ABA Practicum Student Information

A large portion of practicum track sequence for both the Applied Behavior Analysis & Autism M.S. program consists of the four practica that must be completed to meet the clinical practicum criteria set forth by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB).

We highly recommend that each practicum track applicant have an approved agency willing to host the them for their practica prior to acceptance into the program.

Applicants are highly encouraged to either work or volunteer at an agency that meets the practicum placement requirements set forth by the BACB prior to acceptance. The applicant must have an agency that meets the BACB requirements willing to host them to remain in the practicum track program. The administrators of the agency where the applicant works must fully understand what practicum supervision at the agency entails. The applicant is also encouraged to find a BCBA to supervise their practicum prior to acceptance.

Sage will provide advice to students attempting to locate a practicum placement and BCBA supervisor, but we cannot guarantee placement in remote locations or at local agencies who will not agree to host students. This is why it is important to either work in an appropriate setting or begin looking for an appropriate agency to host you prior to application into the program. In the event that there are no BCBAs within a reasonable distance of your location, Sage will attempt to share options of a BCBA willing to provide distance supervision via web cameras.



Practicum Topics

ABA-510 (Clinical Practicum in ABA I)

This semester concentrates on measurement and data display competencies.  Students will watch videos in class each week, and take data in some form, or make decisions about definitions, dimensions, etc.  Each week they will also need to do the same assignment using REAL students/clients in their practicum settings. NO VIDEOS of those children/students will be necessary to post (but if they have proper consents, we would love to see videos).

Week 1:  APA style and graphing in Excel
Week 2:
Dimensions of behavior and defining behaviors
Week 3: Using frequency count data and graphing equal-interval and cumulative data
Week 4: Rate data
Week 5:
  Duration data
Week 6: Latency data
Week 7: Inter-response time (IRT)
Week 8: Percentage of occurrence data
Week 9: Trials to criterion
Week 10: Interval data
Week 11: Time sampling
Week 12: Assessing measurement systems
Week 13: Continuous vs. discontinuous measurement
Week 14:
  Thinking globally about the importance of measurement and science in clinical work
Week 15: Practice using principles learned throughout the course

ABA-511 (Clinical Practicum in ABA II)

This semester concentrates on behavioral assessment.  Student complete four major projects:

1. Collect various forms of data and write a descriptive functional assessment of behavior.
2. Design an analogue functional analysis and generate hypothetical data.
3. Develop a behavior support plan based upon all data collected.
4. Audio/visual presentation to class, summarizing the collected and hypothesized data and behavior support plan.

Week 1: Differences between descriptive and functional analysis
Week 2: Descriptive analysis: surveys, interviews and ABC data
Week 3: Contingency space analysis
Week 4: Interpretation of collected data for descriptive functional analysis
Week 5: Submission of functional assessment project
Week 6: Functional analysis design
Week 7: Types of attention that may maintain behavior
Week 8: Antecedent analysis
Week 9: Developing a behavior support plan based on functional assessment and analysis
Week 10: Staff and parent training of functional analysis methodology
Week 11: The family role in assessment and intervention
Week 12: Application of functional assessment techniques to varied populations
Week 13: Applying functional analysis technology to unusual behavior

ABA-512 (Clinical Practicum in ABA III)

This semester focuses on behavior change procedures.  Students will be presented with a choice of tasks in each of 6 areas.  They should choose one client to work with for the semester, and select the most appropriate of each of the tasks for their client.

Week 1: Focus on identifying a student at practicum site to work with.
Weeks 2 & 3: Reinforcement strategies.
Weeks 4 & 5: Behavior reduction strategies.
Weeks 6 & 7: Antecedent behavior management strategies.
Weeks 8 & 9: Teaching new skills.
Weeks 10 & 11: Structured teaching programs.
Weeks 12 & 13: Generalization and maintenance.

ABA-513 (Clinical Practicum in ABA IV)

This semester focuses on intake, assessment, and behavior support plan development from beginning to end.  Students are expected to identify one client and to conduct several projects over the course of the semester, starting with initial intake and assessment, and moving through goal selection, staff training, and plan implementation.

Week 1: Using appropriate assessments for your client
Week 2: Unintentional reinforcement contingencies
Week 3: Situations where behavior plans were poorly planned and made the behavior worse and Initial intake/behavioral evaluation is due
Week 4: Goal selection
Week 5: Addressing physical or other disabilities in addition to ASD and Recommendations project is due
Week 6: Creating realistic goals and expectations and specific goals for behavior to strengthen and weaken
Week 7: Ways to ensure that procedures are being used correctly
Week 8: How to ethically and professionally advocate for effective behavioral treatment for our students and create plans to support behavior goals
Week 9: Family and staff training and initiate family and/or staff training specific to plans
Week 10: Considering the need for flexibility in the behavioral repertoire of the programmer and initiate plans and interventions to support behavior goals
Week 11: Issues with generalization and maintenance
Week 12: Program evaluation and data analysis