Training in Applied Behavioral Analysis as a Registered Behavior Technician
This program offers formal classroom and practical training and an opportunity to be awarded a Certificate as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) as authorized by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the principles of learning and motivation from Behavior Analysis, and the procedures and technology derived from those principles, to the solution of problems of social significance. Participants may also qualify for a Certificate of Completion from Crotched Mountain. It includes a wide selection of formal classes offered on-site, as well as online training courses, each with multiple lessons. The curriculum’s focus is on ‘best practices’ in the design and implementation of individualized programs for young people and adults with specialized needs. The formal classes and online courses prepare participants for on-site instruction and the practice of specific RBT competencies in a Residential School setting. The program, as offered at Crotched Mountain, includes observation of multiple disciplines that relate to educational services for people with special needs. Participants must successfully test out on all on-site classes and all online lessons and remain in good standing for the program duration in order to qualify for the certificates.
Crotched Mountain – For over 60 years Crotched Mountain has been serving people with disabilities throughout the northeast USA. Crotched Mountain’s 1,400 acre campus in Greenfield, NH is host to dozens of different residential, educational, clinical and other related programs for people of all ages and serves multiple challenges that span cognitive, emotional as well as physical parameters. Crotched Mountain has satellite programs providing various types of residential services, early childhood autism clinics and case management services to a range of communities.
Crotched Mountain Residential School serves a unique and critically involved population. The range of diagnoses, some of which are quite rare, and the corresponding range of programs and services available are unlikely to be found anywhere else in the world. Students of all ages, live both on our Greenfield campus and in local residential units. The residential program includes ranch style group homes, more independent apartments, as well as foster and life-sharing arrangements and other alternative settings for specific individuals. Crotched Mountain School provides K-12 educational services for approximately 100 children, most of whom have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. The practice of Applied Behavioral Analysis, among numerous other clinical and specialty programs, form an integral part of Crotched Mountain School. These include, among others, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, Psychology, Therapeutic Recreational Therapy, Assistive Technology, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dysphasia Programs, Vocational Services, Assistive Technology Services, Alternative Dance Program and even a Farm School Program. In recent years, increases in the number of students with autism (now more than 50% of our student population) and a small but growing number of relatively young students (ages 1 to 6) has benefited from our expansion of Applied Behavioral Analysis services. Our teams now include members with ABA certifications and Registered Behavioral Technicians.
Facilities supporting all the above include over 35 buildings on spacious grounds. These include a pool complex that has an (almost) Olympic sized pool and the only therapy pool in New England. These also include a vocational skill training center, baseball field, running track, an iso-kinetics center, indoor bowling alley, hiking trails and beachfront facilities and they are all fully accessible. These and many more features enhance our programs and services.
Throughout its existence Crotched Mountain has attracted people from throughout the US and the world who are drawn to the unique opportunity for learning. This uniqueness results from the very large and very diverse populations we serve, by the extensive resources used to provide an unusually wide range of programs and services and by the standards of excellence in those services. Crotched Mountain has hosted hundreds of training program participants from over 35 countries.
Certificate as a Registered Behavior Technician:
Program participants will be enrolled in a training program, successful completion of which will lead to becoming a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Crotched Mountain utilizes the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) Competency Assessment as the basis for the key eligibility and renewal requirements for the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential. The RBT credential requires applicants to meet minimum age and education standards, obtain 40 hours of acceptable training, successfully complete a competency assessment, and a criminal background check.
- Age and Education: RBT applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have demonstrated completion of high school or equivalent/higher at the time of application. Applicant from a country that does not offer a high school diploma equivalent must demonstrate that they have remained in full-time education for the duration required in their country.
- Training Requirement: The 40-hour RBT training is conducted by Crotched Mountain’s BACB certificants. The RBT Task List serves as the curriculum for the training required for all candidates for the RBT credential. The RBT Training must cover: the entire RBT Task List; the ethics requirementsthat have been designated as being relevant for behavior technicians; and a brief overview of the BCBA and BCaBA credentials, and how they relate to the role of the RBT. The cumulative duration of instruction time must be at least 40 hours and must be completed within a 180-day period. The 40 hours of instruction may be as a single course or comprised of briefer units. It may be didactic (e.g., lecture-based) or experiential (e.g., role-playing) in format. The delivery mechanism may be in person or online.
- The RBT Competency Assessment: The RBT Competency Assessment is the basis for the key eligibility and renewal requirements for the RBT credential. This assessment is also administered by Crotched Mountain’s BACB certificants following program participant’s completion of the 40-hour training requirement. The assessment involves direct-observation competencies based on tasks found on the RBT Task List. The assessment is complete when the behavior technician demonstrates competency in each task as determined by the assessor.
