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A special education paraprofessional teacher in a classroom setting

Become a Registered Behavior Technician

Curry College now offers a track within the Special Education major in Applied Behavior Analysis, leading to a national credential as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT).  In a formal partnership with Boston Public Schools, this track prepares Curry students as Special Education Paraprofessionals, who teach and support both an academic and life skills curriculum in the context of facilitating the development of behavioral and emotional skills.

The certification process includes the acquisition of specific skills that are measured during the field experiences and a written knowledge test leading to the RBT credential. The RBT certification is recognized by public school settings, community-based clinical settings and ABA supports delivered in home-based settings.

Courses and Field Opportunities

Students in this track will take classes to support instruction and differentiation in literacy and mathematics across ages ranges through Grade 8. Specific courses in positive behavior supports, and in assessment of student learning, data collection and analysis will intersect and allow students to participate in four semesters of field placements within Boston Public Schools. Summer job opportunities in Boston school settings may also be available to participants.

Students who successfully complete this track will graduate with a major in Special Education. There is also a built-in minor in Psychology through suggested elective courses. Students from ALL Curry majors can elect to MINOR in Special Education and/or take the RBT-specific courses as electives since Applied Behavior approaches are used to support children and teens in many settings within schools and communities. 

Note: The career field requires additional coursework at the graduate level to advance to the BCaBA and BCBA levels of certification and potentially to the Doctoral level for a BCBA – D certification.

The following courses are required for Special Education majors pursuing the Applied Behavior Analysis track:

Prerequisite Coursework:

AE 1300 Competencies for the Prospective Educator 1.5
PSY 1400 Child Development 3
ED 2161 Educational Psychology 3

Core Requirements:

SPE 2600 Introduction to Special Education 3
ED 2420 School, Family and Community 3
ED 2412 Strategies for the Effective Educator 3
MATH 2550 Number Theory and Relationships
for Teachers
ENG 1180 Introduction to Literature 3
P&H 1010 U.S. History I 3
ED 2700 Early Childhood Language Arts and Literacy
SPE 3105 Institute on Learning Differences 2
ED 2355 Children’s Literature: A Gateway to the World 3
ED 3700 The Teaching of Reading 3
ED 3701 Field Observation and Participation 1
ED 3190 Classroom Assessment 3
ED 3350 Specialized Instruction for Students with
Special Needs
ED 3197 Pre-Practicum I: Elementary 1
ED 3150 Classroom Management 3
ED 3415 Assessment for Special Educators 3
SPE 3417 Writing IEP 1.5
ED 3416 Assistive Technology 1.5
ED 3455 Pre-Practicum II: Special Education 2
ED 3190L Assessment Lab: Reading 1
ED 3750 Sheltered English Immersion 3
ED 3985 Integrating Senior Seminar 3
ED 4563 Senior Practicum: Special Education 9
ED 4563SM Senior Practicum Seminar 0
Olivia Smelstor ’24

Meet Olivia Smelstor ’24 - ABA Track

Olivia Smelstor ’24 started babysitting as soon as she was old enough. The Bellingham, Massachusetts, native was known in her hometown as a dependable caretaker who was good with children. But when Smelstor met a neighbor with two boys on the autism spectrum, she discovered that her ability to bond with kids was more special than she realized.

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