Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 68 children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is reported in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The primary purpose of this 4-course certificate sequence is to prepare experienced educators, administrators and related service providers to assume a leadership role in the development and implementation of educational programs for students with autism in school settings. This certificate program gives you critical knowledge and practical skills necessary to address the needs of children and students across the autism spectrum.

Certificate program objectives

  1. Candidates will develop theoretical knowledge and applied skills for understanding the needs of students with ASD and providing evidence-based practices according to individual needs.
  2. Candidates will have the necessary theoretical and applied background to provide leadership to their schools and districts in developing a sound model of educational and social/behavioral support and intervention.
  3. Candidates will be familiar with and able to access available resources to support their districts’ efforts in providing services for their students with ASD.
  4. Candidates will have the knowledge and skills to serve as team leaders and coaches in supporting ASD program implementation in their schools and districts.

Program Requirements

The certificate program includes four courses (a total of 12 credits). Students will complete this Graduate Certificate in one fiscal year by enrolling in one course per semester. Course are taken in sequence to build knowledge and understanding.

Course Descriptions

SED 528: Educational Methods for Students with Autism: This course is designed to assist educators in developing strategies and techniques to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in accessing the general education environment to the fullest extent possible. This introductory class is designed to familiarize participants with the complexity of the autism spectrum. 3 credits. Summer Course

SED 585: Communication for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: This course examines communication, including an overview of typical communication and language development, the difference in autism speech and language development, assessments of communication, augmentative communication supports, visual supports, and the interrelationships between communication and socialization. 3 credits. Fall course

SED 556:  Assessment for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: This course provides advanced training in assessing individual learning needs of students with autism spectrum disorders and students with severe disabilities, emphasizing ecological inventories, person-centered planning and quality of life indicators. A value-based system of respecting the individual and individual capabilities within a fully inclusive society is presented as the underlying philosophy. Applied assignments will allow students to demonstrate specific skills that reflect this philosophy.  Course content will be presented in a series of modules that contain information on specific topics related to the assessment and intervention of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and students with severe disabilities.  3 credits. Winter course.

SED 563: Positive Behavioral Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: This course provides training in behavioral assessment, support, and intervention for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Emphasizes evidence-based practices including functional behavioral assessment and communication training, social skills instruction, self-management, and antecedent and broader environmental interventions. 3 credits. Summer course.

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Graduate certificate program courses

  1. SED 528 Educational Methods for Students with Autism (1st course, summer course offering)
  2. SED 585 Communication for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (2nd course, fall course offering)
  3. SED 556: Assessments for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3rd course, winter course offering)
  4. SED 563 Positive Behavioral Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (4th course, summer course offering)

Online Application

For more information on the Graduate Certificate for Autism Spectrum Disorders, contact:

Deborah L. Rooks-Ellis, Ph.D.
College of Education and Human Development
207-581-2352 | deborah.l.rooks@maine.edu

Maine Department of Education logo
The Maine Department of Education provides significant support and funding for the activities and outreach of the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research. Special thanks to Jan Breton, Director of Special Services Birth-20, Maine Department of Education, for her ongoing support for this project. To learn more about this unique partnership, see the “About Us” tab above.