Wayne State University

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) Preparation Program

Wayne State University is offering a three-course elective sequence with associated practicum experience and seminar that trains practitioners extensively in Applied Behavior Analysis with a focus on treating Autism.  This training is currently under review by the WSU Provost's office and the Board of Governors.  If approved, students will be awarded an Undergraduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis upon satisfactory completion of the courses and practica.  Our course sequence is also under review for approval by the Behavior Analytic Certification Board (BACB). Students who successfully complete the courses are eligible to sit for the BCaBA examination, which, upon passing, would lead to the BCaBA credential.  Recent Michigan legislation mandates insurance companies to cover therapeutic services for autistic persons by BCBA credentialed treatment providers.  In January 2016, the state of Michigan announced reimbursement for the ABA Medicaid benefit by BCaBA certified individuals who are under the supervision of a BCBA as a way to build capacity for behavior analysis services in the state of Michigan.

Students enter the program as a cohort.  The cohort model includes a combination of supported and independent learning through classroom based and practiced-based hands-on learning.  Cohort-mates work collaboratively throughout their training.  Thus, all classes in the BCaBA course sequence are live, classroom-based courses.  Online and hybrid classes are not available for the courses in this sequence.  Although some students find the online and hybrid courses convenient, the interactive learning environment and the hands-on learning activities offered in the BCaBA course sequence classes at Wayne State University will help students take their learning experiences into the workplace for a more seamless crossover between classroom and field placement activities.  This instills a sense of professional community not only during the program, but as students move into the field as practitioners.  Our program emphasizes the importance of intensive learning while in the program as well as the need for collaborative lifelong learning.   

There are two options for the field/practicum experience that is also required for students seeking to sit for the BCaBA exam:  Option (a) involves 500 hours of time, which amounts to about 170 hours per each of the three program semesters.  This is considered an accelerated practicum and is conducted at the University Pediatrician's Autism Center in Novi, Detroit, or Clinton Township.  WSU is applying for this option and plans to have approval prior to students beginning their coursework.  Students will complete associated tasks and practicum activities by being immersed into a center-based practicum site and assigned a direct center-based supervisor.  Students will receive increased supervision and supervisors will have met a minimum criterion of performance based on site reviews conducted by WSU faculty and staff. Option (b) involves 1000 hours of time at a location to be secured by the student to be completed at a rate of approximately 335 hours per each of the three program semesters.  This option is typically chosen by those who are already working in the field and have a natural setting to conduct the required activities.  Students seeking this option must have secured a BCBA supervisor before hours can begin.  Applicants will be asked which option they plan to select at the time of application. Regardless of whether you are selecting the accelerated or the independent field experience hours practicum, all students will enroll in a total of 6 credits of field/practicum experience, which includes weekly seminar meetings, across each of the final three courses of the sequence (after the initial two courses)—2 field experience seminar credit hours per each of the three practicum courses.  These weekly seminar meetings are a critical component to practicum experiences for students in both options.