MA/MS From Med School to becoming a BCBA...please help

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by HelpMeFailedStep1, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. HelpMeFailedStep1

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    #1 HelpMeFailedStep1, Jan 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    If you get a clinical degree from an online program like Capella, it will most likely hurt your chances for a job.
     
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  4. singasongofjoy

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    What's keeping you from applying to and attending one of the programs that do require you to be on campus? You will most certainly get the better training- and better job prospects- at such a program. A greater up-front investment for a better long-term payoff.
     
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  5. ClinicalABA

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    Unfortunately, demand for BCBAs in some areas of the country is so greate that a Capella degree may not have the same level of stigma for a BCBA as is does for other applied clinical fields. It will, however, still have some stigma and could get in the way down the line (I, for one, wouldn't hire you with a degree from there unless you did your fieldwork at a nationally recognized program with a known supervisor).

    Many BACB approved "bricks and mortar" or hybrid ABA course sequences are designed for those with day-jobs, with classes taking place on weeknights and evenings. In the programs I've taught in/currently teach in, almost all students have a full-time job in the field, and are receiving there supervised fieldwork in the coures of their (typically paid) employment. You should be able to find such a program reasonably close by (many students in my classes commuted to school from an hour or more away to attend class from 6-9:30pm, after working all day. These will be the people you are competing for for BCBA positions, so you can imagine that any impression that you chose a lesser training program for convenience sake will not make a great impression.

    Many behavioral services agencies have paired up with training programs to offer their employees opprotunities for gradate training and career advancement. This benefits the employee (tution reimbursement; supervision build in to the job; classes at convenient times/locations) as well at the employer (predictably trained and experienced crop of difficult to recruit professionals; added job benefit to assist with hiring and retaining non-credentialled staff; opportunities for senior to staff appointment as adjunct faculty). Unless you are in an underserved and sparsely populated area, you should really try to find something better than Capella.

    There's a map of with all BCBA approved course sequences at VCS Directory. Unless you are in the middle-north of the continguous US, you are likely within an hour or two drive to an ABA training program.
     
    #4 ClinicalABA, Jan 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  6. HelpMeFailedStep1

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    I have a company that is willing to give me supervision hours while i take the masters at Capella.

    My friend just completed his masters from Capella and was offered a job at that company for 65K with benefits (25-30 hours a week)

    I just assumed that if you had years of experience under your belt that the university you attended wouldnt matter

    For example, not all online universities are frowned upon like FIT or Ball State online programs.

    I guess what I am getting at is many companies make YOU pay THEM for supervision hours, but this one seems more willing to accept applicants and give them a nice starting salary. I figured if I worked there for 3-5 years I could then move to a different state and work there.

    Another question I have is if I get a BCBA from any school, I will still be allowed to practice in all 50 states as long as i have a Masters of Psych/Education and was licensed in one state then it would be allowed to practice in other states.
     
  7. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    1) You’ ve assumed wrong.

    2) you’re not going to any of those schools, so that doesn’t really matter. Even if it did, do you think that a profession that relies upon human interactions would think these things are equal?

    3) Other have told you, but your state likely has a lack of bcba providers. That is not the case in other states. Many people here have openly stated they throw applications from online graduates in the trash.

    4) licensing is done at the state level. Being licensed in one state means nothing in the next.
     
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  8. HelpMeFailedStep1

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    #2 - if it is recommended that i attend an on campus Masters of Psych w/BCBA tract program then of course i will attend
    #3 - i did not know that they throw applications in the trash from online programs when Ball State and FIT are considered to be some of the top BCBA programs in America (i believe they both also offer on campus route as well)

    #4 as for licensing at the state level can you please provide me with some more info into the process that is required to be licensed. If I become a BCBA in order to get a license would I have to take a separate exam? For example if I was licensed in Florida working for a few years and decided to move to a state in the Midwest what would necessarily be required to get a licensure in that specific state

    I understand that my original posts may have seemed ignorant as I am trying to research and see if this field is a possibility for me moving forward. If you have any additional advice on the best possible path to take to become a BCBA that is able to find a job rather than scramblign due to any online degrees
     
  9. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    1) In general, when someone is trying to sell you something that seems easier than what everyone else does... it’s not a good idea. See ads for “get a 6 pack tomorrow”. You know this because you’ve looked into US vs. Carib medical schools.

    2) You’re really caught up on this ball state crap. YOU'RE NOT TRYING TO GO THERE. It’s immaterial and a false equivalence.

    3) You’re more than welcome to google “bcba licenses requirement+ state”.

    4) finally, you’re capable of doing a search on sdn and google. Come on. Do some work.
     
