Autism Spectrum Disorders Undergraduate Certificate & Graduate Professional Development Courses


Misericordia University offers a 9 credit, 3 course sequence, in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to sit for a Board Credential through IBCCES as a Certified Autism Specialist or an Autism Certification.

There are two tracks for completion:

Undergraduate Autism Certificate

The certificate program in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) under the College of Health Sciences and Education will prepare students and professionals to work with clients diagnosed with ASD. The certificate program in ASD will provide prospective students with current evidence-based practices, knowledge, and program development in the area of ASD within their respective fields. After completing the coursework within the certificate program in ASD, students would qualify to sit for the Autism Competency Exam to earn an Autism Certificate or become a Certified Autism Specialist through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).

Graduate Professional Development Courses in Autism

This is a 3 course sequence for Professional Development Credits (Act 48 eligible) that will prepare students and professionals to work with clients diagnosed with ASD. The certificate program in ASD will provide prospective students with current evidence-based practices, knowledge, and program development in the area of ASD within their respective fields. After completing the coursework within the certificate program in ASD, students would qualify to sit for the Autism Competency Exam to earn an Autism Certificate or become a Certified Autism Specialist through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).

Apply online


Course Descriptions

The following classes MUST be taken in this sequence:

HP 481/ EDU 585 Autism Spectrum Disorders Across the Lifespan

HP 482/EDU 585 Interventions for Individuals with ASD

HP 483/ EDU 585 Program Development for Individuals with ASD


HP 481/ EDU 585 Autism Spectrum Disorder Across the Lifespan- 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to the diagnosis, services and current research for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders across the lifespan. Basic information will be introduced on how this disorder is diagnosed, what comprises the disorder, as well as the array of services that are often provided to individuals with ASD. Lifespan challenges including diagnosis, early intervention, school-based services, transition to adulthood, vocational development, independent living and impacts on aging as well as medical and behavioral concerns will be explored. Students will also gain knowledge in establishing clear resource support for these clients in the community.


HP 482/EDU 585 Interventions for Individuals with ASD- 3 Credits

The course begins with an introduction to the principles responsible for the development and maintenance of acceptable and problematic behaviors for individuals with ASD. This course will examine and apply evidence based principles/practices to facilitate functional participation among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


HP 483/ EDU 585 Program Development for Individuals with ASD

This interdisciplinary course will focus on evidence-based programming designed to meet the developmental, social, medical, educational, vocational, daily living, and/ or mobility needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Effective strategies to complete a needs assessment, examine current literature, critique and modify and existing programs or create an appropriate program for a/an individuals with ASD appropriate within the professionals scope of practice will be explained and reviewed.

Mission

Misericordia University’s Autism certificate program provides a multifaceted curriculum for students and professionals to enhance the quality of services provided throughout the lifespan for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. The goal of the certificate program is to help students and/or professionals working with this population to attain knowledge and evidence based skills to provide optimal care for individuals on the autism spectrum within the scope of their profession or role.
The Autism certificate program embodies the institutional mission of “intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and respect for persons in an environment where all are welcome,” by providing an environment for students and professionals to augment their knowledge and skills for an underrepresented and, in some circumstances, underserved community. The certificate focuses on serving individuals with specials needs with respect and dignity, further representing the mission of Misericordia University.

Program Goals and Objectives

Goals

  1. Develop cultural sensitivity and respect for individuals of varying demographics. (Mercy and Hospitality)
  2. Foster professionals who engage in evidenced based research and practice to effectively demonstrate understanding for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. (Justice)
  3. Foster professionals who work as part of an interdisciplinary team to advocate and meet the needs of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (Justice & Interdisciplinary goal of College of Health Sciences)
  4. Teach students to advocate and develop necessary programs in their area of work to meet the individual needs and population needs of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (Service & Justice)
Objectives
  1. Discuss and identify current research related to the diagnosis, disease progression, and common medical and health issues experienced across the lifespan by individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
  2. Identify possible sensory, behavioral, motor, communication and health impairments and refer to appropriate member of interdisciplinary team.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of behaviors exhibited by individuals with Autism Spectrum disorder and implement evidence based strategies to maximize safety, health and independence in daily life within their scope of practice.
  4. Apply effective strategies to maximize communication, emotional awareness, and social skill development within specific area of practice.
  5. Identify areas of need and apply strategies to decrease sensory over-stimulation and provide support to maximize successful participation among individuals with autism spectrum disorder within the practice setting and community.
  6. Analyze, modify and/or develop a program within scope of practice to advocate for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to maximize personal health and independence in daily life within the professionals scope of practice.
  7. Identify signs of and locate programs to mitigate bullying and subsequent social isolation to advocate for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Admissions Requirements

Students may submit a free online application at www.misericordia.edu/apply.

Undergraduate Autism Certificate: High School Transcript and/or evidence of highest degree conferred. A resume with any documentation of professional experience working with persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Graduate Professional Development Courses: Evidence of Bachelor's Degree. A resume with documentation of professional experience working with persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Accreditation

This certificate program was approved to partner with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Coursework was also designed to align with the 10 areas of competency outlined by the IBCCES for the Autism Competency Exam. The 10 areas of competency are as follows:

  1. Autism Overview
  2. Behavior Competency
  3. Communication Competency
  4. Social Skills Competency
  5. Environmental Competency
  6. Emotional Awareness & Bullying Competency
  7. Sensory Awareness Competency
  8. Program Development Competency
  9. Motor Skills Competency
  10. Medical & Health Considerations
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