students in a classroom setting

A new 1 credit registered behavior technician (RBT) training course is offered in the spring 2016 semester at Leeward Community College. The course is offered to fulfill the required preparation to be credentialed as a registered behavior technician.

“The course was developed in response to a state mandate that requires those who work with autistic students have this credential,” says Leeward’s Roberta Martel, program coordinator for the college’s education program. “Currently, there are about 3,000 children with autism in Hawaiʻi, but only 76 RBTs for the entire state. The need is immense and the law goes in effect on January 1, 2016, so our program had to act quickly to fill the need.”

As of January 1, 2016, a new state mandate will require health insurance plans to cover applied behavior analysis for autism spectrum disorders.

The RBT credential will be a mandatory requirement for paraprofessionals directly implementing applied behavior analysis services for children with autism.

Addressing workforce needs

Leeward CC is deeply committed to addressing critical and urgent workforce needs and the need for RBTs will be in tremendous demand for medically necessary applied behavior analysis treatment.

The course covers the training requirements to become an RBT—completion of 40 hours of RBT training by a Behavior Analysis Certification Board certified instructor and completion of a competency assessment. The 40-hour RBT training will be conducted in just six weeks via online modules and four face-to-face classes with locations and times to be determined based on student preference. Distance learning options, such as Skype, Google Hangout, Blackboard, will be available.

For additional information, contact Christina Keaulana, special/inclusive education certificate coordinator by email or at (808) 455-0467.

—By Kathleen Cabral