'll probably be the first student few students will be able to take the fifth edition test, offered January, 2022.

Shauna Costello (23:29):

Okay, and so it sounds like you guys have a correct me if I'm wrong. This is just from talking to you. It sounds like you guys have kind of like a rolling enrollment.

Dr. Sunny Kim (23:39):

Yes, that's correct.

Shauna Costello (23:40):

So students can enroll or apply any and then start at the next quarter.

Dr. Sunny Kim (23:47):

Yep. That's correct.

Shauna Costello (23:49):

Alright, perfect. Um, what have I missed from asking you about UCSB? Cause I mean, I'm not, you know, I'm not as familiar with it. So in the verified course sequences, um, there's still, you know what I mean? I'm still, I know what a verified course sequences, but you know, they're always a little bit different than the full, like the full master's programs.

Dr. Sunny Kim (24:18):

I will say another attractive feature of our program is the cost. Um, I think if you do the math it's so if you do the, if you get, we offer early bird discounts, if you sign up for our course early enough, then you get $50 off. So the classes are $500, maybe like 510, I can't remember. Um, and so if you only just like the early bird, I believe the estimation to complete are like the six classes will be $3,200 about approximately which, I mean, it's not that bad. Um, and if you enroll late, it's going to be $550 for the class. And so you multiply that by six that's like $3,500. So I think the cost is probably another attractive feature for a lot of students. I had, I actually had one student one year and he was just like, you know, just so desperate to find a supervisor and I'm like, hey, you know, let me know if you have a hard time supervisor, but you know, we really encourage students to try to find a supervisor, especially since he's like in Los Angeles, you know, it's like, it can't be that hard to fight the supervisor. So I told them to go on this little mission to find a supervisor, you know, pointed him to BACBs website where they list all the you know, BCBA certificates, uh, certificates who are able to supervise. And he did his homework, he did his research and a week later he was just like, I just can't afford any supervisors, 'cause they're so expensive. And he said, if I were to get the required hours supervised by someone else, that would be more expensive than, than take completing the coursework. So, you know, we ended up supervising him 'cause he just, I mean, I just felt really bad for this guy. Um, but you just like, it's crazy how much, um, people can charge for supervision.

Shauna Costello (26:19):

Yes, it definitely is. And that's why it's always nice to really dive into the field and get your hands dirty and see what you know, the field is really about. Because a lot of times, um, if you can find a job a lot, not all the time, but a lot of the time the supervision is included. So that's always, yes, that's always something to, and then you're really immersing yourself in that behavior analytic world too, to help you to help facilitate your learning.

Dr. Sunny Kim (26:54):

Absolutely. So I think the cost is another big thing. I know our program has been awful at advertising and marketing. And so I think that's something we plan on kind of working in the future. Maybe sending out some emails about like our program, cause we really haven't advertised. So without any like marketing and advertising, we're happy with the numbers that we have right now. Um, so we are anticipating a big influx of students come January.

Shauna Costello (27:24):

That's no, that's really, really great. And um, where are a lot of your students, where are they going after they're done with the verified course sequence? Like what kind of work are they getting into?

Dr. Sunny Kim (27:36):

So a lot of them continue to stay in education. Um, a lot of teachers will say my district is wanting me to get my BCBA where my district said they'll pay for me to like go through this coursework so that I can get my BCBA. And like I said, I mean, at least in California, it just seems like it's a lot of these schools are wanting to hire more and more BCBAs every single year. So, um, like I do a lot of consulting with schools throughout Los Angeles and I mean, five years ago, maybe a few schools have heard of BCBAs, but now at least in Los Angeles, like every school is wanting BCBAs and it's just, yeah,

Shauna Costello (28:16):

That's no, that's really exciting. 'Cause coming from Michigan, um, just depending on where you were, they still might not know what that means. So, um, but I will say California is always usually ahead of the game. Um, so it's good to know that it's coming everywhere, because I kind of take California as our, as our, you guys are always charging forward, which is wonderful.

Dr. Sunny Kim (28:42):

I think it's because of those lawsuits, you know, and you know, it's unfortunate. I mean, I've had to like testify in some cases and at the end of the day, like the number one complaint parents have is they always blame it on behavior, you know, I'm like huh, should've hired a BCBA.

Shauna Costello (29:02):

Yeah. I know it's hard. I've definitely worked myself with some, some families. So, um, no, I, I can, I can just imagine. I can just imagine I'm lucky, I've never had to me personally been called the court. Um, so that's one thing. I mean it would have been good experience, but it's nothing that I ever hope for. Nothing I ever hoped for. So in your courses, what are some of like the projects and assignments that your students can expect?

