Graduate Certificate in Positive Behavior Support

Florida Center for Inclusive Communitiespart of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC)


This fully online graduate certificate consists of three core courses, and one elective course for a total of 12 credit hours. Students may choose to take a fourth core class as an elective or any of those listed below. Students pursuing a graduate certificate will be required to meet the same USF requirements (e.g., financial and academic) as those defined for degree-seeking students to remain in good standing.

Required courses (9 credit hours)

MHS 6410 Intensive Individualized Positive Behavior Support

The purpose of this course is to understand and be able to participate in the process of functional behavior assessment and development of individual behavior intervention plans in school and community settings. Lessons include the principles and philosophy of applied behavior analysis, contributions of positive behavior support (PBS), behavior and behavioral definitions, stimulus/antecedent variables affecting behavior, consequences that maintain behavior, extinction, how to gather information for a functional behavior assessment (FBA), ABC observations, how to collect and display data, the importance of treatment fidelity, ethical considerations, and designing a function-based intervention.

MHS 6607 Behavior Consultation and Collaborative Systems Change

This course will focus on basic concepts in behavior consultation, verbal interaction techniques, consultation problem solving, and application of consultation in applied settings. The course curriculum also will include multiple opportunities for students to practice consultation in role play and problem solving situations as preparation for an application of consultation problem solving in a consultant role.

MHS 6608 School-Wide Positive Behavior Support

This School-wide Positive Behavior Support course will provide a detailed examination of universal (Tier 1), supplemental (Tier 2) and intensive individualized (Tier 3) approaches to positive behavior support process in elementary and secondary educational settings. In particular, the course content will cover the foundations necessary for schools to implement school-wide positive behavior support including commitment to the process, the development of a team, and the supports and strategies necessary at each of the three levels.

MHS 6605 Addressing Behavior Challenges in Young Children

This course is focused on the application of a promotion, prevention, and intervention framework to promote the social development of children ages birth to five and address behavioral issues. Topics include: social emotional screening and assessment practices; promoting social development within early intervention and home visiting services; partnerships with families, program-wide adoption of the response to intervention model, coaching and supporting early educators in the adoption of the model, providing intensive individualized interventions to young children with severe challenging behavior, progress monitoring, and using data-based decision-making.

Elective courses (3 credit hours)

Choose one from the following or take the fourth core course:

Registration Process

Consult with the certificate program advisor and obtain any needed course permits. Students complete the registration process in OASIS, USF’s online registration system. .

Persons enrolled in the PBS Graduate Certificate Program are eligible to be a trainee in the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities. If you are already a trainee or are interested in becoming a trainee, check out Trainee Resources (coming soon).


Courses must be completed within two years.


  • Intensive Individualized Positive Behavior Support: Dr. Rose Iovanonne


  • School-wide Positive Behavior Support: Dr. Lauren Evanovich and Dr. Stephanie Martinez
  • Addressing Behavior Challenges in Young Children: Dr. Lise Fox


  • Consultation and Collaboration: Dr. Christopher Vatland

Child & Family Studies