Students interested in a career in behavior analysis should be aware of the two primary credentials that are often needed: board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) and licensed behavior analyst (LBA, sometimes called a licensed applied behavior analyst or LABA).
The BCBA credential is an internationally recognized professional credential focused on discipline-specific professional standards. The LBA credential is a state-established credential related to specific state regulations on the practice of behavior analysis. The requirements for each state's LBA credential vary.
Some states require the BCBA credential to obtain the LBA credential, while others list the BCBA credential as one possible option for obtaining the LBA. For example, the state of Rhode Island permits two possible options for obtaining the LBA credential. The first is having a BCBA credential, but it is also possible to obtain the LBA credential by becoming a licensed psychologist and completing behavior analytic coursework and 1,500 hours of behavior analytic services. Students interested in other state licenses should review that desired state's criteria or contact Dr. Cody Morris.
Because obtaining a BCBA credential is often the most efficient way of acquiring licensure in any state and is often recognized by insurance companies in states without licensure, Salve Regina's behavior analysis program is designed to help students meet the criteria for the BCBA credential.
There are many available pathways for obtaining the BCBA credential. Salve Regina's program meets the criteria for the second pathway, which requires four criteria:
- Degree: A graduate-level degree from a qualifying institution.
- Coursework: A required course sequence focused on specific behavior analytic content. The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified that Salve Regina's required courses count toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the board certified behavior analyst or board certified assistant behavior analyst examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.
- Supervised fieldwork: A specified number of supervised fieldwork hours are required. Salve Regina's program offers multiple practicum opportunities for students in need of supervised hours and will work with students who already have an arrangement for supervision.
- BCBA exam: The final step in obtaining a BCBA credential is to pass the certification exam. Salve Regina's coursework is designed to help students build strong foundations and fluency in critical behavior analytic content.