Dr. Sunny Kim (29:35):

So they're all very applicable. I am not a huge fan of having students do assignments just because I want them to do assignments. I want them to do an assignment that's going to be meaningful and something that they can take away in terms of like developing their skills. So with that said, each class is a little different for our single case design course, students have to like graph, analyze, collect data graph and analyze the data. Um, for the autism course, they have an option. I have students, they can either write a paper on a topic that was covered throughout the course, or they can develop a handy pamphlet, um, regarding one of the topics that was covered. In course for the audience that they primarily work within. That's been a very popular one and I've had students come up with some really creative pamphlets. Um, like some students will develop a pamphlet on the seven dimensions of ABA. Um, I've had a student like develop a pamphlet on how do you target initiations for kids with autism, really creative pamphlets have been developed for that course, but that class is a little bit hard because they have weekly quizzes that they have to take. So this was a little challenging. For our assessment course, they have to conduct and write an FBA report. Um, and I encourage them to do an FA obviously with support from their supervisor. But if they can't cause some schools won't allow FAs to be conducted for various reasons. So, you know, if that's the case, then they just have to justify why and FA wasn't, couldn't be conducted. For our ethics course, this one is probably one of the most challenging courses. I think every year students say this is a really hard class. Um, and they're like, wow, we never thought of it in that light.

Dr. Sunny Kim (31:33):

Or you know wow, this is a crazy case. It's like, well, these cases are all real examples of ethics. And for that class, they also have weekly quizzes, which I think that's where students really freak out because they usually get like half right half wrong, like correct and half wrong. So they freak out a lot. So for their final assignment, I try to make it very applicable. So one of the weeks we really focused on like supervision, you know, how to be a good supervisor. What does supervision look like? And so for their final project, they have to complete a supervision contract. They have to develop a contract. And in addition to that, they have to create a supervisor feedback form and then a supervisee feedback form. So it's very applicable. And then for the practicum courses, it's just the research that they would have to complete.

Shauna Costello (32:27):

Yeah. And then that research is, is that as that stuff that they're doing with their clients or students that they're working with or,

Dr. Sunny Kim (32:36):

Review kind of, where it's like a case study. Um, so for example, um, this quarter for our practicum course, students are this, this, the B practicum B is more exciting because the topics are more interesting and more applicable. I believe, I think it, yeah. And it's like more intervention based stuff. So like last week I had a student develop a presentation on reinforcement and a non-contingent reinforcement in the schools. And so like, what does literature say about implementing the various schedules of reinforcement and NCR? How do you do that correctly in the schools? Like what are some areas that we need more research in, you know, like, and he gave examples of like when he he's used it in his career where working in the schools. So, you know, like they do, it's more like a lit review.

Shauna Costello (33:31):


Dr. Sunny Kim (33:31):

The students have been creative. I had one student actually take data, um, on one of the clients that she was working with and then integrated that with research and literature and stuff like that. So that works. So I kind of leave it up to them. You know, I want to tap into their motivation. I have the students pick their topic. I give them like a list of topics and pretty much the topics correspond with like the task list put out by BACB. But I'm like, you know, I'm going to be flexible if there's a topic that you absolutely want to, you know, research on like go for it. Because if you're motivated, you're going to produce quality work.

Shauna Costello (34:10):

And I know that you guys are newer. So I know that a lot of people, when they go searching for programs, they go on to the passing rates website. And I know that you guys are not on there yet.

Dr. Sunny Kim (34:25):

I know we are dying to know what our pass rate is, anecdotally I've had students reach out. Like I passed the exam. I think I've gotten a lot more of those. So, but then I don't know if the students, so I know at our last meeting in July with our home office, um, we have one of the girls at our home office. Her she's actually like going through our list of students. Who've completed the program and she's reaching out to see if they've taken the test. And if yes, if they'd like pass the test. So we're also dying to know what our pass rate is.

Shauna Costello (35:01):

Yes, and I know I've talked to a few other programs, um, online or on campus that also don't have the official pass rate yet. So I always like to make sure I bring that up though for the newer programs that just because you know, there's not a pass rate on there yet, make sure you're reaching out. Um, and so what would you say to students who, if they listen and they have more questions, What should they do?

Dr. Sunny Kim (35:29):

They can always email me or they can email, I think if they, if they go onto our website, there's like an email contact and they can reach out to our department. And like I said, someone will be able to get back to them in a very timely manner.

Shauna Costello (35:45):

That's great. Okay. Is there anything else that was trying to make sure I covered everything? I think we did. Let's see. We did course sequences, students, worldly students, anything else that,

Dr. Sunny Kim (36:02):

Um, I guess like, well, cause a lot of our students live far away, so they won't have the opportunity to visit our beautiful campus. Cause it is on the beach and the, the library on our campus is my favorite. Cause you have like the ocean view and you're like, wow, this is amazing. But um, a lot of ours because they're so distant, they don't have the opportunity to actually like come onto our campus, but they do have access a hundred percent access to our library because we, our library system offers like online, like access where they can access various journals, all these like journal articles. So that's been a huge plus cause sometimes, you know, you'll have to like come across, you, come across the journal and you want to read it and you have to pay for it. And it's super expensive trying to pay for that one article. So being a student, you do have that free access to the various thousands of journals actually.

