The Number of Children Diagnosed with Autism Continues to Rise
Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects a child's ability to communicate and interact with others. Demand is high for trained special education professionals who can work with the approximately 1.5 million Americans affected by autism. To help meet your career goals, Penn State World Campus has partnered with the College of Education, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Bureau of Special Education, to offer you an online Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Educating Individuals with Autism.
Penn State Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Educating Individuals with Autism
Penn State’s autism certificate is designed to help you acquire comprehensive, evidence-based information to assist you in developing effective educational programming for all students with autism spectrum disorders. The program also fosters networking with your colleagues across the United States and abroad, and helps you earn professional development hours such as Act 48 in Pennsylvania.
Through this program, you can learn to assess individuals with autism spectrum disorders to effectively provide instruction; develop strategies to enhance social, behavioral, communication, and academic gains; strengthen your professional skills to work with families; and develop professional competencies to permit you to work with other educators and related personnel.
Penn State’s College of Education is regularly ranked among the nation’s best graduate schools, according to U.S. News & World Report, and the online educating individuals with autism program is taught by the same nationally recognized faculty.
Your Stepping-Stone to a Penn State Master's Degree
You may pursue the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Educating Individuals with Autism as a stand-alone credential, or use it to step up into a Penn State master's degree. All four of the certificate courses are embedded into the more comprehensive Master of Education in Special Education. Certificate students who apply and are accepted into this master's program will only need to take an additional 21 credits of advance study to fulfill the M.Ed. degree requirements.
Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement (Optional)
Students enrolling in the certificate also have the option of receiving an ASD Endorsement approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. To receive the ASD Endorsement, students must successfully complete the 12-credit certificate and participate in integrated practicum field experience requirements. Successful completion of the course work and practicum will enable candidates to apply to PDE to add the ASD Endorsement on their existing Pennsylvania certificates. Only students with Level I or II certification are eligible for the courses with the additional ASD Endorsement course work.
Penn State is an Act 48–approved provider for Pennsylvania educators, so the courses for the postbaccalaureate certificate in autism may count toward professional development hours.
Who Should Apply?
If you are a general education teacher, this program was designed for you. You can also benefit greatly from the program if you are one of the following professionals:
- behavior specialists
- mobile therapists
- educational consultants
- speech and language pathologists
- occupational therapists
- school counselors
- school psychologists
- school nurses
- social workers