Students in the master's of education program are required to take two 150-hour practica, each for three academic credits as ABA 9387 – Practica in ABA. The requirements for the practica are described in more detail in the syllabus for the practicum semester.
The acceptable sites for practica are those that are engaged in applied behavior analytic practices or research and which can provide ongoing supervision to applied behavior analysis students.
Practica Guidelines and Requirements
- All students in the master’s Applied Behavior Analysis program are required to do two, three credit hour practica at sites that are thoroughly engaged in basic or applied behavior analysis research or practices. See the practicum syllabus for the semester enrolled for specific details of assignments and requirements.
- Each practicum should provide a unique experience for the student. Therefore, students will not, except under unusual circumstances, be permitted to do a practicum at a site in which they are employed. Students who wish to apply for an exception to complete a practicum at their employer must complete the Petition for Practicum Placement Exception [docx]. The completed form should be submitted to the student’s adviser. Only under very limited circumstances will students be permitted to complete a practicum with their employer.
- The student’s advisor must approve the practicum site and activities.
- Each student will have a supervisor at the practicum site.
- There will be required written products for each practicum. This can include, but is not limited to, a diary of experiences; a study in publication form; a literature review on a relevant topic, etc. It is not permissible to use a report submitted as a requirement for another course as the practicum report. Also, while the practicum may provide the basis for developing the student’s final thesis, that thesis must be distinct from work done for the practicum. Also, each student must present an updated resume that includes a description of the practica experiences and achievements. All requirements and details are described in the syllabus for the practicum course and will be made available when the student registers for practicum credits.
- Each practicum must involve a minimum of 150 contact hours per semester (minimum of 10 hours per week). There should be at least one hour of supervision each week (roughly for every 10 hours of practicum and no less than 7.5% of hours).
- The terms of the practicum will be spelled out in a contract between the student, site supervisor, and the advisor. The syllabus will outline the contract guidelines.
- Finally, the site supervisor will be requested to complete an online student evaluation form. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the practicum adviser completes this form before the end of the regular class session during the semester. The final grade will be determined by the student’s advisor, taking into consideration the site supervisor’s recommendation and the student’s written product (see #4 above).
Practica and BCBA Board Certification
Students are not required to complete their practica under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA); however, if you are interested in pursuing the BCBA credential, you are encouraged to seek a practicum placement where work is accomplished under the supervision of a BCBA.
All students intending to accrue BACB supervision hours would need to fulfill all requirements by the BACB (e.g., online supervision training, contract, etc.).
Completing Practica at Your Workplace
The goal of the practica is to broaden student’s range of competencies. Students are expected to complete their practica in settings other than those in which they are presently employed. Students petitioning for an exception should first consult their advisor to provide a rationale for the exception and then provide a plan to ensure that the practica experiences will be distinguished from their compensated duties.
Students who wish to apply for an exception to complete a practicum at their employer must complete the Petition for Practicum Placement Exception [docx]. The completed form should be submitted to the student’s advisor.
ABA Program Coordinator Contact Info
Jason Travers, associate professor, is the program coordinator for the Applied Behavior Analysis & Special Education Programs.