- Criminal Background Registry Check: To the extent permitted by law, a criminal background check and abuse registry check shall be conducted on each RBT applicant no more than 180 days prior to submitting an application.
Exam: Applicants must take and pass an RBT exam.
Participant Qualifications – The program is specifically designed for participants interested in pursuing a career relating to rehabilitation services for persons with special needs. All applicants must be at least eighteen years old. Program applicants furnish documents that permit Crotched Mountain to review their Criminal Record Histories, both in their home countries and in the USA. Applicants also furnish three letters of reference from faculty members or employers, a letter of intent and a completed Application Form. During our involved selection process, applicants must demonstrate a high level of academic performance and a proven interest in pursuing a career with persons with special needs.
Participant Selection – The pool of eligible candidates is first short-listed to those who are most in need of such training for their future academic and/or career paths. Remaining candidates are interviewed by at least two program managers using video-conferencing, though some may also be interviewed in-person if circumstances permit. Final selection considers, among other things, academic standing to date, and proven ability to learn from experiences away from home as well as a proven interest in expanding opportunities to learn beyond the norm.
TRAINING FORMATS & SCHEDULES
On-site classes (Pre-orientation and Orientation) – Formal On-Site classes begin upon arrival with seven days of Pre-Orientation & Orientation Classes.
Other On-site classes – Crotched Mountain offers a calendar of training events, lecture, presentations, course refreshers, etc, most of which are open to all participants at no cost. As participants become familiar with the calendar of classes on offer they may reduce observation hours in the special needs classroom and balance the reduction in hours by attending on-site classes of their choosing.
Online RBT course – The Applied Behavioral Analysis curriculum will require participants to successfully complete related courses online. Participants usually receive online log-in information prior to arrival and they may determine their own schedule for progression through the online portion of this training. The provision of a computer area in the participant’s own housing area, as well as the provision of wireless internet access throughout all rooms, facilitates participant’s access to these online courses. An average of one-two hours online per week is anticipated. Program trainers will meet with the participant group at least once a month to review progress through the courses and the related practical competencies.
Practical Competencies in Residential School Services – Participants are assigned to residential and classroom units in which they spend 29 hours each week learning from practical competencies related to the material in the ABA certificate program curriculum. The competencies are divided into ‘Work Experience’ competencies that the participant first observes and then practices, and ‘Related Instructional’ competencies which the participant learns through observation and one-to-one instruction by program staff. The participant may document the completion of each competencies and present to supervisor for his/her initials to confirm its completion. Participants in a six-month program (approx. 22 weeks training) should complete a minimum of 50 competencies, while those in a 12-month program (approx. 44 weeks training) should complete a minimum of 120 competencies. Supervisor may occasionally assign participant to another residence or classroom where there is an opportunity to learn a particular competency. Schedule will be one of the following formats:
Monday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (School)
Monday through Friday: 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m (Residential)
Occasionally a schedule may have additional hours to accommodate community based trips, team meetings, etc. No formal classes, online courses or observation requirements may be completed during the practical training schedule.
Observations in other Residential, Educational, Clinical, or Specialty Areas – The purpose of the observation time is to provide participants with a means to ‘round-out’ their training with personalized experiences tailored to the needs of the individual. Upon arrival participants are assigned to a special needs classroom at Crotched Mountain School where they will observe pursuant to a schedule determined by the classroom teacher. Whenever possible, the classroom assigned will have one or more students from the assigned residence to provide enhanced opportunities for observing direct supports to those students. After a minimum of two weeks adherence to the observation schedule, the participant may request opportunities to observe in other clinical or specialty programs and/or may request opportunities to attend the other on-site classes mentioned above. If the classroom teacher approves requests for alternative observations and/or classes then it is expected that the participant will reduce the number of observation hours in the classroom accordingly. Occasionally, a participant may be offered observation hours in an area that more closely matches their chosen career path.
Location and Duration of Specific Training Activities – The format outlined below provides a general view of anticipated locations and durations for specific training activities. However, it must be noted that these will vary somewhat depending upon the actual residence and the population residing there.
Location: Primary Program Area (Residential or School) Duration: 30 mins per day (except weekends)
Communication with the secondary program staff regarding ‘Before-Program’, ‘During Program’, activities in that program settings and gathering pertinent information relating to the student’s day. Assisting staff as they accompany students to new program setting.
Location: Secondary Program Area (Residential or School) Duration: 37.5 hours per week
Observing and assisting program staff with day-to-day activities in all areas of learning and development. These activities will take place throughout Crotched Mountain’s various settings and may also include activities in the local region. The following list of activities are all components of this placement time in Educational Program Areas;
Assigned Classroom Activities Duration: Up to 29 hours per week
Observing and assisting staff with day-to-day activities in all areas of direct support to students.
