Journey to becoming a BCBA…

This week I completed the two year course sequence that is required to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). It was 10- 7 week courses. They were intense. Now I can say I officially completed Masters number 2! The course work is only step 1 though. I also need to complete several practicum hours that can take up to 18 months to complete (I get to use my current job to do this) and then step 3 will be sitting for the big BCBA exam. So yes, I am done with the courses but the journey is still not complete.

As part of my culminating paper, I had to sum up what I learned and how I would use it in any future career choices. I had to laugh at the “future” part. Some co-workers have even asked me lately what I plan on doing once I finish this process. Honestly? Likely nothing. I think the way I summed up my culminating paper explains it best…

“I would like to close out by explaining why I chose to complete the Masters of Special Education program in Applied Behavior Analysis. For many years, it has been my dream to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Almost 15 years ago I completed the coursework that was required at that time to become a BCBA but life happened and I never completed the practicum nor sat for the test. Fast forward to now, I’ve been in the field of teaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities for 20 years and I also have my own daughter who is significantly impacted by ASD. My daughter has had BCBA’s that have helped her and our family in ways I will forever be grateful for. They have not only had an amazing impact on my daughter’s progress but they have impacted me. I am 46 years old and in no means ready for a big job change. What I am ready for is to make sure I can continue being the best special education teacher and special education mother. I am ready to finally reach my dream. My passion for the field of behavior analysis has grown both because of my years as an educator and my personal experiences as a mom of a daughter with autism. As a result of this, I have a love and desire to help other families like the way other BCBAs have helped mine.”

It feels so good to be done with the first step. It took a lot of time and work. It took extra patience from my family. It took a lot of cheering on from my friends and family. I can’t thank you all enough! Here’s to the next 12-18 months as I complete steps 2 and 3!

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