Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate

(15 semester credits/5 courses)

Program Description

This graduate certificate will allow students to study the educational needs of learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The graduate certificate will introduce students to the characteristics of ASD, the assessment needs of students with ASD, the social and communication profiles and educational needs of these learners, the unique behavioral characteristics of this population, and will teach educational strategies which benefit learners with an ASD disorder.

Increasing numbers of those identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) require the skills and expertise of professionals trained to address specific ASD needs. UAH's online/hybrid Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate is a non-licensure program designed for teachers and human service agency staff to acquire these skills and expertise. This Graduate Certificate meets the Professional Content Standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and, offers students the opportunity to pursue graduate-level education through the flexibility of online/hybrid learning from UAH faculty and ASD professionals.

The Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate is ideal for educators, interventionists, psychologists, pathologists, behavior analysts, or family members who want to enhance their preparation for working with children and adults affected with autism spectrum disorders. Teacher certification is not a requirement for admission to this program.

Program completers will be prepared to:

  • Work as public school teachers in a broad range of educational settings including the general education classroom and special education programs
  • Work as human service agency personnel implementing research-validated intervention strategies for children, youth and adults in community agencies
  • Implement research-validated instruction/intervention strategies for children, youth and young adults with autism spectrum disorders
  • Assess the effectiveness of individualized instruction/intervention programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

This 15-credits graduate certificate program consists of 5 classes. The graduate certificate can be completed as a stand-alone certificate or a maximum of 12 semester hours (4 credits) can be applied toward the degree requirements for a Master of Education (M.Ed.).

Admission Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission to this program; only complete files are reviewed.

  1. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. GPA of 3.0, or at least 3.25 for the last 30 semester credits of graded course work.
  3. Completed "Application for Admission to Graduate Study" form indicating Graduate Certificate for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  4. Undergraduate and other transcripts sent directly from the institution to the UAH Graduate School Office.
  5. Non-refundable application fee to UAH

To apply online for admission, please visit Graduate Admission.

For more information about the graduate certificate, please visit the UAH College of Education.

Certificate Requirements (15 credits/5 courses)

EDC 636 - Introduction to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

3 hours / 5 weeks

The advanced teacher candidate will develop an understanding of the range of characteristics and behaviors associated with ASD, the effects of early intervention on behaviors, and the theories regarding the etiology of the disorder. A review of the law and rights of parents as well as issues regarding service and specialized programs are included.

EDC 645 - Assessment and Behavioral Applications in ASD

3 hours / 5 weeks

This course focuses on assessment and intervention planning for children with ASD. Candidates will enhance their knowledge of various assessments appropriate to the ASD population and develop skills to administer and interpret assessments. The course will provide the advanced teacher candidate with an overview of the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) approach to assessing and teaching, and how ABA fits within a differentiated intervention program for children with ASD.

EDC 655 - Collaboration and Transition Planning

3 hours / 5 weeks

Using case-based instructional strategies, this course is designed to assist the advanced teacher candidate in learning to build supportive relationships with families, paraprofessionals, and related service providers, including community agencies, as a foundation for designing differentiated learning experiences. The teacher candidate will develop the knowledge and skills for communicating accurately and sensitively, for selecting and evaluating intervention services and for helping stakeholders manage short-term and long-term issues, including post-secondary transitions.

EDC 625 - Assistive Technology for Educating Individuals with ASD

3 hours / 5 weeks

Advanced teacher candidates will explore a wide range of assistive technology (AT) applications for children with disabilities. Advanced teacher candidates consider needs based on the type of disabling condition, such as physical, cognitive, sensory disabilities, or multiple complex needs, as demonstrated by children with pervasive developmental disorders such as ASD. Emphasis will be placed upon the integration of AT into effective instructional practices that improve student learning and can be utilized as part of a differentiated instructional program in the diverse general education classroom. Particular emphasis will be placed on using technology to enhance the communication skills of children with ASD.

EDC 660 - Practical Applications of Visual Instructional Strategies

3 hours / 5 weeks

Advanced Candidates participate in a summer clinic for children with ASD. Candidates learn how to create an appropriate learning environment, organize schedules for individual students, develop materials, engage in instruction, respond to behavioral issues, and document student progress. Clients for the clinic would be drawn from a pool of applicants from the large population of families in Madison County who have one or more children with ASD. The practicum would consist of 3 days of preparation and 2weeks of clinical experience.