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Graduate Program in Behavioral Disorders and Positive Behavior Supports

teacher with two studentsTexas State University-San Marcos offers a Master's degree in special education with concentration in Behavioral Disorders/Positive Behavioral Supports (BD/PBS). The task of educating students who have behavioral emotional/mental disorders poses significant challenges for teachers and administrators. These students benefit from the comprehensive array of research-based interventions that have been shown to effectively improve learning and behavioral outcomes. Such strategies are grounded in positive behavioral supports and applied behavior analysis and emphasize positive, proactive approaches to improving behavioral, social and academic skills in public school and alternative education settings. 

The master of education in special education with a concentration in BD/PBS provides advanced, specialized training in characteristics and etiologies of emotional and behavioral disorders and designing educational programs based on positive behavioral supports. This program integrates the latest in evidence-based practices in academic, social and behavioral interventions, and is designed for behavior specialists, behavior teachers, behavior consultants,
PBS coaches and specialists, and others who provide direct or consultative services in the areas of behavioral disorders or positive behavior supports. Students in this program will work with program faculty who are widely recognized for their expertise in emotional/behavioral disorders, positive behavior supports, and applied behavior analysis.
Unique aspects of our program include a close-knit group of students and faculty, and opportunities to work with faculty on faculty-and student-initiated research projects.

Course Work
The 36-hour master of education in special education degree with a concentration in BD/PBS provides advanced, specialized course work in areas critical to the education of students with emotional/ behavioral disorders, emphasizing academic, behavioral and social needs. In addition to a master’s degree, students earn a Texas State University certificate in BD/PBS upon completion of the program. The program requires 30 hours in the major, plus six elective hours in a cognate.
Your advisor, Dr. Scheuermann or Dr. Billingsley, will guide you in developing appropriate course sequence for your needs.
Alternately, students may choose to pursue the Texas State University certificate in Behavioral Disorders/Positive Behavior Supports only. This certificate requires 21 hours in special education (seven courses):
  • SPED 5313:  Teaching Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
  • SPED 5340:  Principles and Practices in Effective Instruction for Students with Disabilities
  • SPED 5375:  Applied Behavior Analysis
  • SPED 5380:  Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in Schools
  • SPED 5376:  Advanced Studies in Challenging Behavior 
  • SPED 5387:  Research Design in Special Education
  • SPED 5382:  Advanced Practices in Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

The special education faculty at Texas State is superb and I feel very comfortable saying the training I received in the BD/PBIS program rivals that of any institution in the country.  Not only were we taught best-practices and the theory behind them, the expectation and opportunities afforded us to put them into practice were invaluable.  I am now a doctoral student studying behavior disorders at a large, research-intensive university.  Because of the training and experiences I had through the BD/PBIS program at Texas State, I feel very confident in my knowledge base and extremely prepared for the rigors of this program."

Tichelle Bruntmyer, M.Ed.,
Doctoral Candidate

 Learning how to implement schoolwide positive behavioral supports is such an exciting opportunity. I felt compelled to be in this program so that I can address not only the needs of the children on my caseload, but to make a difference for all the kids in my school. I look forward to the future of PBS implementation all across Texas."

Lari Rogge,
Former special education graduate student

Program Faculty

Brenda Scheuermann, PhD,
Coordinator, Behavior Disorders/Positive Behavior Supports Program
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Phone: 512.245.2267
Fax: 512.245.7911