Program Manager Program

Alyssa Douthitt MEd., BCBA, LBA

Program Manager Program Coordinator

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About Program Manager Program

Since 2005, the "Program Manager" position has been a part of the APPLE model.  A "Program Manager" (PM) is an advanced technician usually in a Master's program earning credits and accruing experience hours to qualify to take the BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) exam. For a description of the PM role and duties please click here.*

In recent years, APPLE expanded its Program Manager role into an accompanying "Program" where staff apply to participate.  The program is led by a senior BCBA and ultimately overseen by Dr. Apple (she is known to "pop" into many PM meetings!), and incorporates the necessary supervision of the staff member to meet the requirements for the BCBA exam.  Each PM has access to the Program Manager Program Coordinator and is assigned a BCBA from APPLE who helps guide them through the process of accruing direct/"restricted" hours (e.g., intervention with client) and indirect/"unrestricted" hours (e.g., observation, treatment plan development), as well as for support identifying opportunities and documenting these hours.

Curriculum Focus

Our PM program focuses on the unique and very often overlooked duties of the Behavior Analyst that are not taught in traditional ABA graduate programs.  The covered items include but are not limited to:

  • Writing treatment plans for insurance companies and other funding sources

  • Understanding CPT codes for insurance

  • Collaborating with parents

  • Collaborating with schools

  • Collaborating with other stakeholders/providers

  • Developing professional boundaries

  • Writing discharge plans

  • Understanding medical necessity with insurance plans

  • Conducting parent trainings

  • Documenting time compliantly for insurance purposes (chart notes)

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  • Developing cultural competency when working with those and treating those with diverse backgrounds

  • Managing time & schedules

  • Learning various curriculum-based and standardized assessments

  • Recommending "dosage" of service (i.e., number of hours)

  • Supervising technicians using Behavior Skills Training model.

APPLE provides PMs a comprehensive list of Competencies related to the list above that PMs complete throughout their supervision in order to gain diversity in their experiences with unrestricted hours.  Ultimately, our program better prepares staff to step into the role of BCBA upon successful passing of the exam.

Other Program Manager Program Benefits

  • Collaboration: APPLE Consulting's PM Program focuses intensively on collaboration amongst the PM cohort in and of themselves.  With an average of 10 PMs each year, there are a sufficient number of peers with whom to collaborate, but few enough that each PM gets the attention needed and deserved.  The exposure the PMs get with one another in our required twice monthly meetings (counts for group supervision) often leads to PMs getting together outside of meetings to study for the exam and to socialize.

  • Exam Preparation:  Our PM program includes focus on exam preparation with time dedicated to

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study topics from the BACB task list at almost every meeting.  Additionally, when the PM completes his/her hours and begins rigorous exam study, APPLE delivers the PM a comprehensive mock exam after which he/she receives specific feedback on task list areas to work on and support from our BCBA staff in learning within those areas.