Dole Human Development Center

The Department of Applied Behavior Science is housed, administratively, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas and housed, physically, in the Dole Human Development Center at 1000 Sunnyside Avenue on the south side of campus. We have 19 regular faculty members in 11.5 full-time equivalent faculty positions, 62 adjunct and courtesy faculty members, over 200 undergraduate majors, and more than 45 graduate students.

Why are we here?

The Department is here because a natural science of behavior uniquely helps us understand and improve the human condition locally, nationally, and globally. Our undergraduate mission is to teach students to understand behavior and solve societal problems through evidence-based practice and critical thinking. Our graduate mission is to train scientist-practitioners and researchers in the discovery, production, translation, application, and communication of knowledge for the same purposes.

These missions entail four domains of teaching, training, and research:

  1. Basic principles of a natural science of behavior;
  2. Research methods in basic and applied research, the latter including prevention and intervention research;
  3. Historical, conceptual, and comparative foundations; and
  4. The extension and application of these domains for understanding and improving the human condition.

Among the conditions we currently address are addiction; adults with developmental disabilities; autism and other childhood developmental disabilities; community health and development; organizational behavior management; infant, toddler, and early childhood development (both typical and atypical); physical disabilities and independent living; and truancy prevention and family enhancement.

What have we done well?

We have pioneered in translating basic behavioral research into evidence-based practices and, in the process, founded our field's leading journal, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. In 2004, KU ranked fifth nationally in its number of applied behavioral science publications. We have continuously garnered among the most research funding in the College and are now principal investigators on over $10 million in awards. Our ground-breaking research immediately improved the lives of people locally and statewide (e.g., in early childhood at Juniper Gardens) and is now disseminated and adopted nationally and internationally (e.g., Boy's Town, Peru's Ann Sullivan Center). Our community health and development program is a World Health Organization Centre, and one of four department centers in the Life Span Institute. In 2000, we received the award for Outstanding Programmatic Contributions from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.

We are also a campus leader in service and community-engaged scholarship. Our intensive undergraduate practica are at the forefront of a national trend toward hands-on coursework. The Center for Service-Learning has approved ten of our courses for Certification in Service Learning. We contribute to the Global Awareness Program with a Study Abroad course in Peru. A sequence of courses fulfills the requirements for certification for the College Undergraduate Research Experience. Our courses and practica lead to national Bachelor's BCABA and Master's BCBA level Behavior Analysis Board Certification. We were the first department in the College to offer a Multi-Cultural Scholars Program. Our joint M.P.H./Ph.D. program is one of the first that integrates Applied Behavioral Analysis and Public Health. The Department is a partner of the KU Advocacy Corp and serves as an advocate for Safe Kids Douglas County. And, we have won numerous teaching, research, and service awards, in part, because we integrate them. The Department engages faculty, staff and students in service through integrated research and scholarship. To learn more about services provided through the Department's Research and Training Centers, including the Edna A. Hill Child Development Center.

Our Welcome

If you would like to visit, please email ahead to schedule a meeting. We would be delighted to meet you, give you a tour of our research and training facilities, discuss our undergraduate and graduate programs, and provide academic and professional advising in applied behavioral science.

You may e-mail the department directly at absc@ku.edu.