A student’s practicum placement is one of the most important parts of his or her path to becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). It is where a student will gain practical experience in implementing the strategies and skills that he or she will learn during coursework.
The ABA Online Program Intensive Practicum meets the BACB requirements for an “Intensive Practicum” experience. It requires 25 hours per week of work in a special education environment that facilitates the implementation of behavior analytic methods for 3 quarters (each quarter 10 weeks) for a total of 750 hours.
For more information on BACB requirements for Intensive Practicum experiences, please visit BACB.com.
Students in the UW ABA Online Program are not required to utilize the University of Washington supervision option. However, the UW Intensive Practicum is carefully structured and closely integrated with the UW coursework sequence, building and expanding upon the skills and concepts learned during classes. Thus, the UW practicum is highly encouraged for students wishing to get maximum benefit from the program.
Appropriate Practicum Placements
It is essential that students have an appropriate practicum placement. Students who are not currently working at an appropriate site will need to find a suitable practicum placement. We can often help students find a practicum placement, particularly in Washington State. If you are currently working in a setting that you would like to use as your practicum placement, the placement must be approved by the UW ABA faculty prior to the beginning of the school year. Students are both allowed and encouraged to have multiple practicum sites during their practicum.
An appropriate practicum site must serve individuals with disabilities and must be able to provide the following for the UW ABA student:
- 25 hours/week of work, of which no more than 12 hours is spent implementing behavioral programs directly with clients. The remainder of the hours provided by the practicum site should be spent in indirect activities, such as assessment, data collection, program writing, and coaching others.
- A limit of practicum hours to no more than 30 hours/week (on campus students only)
- Supervision by an onsite BCBA at least once every two weeks, unless approved by ABA Program faculty
- The opportunity to work with multiple students/clients over the course of the practicum
- The ability to video record work and share weekly recordings with UW supervisor
- The opportunity to work 1:1 with students on a weekly basis
- The ability for UW supervisor to conduct live observations (local students only)
In order to meet the competencies of the UW ABA Practicum, students will also need the following opportunities:
- The opportunity to assess students/clients
- The opportunity to observe students/clients
- The opportunity to use a variety of behaviorally based strategies to teach students/clients
- The opportunity to collect data and use data-based decision making in teaching students/clients.
- The opportunity to coach/teach others on behavioral strategies
Students will need to get a form signed by their supervisor or principal agreeing to these conditions.