Shauna Costello (36:57):

Yes and I love that as well because I have access through some schools I've taught at and things like that as well. So it's very, very nice to have the access to that as well. Um, where do you see you UCSB going in the future or what are some of your goals for the program?

Dr. Sunny Kim (37:20):

So we have grand goals for our program, you know, kind of our, you know, we obviously want our program to be one of the leading programs. Um, that's available to students on an international level on a global scale. So that's kind of our like big goal and you know, we want to do it carefully so that we're not just, you know, trying to get students with very low pass rate. You know, we want that quality as well. So, you know, we want to develop a high quality program that can cater to students, you know, across the world. And we want to, you know, kind of our goal is to be able to support our students in various needs in various capacities. ]Um, you know, we've even talked about our team has talked about if we have more students who need supervision, like we are happy to hire supervisors, you know, to like ensure that they can be supervised adequately. So that's been a big plus. So that's kind of our big goal is to really expand our programs or we're like one of the leading programs, but on a smaller scale, our kind of like immediate goal is to make sure that we are an approved course sequence for the fifth edition by January. And then we want to also start probably sometime next year. I'm not too sure when we want to start offering BCABA programs, um, because there's also a need for that. So I think that's kind of our short term goals in terms of like what we'll be doing in the next year or two. Um, but our kind of global scale goal is to become one of the leading, um, programs.

Shauna Costello (38:57):

Well, I think that those all sound like wonderful goals. So, and it sounds like you guys are working hard to get them. Um, well I think that we've covered a lot of it. You've answered a ton of questions about the student engagement and what the students can expect from the courses and where your students are coming from. And, um, I know that, you know, I've looked up your background and I know that you have, you know, your degrees are in psychology and special education and teaching. And so you really can probably relate to a lot of the students that you have coming into your courses.

Dr. Sunny Kim (39:35):

Absolutely, and I think, you know, on that note, like I do really want students to like take away, you know, we've designed the courses where students can really walk away saying, oh, I understand that because sometimes, you know, our field, we can, we love our jargons, which is awesome, you know, and definitely we incorporate a lot of that jargon into our courses, but we also focus on how you translate that jargon because on a day to day basis, we're not going to sit there using ABA jargon because then our clients won't understand what we're talking about. It's like we're speaking in foreign language. So, you know, I think one of the positive feedbacks I've gotten from a lot of students is just kind of how applicable and how easily digestible the information can be because, you know, they are like sometimes it's the information can be overwhelming, um, because it's just so filled with like jargon. So knowing what I know about education and if you're trying to work with teachers and you're going in there as a consultant and you're, you know, using all this term, you're not gonna have any luck making changes in the schools. So, you know, I do try to teach in a way that students understand, but also teaching them that there are times and places where you have to actually use ABA jargon.

Shauna Costello (40:58):

Yes. Yup. And I mean, behavior analysis is definitely a science of its own and yeah, I think, you know, bridging that gap to, yes, still making sure we're disseminating our science, but at the same time, making sure that when we are going into schools, that we are making it so that the teachers and the paraprofessionals and the administration, it really, we want to make them buy in as well to start building those relationships.

Dr. Sunny Kim (41:28):

And it's kind of like if you went to a doctor's office, you know, and you told the doctor, you have a cold, and the doctor is like oh, you have a cold, he's not going to use medical terms to describe my cold. You know, otherwise I'd be like, what are you talking about? And you know, that's kinda, but the doctor needs to know the terms. And when he's talking with these colleagues, he can use the appropriate terminology. And that's the same for us too. You know, I kind of think of us as you know, we are scientists first. So we do have to use those science-based language. But you know, when we're catering to our clients, we have to also cater to them. So it's like speaking two languages.

Shauna Costello (42:02):

It definitely, is definitely is. And especially when you start reaching out into even other fields and applications of behavior analysis, because business and any of those other fields, they all have their own,

Dr. Sunny Kim (42:18):


Shauna Costello (42:19):

language that you have to learn. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to meet with me and talk.

Dr. Sunny Kim (42:27):

If there's any other question you can shoot me an email and we'll reach out.

Shauna Costello (42:33):

Yeah, no, thank you so much. Thank you for listening to the university series, next week we'll be staying in California to speak with dr. Jonathan Tarbox about the USC program. And as always, if you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, please feel free to email us at


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