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Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders Certification (currently certified in Special Education)
Credits: 12 (program code: 0149)

Program Description

The autism spectrum disorders program directly addresses the needs of today’s educators and professionals who are working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders throughout the lifespan. This program will prepare candidates to add ASD certification to existing certification in special education or to receive a letter of completion for students with the desire to obtain knowledge in autism awareness, as well as personal and professional development.

This program provides specialized preparation in ASD through an innovative 12-credit-hour graduate program endorsement in ASD that has the provision of socialization opportunities for individuals with ASD and educational outreach materials and resources for parents and community members at its core.

Students can begin this program any term and complete within one year. Courses are offered one in the fall, two in the spring (eight weeks each) and one in the summer, and are completed all online.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (currently certified in special education): This 100 percent online program is specialized to extend the professional development of applicants who have earned a graduate degree or certificate in special education and would like to add the ASD endorsement to their current certification. Upon completion, the student will be eligible to add ASD endorsement to his/her current teaching certificate in special education.

Autism Spectrum Disorders Letter of Completion (not certified in special education): Students who do not currently hold special education certification, including educators with certification in any area, other education professionals, family members of individuals with ASD and others, can complete the four-course, 12-credit online program for professional development, but will not be able to apply for ASD endorsement.

Program Objectives

  • Knowledge of Subject Matter – The candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.
  • Knowledge of Human Development and Learning – The candidate understands how children learn and develops and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development.
  • Adapting Instruction for Individual Needs – The candidate understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
  • Multiple Instructional Strategies – The candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem-solving and performance skills.
  • Classroom Motivation and Management Skills – The candidate uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation.
  • Communication Skills – The candidate uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interaction in the classroom.
  • Instructional Planning Skills – The candidate plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community and curriculum goals.
  • Assessment of Student Learning – The candidate understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the learner.
  • Professional Commitment and Responsibility – The candidate is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.
  • Partnerships – The candidate fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well-being.
  • Diversity – The candidate understands the influence of culture on personal growth and recognizes and respects cultural differences, and believes that all human beings possess capacity for thought, feeling, and learning.
  • Field Experience – The candidate understands the importance of completing and documenting early field experience and recognizes the importance of a steady progression from being an “observer” to becoming an “active participant.”

Delivery Mode

Online (100 percent online delivery)

Accreditation

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Admissions Criteria

Pennsylvania – ASD Endorsement

  • Minimum overall undergraduate 2.80 GPA, or 3.00 GPA in the last 48 credits, in a baccalaureate degree verified with official transcripts from an accredited institution 
  • Copies of certifications – must be currently certified in special education 
  • Current Act 24, 34, 151 and 114 clearances    
  • Graduate School Application plus $25 nonrefundable application fee

ASD – Certification

  • Minimum overall undergraduate 2.80 GPA, or 3.00 GPA in the last 48 credits, in a baccalaureate degree verified with official transcripts from an accredited institution
  • Current Act  24, 34, 151 and 114 clearances    
  • Graduate School Application plus $25 nonrefundable application fee

Note: Other credentials and/or qualifications for educators and professionals applying to this program without a teaching certificate will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Curriculum

Required Courses
 Course NameCredits
ESP 740 Nature/Characteristics: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 741 Communication, Behavior and Instruction: Autism Spectrum Disorders3
ESP 742 Life Transitions and Partnerships: Autism Spectrum Disorders3
ESP 743 Navigating the Social World: Autism Spectrum Disorders3

Advisement

Students in the autism spectrum disorders program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

Application Questions

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Eberly 202B
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419
724-938-4187
gradschool@calu.edu



Program Coordinator

Kalie R. Kossar, Ed.D., BCBA-D, (West Virginia University), M.Ed. (California University of Pennsylvania), B.S. (University of Pittsburgh), Associate Professor
Specializations: Collaboration, Assessment, Inclusion, Applied Behavior Analysis
Research Interests: Teacher Preparation, Evidence-based Practices, Applied Behavior Analysis
Web Page: www.calu.edu/academics/faculty/kalie-kossar.aspx
Email: kossar@calu.edu
Phone: 724-938-4982

Graduate Faculty

For faculty bios, visit: www.calu.edu/academics/faculty/index.htm.


James Burton, Ed.D., M.A. (West Virginia University), B.A. (Fairmont State University), Assistant Professor; Specializations: Life Skills, Transition and Assistive Technology

Peter Heh, Ed.D, BCBA (University of Pittsburgh), M.Ed. (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Washington & Jefferson College), Assistant Professor; Specializations: Autism, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Assessment Design 

Jason Kight, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), Assistant Professor; Specializations: Behavior Disorders, Co-Teaching, Classroom Management and Autism

Katherine Mitchem, Ph.D., BCBA-D (Utah State University), M.Ed. (Drury University),  B.S. (Manchester University), Professor; Specializations: Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism

Mary Seman, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), M.Ed. (University of Vermont), B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania),  Professor; Specializations: Applied Behavior Analysis, Direct Instruction, Learning Strategies and Content Enhancement Routines