Mount-Trained Behavior Analysts Begin to Fill Demand for Board-Certified Practitioners

May 2, 2024

Over the past several months, four of the first graduates of Mount St. Mary’s graduate-level applied behavior analysis (ABA) program took and passed their Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exams. Lynn Schumacher, Julie Crochet, Anna Svetlikova and Katelyn Hoffman have passed the exam, after completing their MSABA courses and 2,000 hours of supervised field work. Board certification enables these students to begin effecting change as official behavior analysts.

These four alumni are part of a group of 20 Mount graduates who formed the first ABA class at the Mount. The cohort, which consisted of 12 students earning their master’s degree and eight who received a post-master’s ABA certificate, began classes in 2021 and graduated in 2023.

Crochet, Svetlikova and Hoffman are working as behavior analysts for local clinics that specialize in autism in children and teenagers. Schumacher is currently applying to doctoral ABA programs, while also working in a clinic for children with autism.

The BCBA exam, which is offered periodically throughout the year, is notoriously difficult, with only between 56 and 66% of takers passing on their first try. However, thus far Mount students have a 100% pass rate in their first attempt. The classmates of these four students will also sit for the exam as they complete their practicum hours.

“Besides our high-caliber students…the Mount’s program is unique because we help our students to earn their 2,000 practicum hours as they begin the ABA program, instead of leaving them to make the hours themselves after they earn the degree. It makes it much easier for them to take the BCBA promptly and apply what they’re learning in class,” explained Kwadwo Britwum, BCBA, Ph.D., assistant director of the ABA program.