General Description of Practicum
In order to qualify for BCBA certification, students are required to complete a qualifying degree, qualifying coursework, qualifying practical experience, and pass the BCBA examination.
Students in the Masters of Applied Disability Studies (MADS) program (professional stream) and the Masters of Arts (MA) in Applied Disability Studies (academic stream) are in the process of completing a series of courses that will prepare them for certification with the Behaviour Analysis Certification Board (BACB). The practicum course is designed to provide students with qualifying practical experience, which may be counted toward their required supervised fieldwork hours. The primary goal of students during practicum is to acquire new behaviour-analytic skills related to the BACB Fourth Edition Task List. Activities must be consistent with the dimensions of applied behaviour analysis (ABA).
Within the practicum course, students will complete 150-hours of supervised practice in behavioural assessment and intervention with children, adolescents or adults with disabilities. As well, students will complete 24 hours of coursework related to ethics, jurisprudence, and professionalism issues. The details of this practicum are outlined in the ADST 5P74/5P76 course syllabus.
Letter of Agreement
This letter of agreement is intended to provide clarity for the student, Practicum BCBA Supervisor, Practicum Site Supervisor (if a different person than the Practicum BCBA Supervisor), and the Practicum Site Director (or designate) about the roles and responsibilities for each party during this practicum placement.
Practicum BCBA Supervisor:
A Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) OR Board Certified Behaviour Analyst -Doctoral Level (BCBA-D)who has completed the required 8-hour, competency-based training covering the BACB’s Supervisor Training Curriculum Outline. The Practicum BCBA Supervisor is responsible for supervising and monitoring the students’ practicum-related activities (i.e., assignments, supervision forms, etc) and provides the required supervisory contact during the supervision period.
Practicum Site Supervisor:
An onsite supervisor who is NOT the practicum student’s BCBA/BCBA-D supervisor. The Practicum Site Supervisor may provide clinical and/or administrative supervision and support to the student and should work in collaboration with the Practicum BCBA Supervisor.
(Please note: Many supervisors will be both the Practicum BCBA Supervisor and the Practicum Site Supervisor, i.e., the Supervisor is a BCBA and works onsite with the student. However, students who receive BCBA supervision from an external BCBA/BCBA-D will require a Practicum Site Supervisor, i.e., the BCBA supervisor does not work in the same agency or in the same department as the student, so the student has a supervisor at their practicum setting and an external BCBA supervisor.)
Practicum Site Director:
Agency or Program Director of the practicum site who has the authority to approve the practicum placement (e.g., Clinical Director, Program Director).
Agreement of Expectations of Practicum Students
Students are expected to work with a range of clients (at least three) during the 150 hours and to attend supervision meetings weekly or bi-weekly to discuss specific client cases, topics related to behavioural assessment and intervention, ethical and professional issues specific to this practicum site, and to update supervisors on their progress on practicum course assignments.
All students, including MADS students (part-time or full-time) and MA students, should gain practical experience working with a minimum of three clients. Work with these clients will involve interventions related to developing skills, including functional replacement skills for interfering behaviour, and behavioural interventions to reduce interfering behaviour (as outlined in the course syllabus). A mediator (someone who actually implements the behaviour change program, e.g., staff, teacher, parent) may also be the focus of the practicum assessment and intervention assignment (e.g., improving mediator skills). For students completing their practicum within their place of employment, clients may be drawn from their current caseload.