Since 2001, the Behavior Support Specialist (BSS) certificate program has delivered fully online web-based courses for individuals who provide behavioral support in classrooms, schools, and community settings. The program teaches participants to:

  • Effectively and independently conduct Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs),

  • Design function-based interventions, and

  • Support school-wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS) efforts.

Courses are offered each year in the Fall and Spring semesters.

COST - Our BSS courses are offered through UA Online. Tuition is $653 per unit. Participants must be registered as students at the University of Ariziona.


Those who are interested only in the BSS Certificate should apply for admission to the Behavior Support Specialist Graduate Certificate program at. Click on Apply Now, select UA Online for the campus, and then select the BSS certificate program. Any questions or difficulties with applying should be directed to Kevin Prahar at or at 520-626-2960.

UA Grad Website


For additional information about the University of Arizona BSS course of study, email John Umbreit at

The BSS program is based on a Complete Mastery Approach. Participants must demonstrate competence in, and application of, each concept before they can move to the next lesson or to the next course. 

The certificate program consists of three courses, each worth three (3) credit hours:

  • SERP 502 - Behavior Principles and Disability: Assessment and Intervention,
  • SERP 529A - Advanced Positive Behavioral Support, and
  • SERP 529B - Advanced Positive Behavioral Support.

Course Descriptions

SERP 502 Behavior Principles and Disability: Assessment and Intervention

SERP 502 is the first course in the BSS sequence. It ensures that participants are knowledgeable about the basic behavioral principals and techniques of applied behavior analysis that are needed to complete accurate FBAs, and design effective function-based interventions and comprehensive Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs). Students complete the course by conducting an FBA and developing a function-based BIP. Course 1 provides 3 credit hours/45 clock hours of instruction. Specific competencies in Course 1 address basic Applied Behavioral Analysis competencies needed to effectively complete an FBA and BIP.

SERP 529A Advanced Positive Behavioral Support

SERP 529A is the second course in the BSS sequence. SERP 502 is a prerequisite. It provides advanced knowledge and skills in applied behavior analysis and the factors that affect the application of behavior principles within schools and other natural settings, including ethical issues, effective instruction, and factors in the classroom environment. Participants complete an FBA, develop and test a function-based intervention, monitor, and make data-based decisions based on the effectiveness of the plan. Course 2 provides 3 credit hours/45 clock hours of instruction. 

SERP 529B Advanced Positive Behavioral Support

SERP 529B is the third course in the BSS sequence. SERP 529A and SERP 552 are prerequisites for this course. It provides each student continued opportunity to apply and develop skills and knowledge of FBA, function-based interventions, legal and ethical issues, and collaboration within the context of their classroom, school, and district. Participants complete 2 additional FBAs and develop, implement, and monitor the function-based interventions. This course provides 3 credit hours/45 clock hours of instruction.