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  10. HelpMeFailedStep1

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    Where did i say that I AM NOT TRYING TO GO THERE as you mentioned. I just wrote that i am willing to attend any university that will give me the best job prospects moving forward? I am not enrolled in Capella so i am not exactly sure why you are telling me I wont go somewhere as if you know

    #3-4 - i have done research and from what i have read you only need a Masters in Psych / Education plus a BCBA licensure

    "
    The BCBA® recognizes three options for candidates applying for the certificate:
    • An acceptable graduate degree from an accredited university, including coursework in behavior analysis
    • A defined period of supervised practical experience
    • Passing the BCBA® exam "
    In nearly every state, even those that do not require the BCBA®, a master’s degree is the standard minimum qualification required to become a licensed applied behavior analyst. A doctoral degree or educational specialist degree will also serve."

    So in order to get a licensure one has to pass the BCBA exam and have a masters degree according to BACB website

    You make it seem like there are additional requirements in order to become a licensed BCBA but i have yet to find a state that requires you to obtain a doctoral degree in order to be licensed. So if there are additional requirements, what are they? Since I have used google.com and consistently found the identical info for most if not all states at a MINIMUM

    Each state fits into one of the following categories:
    - Licensure is available but BCBA is required
    - Licensure available but the BCBA is optional
    - states where there is no governing body or licensing requirement

    Since those are the main requirements for licensure what else do i need to Google? You make it seem like a Masters in Psych/Education and passing the BCBA board exam would NOT guarantee me licensure, tell me to Google it, and then there are no other requirements besides those listed above

    Out of all the programs out there, 20 on campus programs + 12-13 online only programs are ABAI (Association for Behavior Analysis International) accredited and surprise surprise Capella is one of them but again i said i am OPEN to do ANYTHING in order to make this career change.

    Your response is just Google it. Then why in the heck are you in this forum giving advice? They say SDN can be a toxic place and you sir/mam seem to fit that description perfectly!

    But I appreciate your crass and sarcastic comment! A Psychologist and 10 year member of SDN and this is how you respond to someone interested in the field? You seem like an awesome person would love to get coffee with you sometime!
     
    #9 HelpMeFailedStep1, Jan 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  11. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    I am trying to prevent you from making a mistake that runs into the tens of thousands of dollars, and am encouraging you to search like the choice is worth that much.

    Do whatever you want.
     
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  12. HelpMeFailedStep1

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    You are not trying to help at all. You are condescending and have a terrible attitude. You tell me to google and search SDN when there are only 4 pages of threads about BCBA on the website. And the funny thing is you have replied to others in need of advice and have used the same condescending rude tone as well.

    I explained in 3 posts that I RESEARCHED CAPELLA, didnt understand that online programs have that kind of stigma since MANY of those online programs ALSO are considered to be some of the best on campus programs in the US for this field, then when i tell you i am willing to do whatever it takes including attending ANY university that will give me the best chance you tell me to google.

    Where are your comments about me googling licensure requirements huh? I showed you exactly what literature is available online in regards to this yet you are making it seem there are more hoops to jump thru to obtain licensure. Then again you proceed to tell me to google it.

    I will google thanks for the sage advice! I hope you dont treat your patients the way you treat someone interested in pursuing a career in the psychology field.
     
  13. ClinicalABA

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    There’s some potentially misleading and not-technically-correct info being conveyed above (and, IMHO, being done so in an overly harsh, non-constructive way, but whatever!). Here’s some clarification-

    -The BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analysis) credential is issued by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). It’s a masters level credential Though a doctoral level credential- the BCBA-D- is available, it’s not really associated with a higher level of clinical privilege or reimbursement. The BACB is a private credentialing agency and requirements for the credential or identical regardless of where you live.

    -ABA licensure at the state level is relatively new. Not all states require licensure. Not all states that require licensure require the BCBA. State licensure requirements may differ from BCBA requirements. For example, in my state ABA licensure Requirements went into affect in July 2016. There was a grandfathering period where holding a BCBA credential was necessary and sufficient for obtaining state licensure. Following this grandfathering period the requirements for licensure will be stricter than those for BCBA.

    - many states- including mine- have multiple exemptions allowing the practice of ABA without a license. For example, in my state of Massachusetts, no license is required if you are providing ABA services as part of a child’s individualized education plan (IEP). It’s all relatively new and can be very confusing when moving between states. Information regarding different state requirements can be difficult to find and online sources other than state licensure board websites are notoriously out of date or innaccurate.

