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Do I Really Need a BCBA Supervision Curriculum?

Updated: Mar 21

"If the student hasn't learned, the teacher hasn't taught" -Sigfried Englemann

What is a BCBA Supervision Curriculum?

In a general sense, a curriculum is a collection of topics, concepts, and learning activities within an educational program. When well designed, a curriculum should be carefully scoped and sequenced to meet specific goals and objectives. A BCBA supervision curriculum is a structured approach to addressing skills and competencies within ABA supervision. Some curricula are just sets of sequenced skills to address in supervision. Other curricula, like Sidekick Learning's BCBA Supervision Curriculum, are more comprehensive, carefully sequenced, and include lessons or resources for actually teaching the content, applying the skills, and measuring mastery. A curriculum can help BCBA supervisors to address critical competencies related to the 5th edition task list, to the ethical code, professional practice areas and "soft skills", and other key aspects of practice beyond the task list.

Why Use a BCBA Supervision Curriculum?

Time is short. And though 2000 hours can seem like a lot, they can go by quickly. Supervisors who have other job duties or a non-structured approach to supervision may find themselves approaching supervision sessions without preparation ahead of time, leading to less effective meetings and feedback. They may struggle to track what skills have been addressed and mastered.

At best, some important skills may not be addressed during supervision. At worst, the trainee may obtain all of their hours without the tools to be an effective clinician, causing potential harm to their clients and to their own future trainees. Trainees may feel undue stress or overwhelm during supervision, and that they don't have a clear direction. Supervisors may experience guilt or overwhelm at the extra job duties that come with supervision leading to burnout.

What are the Benefits of a BCBA Supervision Curriculum?

While an ABA fieldwork curriculum won't do all of the work for you, it can provide some major benefits that lead to more effective supervision while reducing stress for both the supervisor and trainee. Though it's important to understand that not all BCBA supervision curricula are designed equally, a curriculum like Supervision Sidekick can provide essential support and structure for both supervisors and trainees.

Specifically, a well-designed supervision curriculum can:
  • Help to define and address critical skill repertoires

  • Sequence instruction to focus on foundational skills first

  • Provide a structure to assess and track competency

  • Go beyond the Task List to address other skills necessary for effective practice

  • Help you to structure and provide more targeted feedback

  • Help to maximize unrestricted hours

  • Help trainees to generalize beyond just their specific job duties

  • Take guess-work or busywork out of structuring supervision

  • Help trainees and supervisors to come to sessions more prepared.

It can also support important outcomes like ensuring that:
  • Trainees are ready to pass the BCBA Exam

  • Trainees become effective, ethical clinicians

  • Supervisors feel confident in their approach to supervision

  • Supervisors provide more effective supervision


Are you ready to introduce a more systematic approach to supervision?

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