Community-Based Trip Duration: Up to 3 times per week (varies by classroom)
Observing and assisting res/school staff with provision of community integration activities.
Classroom Meetings Duration: One time every two weeks, two hour duration
Attendance and participation in classroom meetings is encouraged to gain an overview of the issues within the School settings relating to the students. This is held during school program hours to allow for all staff participation.
All Dept. Meeting Duration: One time per quarter
Attendance and participation in the All Department Meetings is encouraged to gain knowledge of future
endeavors, update on past events and discussion of present developments.
School Vacation Periods – Crotched Mountain closes several programs for five to ten day periods for approximately 35 days of each calendar year. During each school vacation period program participants are released from training and there are usually three to four weeks of such vacation during the timeframe of each training plan. The School Vacation calendar is published on the Crotched Mountain website. The minimum duration of actual training covered by this training plan is 22 weeks and the maximum is 52 weeks.
Cultural Exchange – Each training placement includes time off during the program for participants to travel. The experience is enhanced by participants researching and planning their trips and discussing it with staff and friends at Crotched Mountain as well as sharing their experiences upon their return to CM.
Participants may choose among the examples of possible community service activities such as assisting at the local food bank, presentations to local community groups and schools, assisting at local summer and fall festivals, attending local and/or on-site events such as Boy Scout and Girl Scout meetings, Visiting Artists programs and participation in local church group activities. Participants are notified of invitations to participate in sporting, community and performing arts events through the CM intranet and email.
Participants share the their home culture through formal and semi-formal discussions and other activities within the placement settings with other staff, clients and US University and High school students who volunteer or intern.
Restrictions on Training Activities
- Participants will not be used for placements that would otherwise be filled by either full-time or part-time employees.
- Placements within departments will be limited such that the participant’s learning experience will be acquired from Crotched Mountain employees and consultants rather that from other participants.
- Activities for all international participants will not include hands-on therapy, client counseling, the administration of treatment or the making any form of diagnosis.
- d) Participants will not be left totally unsupervised in the company of clients.
Crotched Mountain’s training programs have been repeatedly recognized as being of the highest standard and relevancy to program participants. Crotched Mountain has also received many testimonials from institutions that it has collaborated with and from individuals that have completed training program there. The training programs offered by Crotched Mountain are enhanced by their connection to the wide range of programs and services that Crotched Mountain provides to people with disabilities throughout the northeast USA.
The Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Competency Assessment outlines a series of required tasks that must be completed within a 180-day period utilizing training that is conducted by a BCBA or a BCaBA.
SUPERVISION AND ASSESSMENT
This training program will provide three levels of supervision:
Level One – Orientation and Other Formal Class Periods
This pertains to the first six days of orientation at the start of the placement and occasionally thereafter when the participant participates in formal classes or lectures. Each class or lecture is supervised by an instructor (a member of Crotched Mountain’s Continuing Education department or a contracted speaker). Many classes and inservices include testing and grading of performance level.
Level One – Daily Transition Periods
This pertains to the 30 minutes shift change period at the beginning of each shift on Monday through Friday. It generally involve activities such as bringing the resident from the school to the residence. During these periods the residential staff and classroom teachers will provide on going, day-to-day feedback regarding participant performance.
Level One – Classroom Program Periods
This pertains to the main section of each placement day when Residential/School personnel (and participants) provide services within the classroom setting. During these periods the classroom teacher will provide immediate supervision and feedback directly to the participant. Other program staff are also encouraged to provide direct feedback. The classroom teacher will meet with the participant at least one-time/week for a minimum of 30 minutes to review program events and participant performance. An ABA supervisor will meet with the participant at least one-time/month for a minimum of 30 minutes to review program events and participant performance. The classroom teacher and ‘Intern & Volunteer Services’ (IVS) staff will collaborate in the generation of a final evaluation for the participant. The evaluation will offer the participant a rating on ten performance characteristics.
Level Two – Educational Program Director or designee
This person will have interviewed and accepted the participant to the program and is responsible for selecting a program (classroom) that will provide learning opportunities shared during the selection process and in accordance with this training plan. This person will also be available during the internship on an “as-needed” basis.
Level Three – Intern and Volunteer Services (IVS) Staff
IVS staff provide informal supervision during day-to-day interactions with the participant and from IVS’s role as central liaison for all organizational activities relating to the training. IVS staff also conduct formal ‘Touch-Base’ meetings between each participant and the immediate level one supervising ‘House Manager’. In addition, IVS staff will provide input to the participant’s written performance evaluation.