    -There is not the same stigma with online ABA training programs that you would find with online clinical psychology programs. The BACB will approve course sequences in pure online, hybrid, and in person training programs. While I think that in general there is a view that bricks and mortar training is best, online training does not limit career options to even close to the same extent as with online clinical psych training. That said, it’s always best to go for the best. Capella has a bad reputation around these parts, and you should assume that it’s the same elsewhere. Admission standards are lax at best (E.g., no GRE requirement). Other online programs may have better reputations. There is no guarantee that online program share faculty with ABA brick and mortar programs at the same institution.

    - my observation is that credentialing standards are getting stricter as the field matures and becomes more dominated by insurance reimbursed services. While and online degree from Capella may work now, it’s a bare minimum level of training with a generally bad reputation. This could cause problems should you wish to move and or practice elsewhere in the future.I do not have to consider applicants from Capella, and us I wouldn’t. As you have seen with your family friend that opinion is less than a universal.

    -There is a huge need for behavior analysts, and this has resulted in relatively good compensation. As I’ve mentioned before, the need in many areas is desperate. It’s a good, stable career option.

    TLDR- A behavior analysis degree from Capella is not nearly the same level of career barrier as it would be in clinical psych. However, there’s still some stigma (you won’t be working for me), and you won’t get the same level of training you’d get in a bricks and mortar or -to a lesser extent- hybrid program. You can likely find a better program for the same amount of effort and potentially less money.The kiddos and families I work with deserve the most competent clinician available. There’s a good enough chance that that clinician wasn’t trained through Capella that I wouldn’t take the risk.
     
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  14. Feelings Doctor

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    NOTE: I'm not a master's-only BCBA but am snagging my BCBA along the way to earning my Ph.D. (next is just my board exam), so take my perspective with a grain of salt. For anyone wondering WHY I would care about getting a BCBA certification: In some work settings (i.e., schools) and with some clients even a Clinical Psych Ph.D., which comes with WAY more extensive behaviorist training than a typical master's level BCBA, does not grant you much credibility as a practicing behaviorist until you have those other four letters. From a consumer standpoint, people are looking for BCBAs because it's the only thing they associate with certified behaviorist training, and they don't understand that any master's level rando could go get an online certificate, rack up some hours, and take the exam to get the BCBA. Even though it's been annoying to add on extra courses/hours to get my BCBA along the way, I just want one less thing to stand in the way of my credibility and self-marketing...

    Yes to everything @ClinicalABA has said. However, don't discount the fact that your employer will pay for you to achieve your needed Master's, just look at other options. Capella has a particularly bad reputation with several professions/regions. However, there are plenty of brick-and-mortar university ABA programs that have BACB-approved course sequences and a hybrid of in-person and online courses, or sometimes even online only! This is a good place to start to look for places with BACB-approved coursework: VCS Directory

    In what setting do you currently work (school, medical, private clinic)? As others have said, depending on the setting and region, BCBAs are in high demand and you may not have as much difficulty getting a job in the end.

    ABA is very APPLIED work ;) hence the name, so while basic behaviorism/progress monitoring/intervention understanding from coursework is important, the most important part of training to become an effective BCBA is the actual hands-on supervision and training. The reality is, even if you're in a Ph.D. program, unless your faculty are also BCBA, you are likely receiving BACB-approved supervision from a BCBA employed at a practicum site anyway, so the quality of your hands-on training comes down to who your supervisor would be. So in addition to finding a coursework program that fits your current needs (online only?) that also has a "good enough" reputation (prioritize brick-and-mortar public universities/state schools), I'd pay close attention to the kind of hands-on training and supervision you're going to get, who your supervisor is, where their training is from, etc.

    As far as getting the education requirements out of the way, your best bang-for-your-buck would probably be finding a brick-and-mortar known school that also has a hybrid and/or online BACB-approved coursework program, that can tie in the master's degree needed (because some are ABA coursework certificate only and don't come with a degree). Then once you get the required number of supervision hours (check BACB's supervision experience requirements, they are meticulous), apply with BACB to be eligible to take the BCBA board exam.

    As for your previous stint in med school, IMO most employers will not care too much and will not ask for your transcripts. The competition for behavior master's programs is also likely not enough to have this bridge burned for you, either. Scout out the potential employers and who they have as their behavior interventionists - what kind of training do they seem to have? My experience has been that people's training is all over the map and high SES parents will pay top dollar for mediocre behaviorist work because...BCBA.
     
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  15. Feelings Doctor

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    P.S. If you're working in a school Special Ed setting, your work is likely not limited to the autism population and you'll actually be working a lot more on supporting kiddos with ODD-like symptoms and/or cognitively low-functioning kiddos. I think your RBT work will really give you a taste for the work and you'll figure out if you enjoy it! :) Good luck!
     
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