Forest's ABA Practicum Approved by BACB®

In early March the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® approved Forest Institute's practicum experiences in Springfield and St. Louis, making it one of only two in the state of Missouri to offer the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® course sequences, as well as the intensive university practicum experience.

"Students can get all of the required coursework, as well as all of their supervised experience hours needed to sit for the BCBA® or BCaBA® certification exam," said program director Dr. Michele Williams.  "This means students have the opportunity to get everything they need in one place."

Intensive university practicum requires 750 hours total to sit for the BCBA® exam, as opposed to the other levels of supervised experience which require 1,000 or 1,500 hours of supervision.

"Intensive university practicum is the most efficient way of earning the supervised experience hours required by the BACB® to sit for the exams," said Dr. Williams.  Read about the different kinds of experiences that are eligible for consideration to sit for an exam.

Current practicum in St. Louis will be provided by the Special School District of St. Louis County.  At the Special School District, practicum students will be working with children with a variety of developmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorders.

In Springfield practicum will be provided by Arc of the Ozarks.  Students in this practicum experience will work with adults with dual diagnoses, which means they have developmental disabilities in addition to other psychiatric conditions.  Students will assist these clients with their independent living skills.

"Applied behavior analysis is useful for a variety of age ranges and levels of functioning," said Williams.  "This gives students a change to use their skills within these different populations."

The goal of the program is to offer at least three distinct practicum experiences in both locations so that students develop the ability to use ABA with different populations and target behaviors.

Upcoming practicum sites include the Robert J. Murney Clinic in Springfield, and another experience with adults with dual diagnosis in St. Louis.