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. This 4-course certificate sequence’s primary purpose 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 the critical knowledge and practical skills necessary to address children’s and students’ needs across the autism spectrum.

Certificate program objectives

  1. Candidates will develop theoretical knowledge and applied skills to understand the needs of students with ASD and provide 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. Courses are taken in sequence to build knowledge and understanding.

Course Descriptions

SED 528: Educational Methods for Students with Autism: This course is designed to help educators develop 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. 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.

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

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Graduate certificate program courses

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

Online Application

Visit the UMaine Graduate Certificate for Autism Spectrum Disorders webpage for more information on this program.

Have questions about earning your Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders online with UMaine? Contact Amanda Cupps, UMaineOnline Advisor, at 207.581.5858 or

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The Maine Department of Education provides significant support and funding for the activities and outreach of Maine Access to Inclusive Education Resources. Special thanks to Erin Fraizer, 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.