We believe that an excellent behavior analytic supervisor is a MENTOR. Throughout our discussion of this topic, we have listed six characteristics to look for when selecting a supervisor for your behavior analytic experience. We are now ready to discuss the fifth characteristic. A quality behavior analytic supervisor:
Offers ongoing collaboration after the supervised experience has ended.
The characteristic of ongoing collaboration is different from the four characteristics previously discussed, as we are now focusing on supervisory behaviors that occur once your supervised experience has ended. You might ask, why behaviors that occur after the supervision process are relevant to what occurs during the accumulation of behavior analytic experience. Let’s tackle this question by first looking at the Supervised Independent Fieldwork option requirements. Under the Supervised Independent Fieldwork option, one must accumulate 1500 (BCBA credential) or 1000 hours (BCaBA credential) of supervised experience in behavior analysis. The supervisee must accumulate at least 10 hours per week, but no more than 30 hours per week. This means that at the BCBA level, a supervisee that accumulates the maximum amount of experience and supervision may complete his/her Supervised Independent Fieldwork within 50 weeks (roughly 12.5 months). At the BCaBA level, Supervised Independent Fieldwork may be completed within 34 weeks (roughly 8.5 months).
Let’s take a moment to emphasize the time associated with the experience requirements here.
As an individual seeking the BCBA credential, you may do so after working under the supervision of a BCBA in as little as 1 year! Said another way – a BCBA applicant is expected to competently demonstrate a comprehensive behavior analytic skillset after 1 year of supervised work experience!
Within a 1 year time frame, one may develop a behavior analytic repertoire enabling performance at a minimal level of competency. However, ongoing collaboration with your supervisor, as well as with others in the field, is important to your eventual provision of expert behavior analytic services. An adept skill-set is developed over time and is unlikely to be acquired within 1 year of training. A great supervisor is invested in your continued professional development throughout multiple years and will offer continued mentorship to help shape your advanced behavior analytic repertoire.
How do you determine if a supervisor offers ongoing collaboration? For starters, you can simply ask if you can contact the supervisor regarding questions or concerns you might have in the future. Alternatively, a supervisor might invite you keep in touch or seek assistance/advice as needed at the end of supervisory relationship. A supervisor that offers continued collaboration will share his/her contact information so that you can easily reach him/her. The supervisor might also initiate interactions in the form of shared information of potential interest.
BAM Network has helped you identify five of the six characteristics of an excellent supervisor. The very last characteristic is coming up next!