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Teacher Education Office


Autism Spectrum Disorders -- Certificate of Advanced Study
(Offered both fully online and on-ground)


The program is comprised of four courses (12 credits) on the disorder and interventions for students within the spectrum.  Students will be able to:
  • apply the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students with autism spectrum disorders in multiple settings
  • describe characteristics and etiology of autism spectrum disorders
  • plan, structure, and conduct assessments for students with autism spectrum disorders
  • facilitate family and school collaboration to communicate and advocate for the needs of students with autism spectrum disorders
Students holding an Instructional I or II Pennsylvania teaching certificate can earn a Pennsylvania Endorsement in Autism Spectrum Disorders by completing requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for field hours working with students on the autism spectrum.  The required hours may be completed in a variety of instructional settings and are integrated with all coursework.  There is no state required examination for endorsement.  

Courses in the Autism Endorsement sequence can apply to a Master in Education in Special Education or to a Master of Science in Instructional Leadership.

Program Description

The Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate of Advanced study program is offered both online and on-ground at the Moon campus.  

The program meets the needs and interests of teachers and administrators who have the desire to increase their knowledge in working with students on the Autism Spectrum, including but not limited to general and special educators, school psychologists, principals, guidance counselors, speech and language clinicians, occupational and physical therapists, and reading specialists.   Click here to view the checksheet for this program.  

Course Requirements


The Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate Program is comprised of four 3-credit graduate special education courses.  Each semester consists of two 8-week sessions.  

For the on-ground option, RMU graduate courses are held from 6:00 to 10:00pm at the Moon Township Campus. Students can complete the program in one year by attending class one evening per week during the Fall and Spring semesters or in the summer by attending class two evenings a week.


Click here for a description of each of the four required courses.

Fall-Spring Completion

1st 8 weeks
Fall
2nd 8 weeks

SPED6055 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders

SPED6070 Communication and Special Educ: Instr Methods and Practices

1st 8 weeks
Spring
2nd 8 weeks

SPED6060 Advanced Studies in Behavior

SPED6075 Advanced Studies in Autism Spectrum Disorders


Summer Completion

1st 8 weeks

SPED6055 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders

SPED6060 Advanced Studies in Behavior

2nd 8 weeks

SPED6070 Communication and Special Educ: Instr Methods and Practices

SPED6075 Advanced Studies in Autism Spectrum Disorders

 

Teacher Endorsement Requirements

In addition to the course requirements, for students wished to receive the endorsement certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), there is a requirement that each student complete a specified number of field hours working with students on the autism spectrum.  The required hours may be completed in a variety of instructional settings. Field hours have been integrated with all course work. There is no state required examination for endorsement.

Academic Advising

Comprehensive, continuous academic advising is crucial for student success. Each student in the Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate Program is assigned Dr. Vicki Donne as his or her academic advisor.  Students meet with her at least once per semester from the time they enter Robert Morris University to the time they complete all program requirements.

SESS Graduate Special Education Wiki

There is a wiki for students enrolled in the program, which provides a collaborative environment for the dissemination of information, a means of sharing resources for the classroom, and continues to serve as a support system for students once they have graduated.  Once students are enrolled they can access the wiki at https://sites.google.com/site/sessspecialed/.  To login, students enter their email login and their student ID serves as their password.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate Program must have a teaching certificate, have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA.  Copies of all transcripts must be submitted with the RMU graduate application.

Click here to apply for the RMU Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate Program. You can complete the application online with no application fee. Alternatively, you can download the required graduate application PDF form, and then mail in the completed form with required documentation and $35 application fee.


Find out more

To find out more about either the PDE requirements related to the Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement or to find out more about the RMU academic requirements for the RMU program, please contact Dr. Vicki Donne

Click here to visit the RMU Office of Graduate Admissions website, or contact them directly at 800-762-0097.


For More Information, Contact:

Vicki J Donne D.Ed.

Associate Professor of Education
Education

donne@rmu.edu
412-397-5465 Phone
412-397-6044 Fax
Nicholson Center 445
Moon Campus
More Info

Office of Teacher Education
Nicholson Center, 4th Floor
6001 University Blvd.
Moon Township, PA 15108
412-397-6027 phone
412-397-6044 fax
rmu.edu/teachered