Responding to community needs, Piedmont Technical College has introduced a new class for registered behavior technicians (RBT).
The RBT course began in March and runs for approximately 12 weeks. Two dozen students signed up, a strong turnout for a first-time continuing education class, according to Piedmont Tech’s Kassie Hall.
“The class is great for anyone who is working with children,” Hall said.
Those who take the class learn the principles of applied behavior analysis. ABA can be applied in many different environments but is most frequently associated with therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder. RBTs work one-on-one with children and receive supervision from a board certified behavior analyst.
ABA is considered the most effective treatment for children with autism, according to Susan Sachs, co-founder and co-executive director of Project Hope Foundation Inc. The Greenville-based nonprofit offers programs for the autism community and serves multiple counties from its clinic in Greenwood.
“Registered behavior technicians are going to be more and more in demand,” Sachs said. “Private insurers and Medicaid are beginning to demand this credential from service providers.”
Project Hope plans to fill some of its open RBT positions with graduates from the Piedmont Tech course. Other organizations have also expressed a need for workers with the RBT credential.
Given the growing demand, Hall said offering the course would be a great way to help those in the community who are looking to bolster their skills or find a new career path.
The class fits Piedmont Tech’s mission of transforming lives and strengthening communities by providing opportunities for intellectual and economic growth, according to Rusty Denning, associate vice president for Economic Development and Continuing Education.
“Adding a course such as the RBT class is really a win-win for our students and the community,” he said.
The class currently meets one evening a week, plus one Saturday when students earn their American Heart Association CPR certification (a requirement for passing the class). To be eligible for the course, students were required to pass background checks and a drug screening. To become RBTs, they must complete the course, pass a test and have a portion of their work supervised by a board certified behavior analyst.
Hall said PTC hopes to make the class an ongoing part of its continuing education curriculum.
Cost is $595 and students may be eligible for scholarship funds. To learn more, contact Hall, program manager for professional development and marketing, at (864) 941-8575, or stop by the Continuing Education Office at 313 Emerald Road in Greenwood.