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Autism Endorsement Certificate

The Autism Endorsement Certificate at Kutztown University provides specialized training at the graduate and undergraduate level for certified (graduate) and pre-service (undergraduate) teachers who support or aspire to support students with autism spectrum disorders. Candidates who successfully complete this program at the graduate level are eligible to receive the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Certificate. Undergraduate candidates who successfully complete this program are also eligible to receive the Autism Spectrum Endorsement Certificate Disorders contingent upon receiving a Level I instructional certificate. 

In order to apply for Pennsylvania Department of Education's Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Certificate, applicants must possess a valid PA Instructional I or II certificate. Non-baccalaureate candidates may apply to the Autism Endorsement Program at Kutztown University provided that they are enrolled in an area of study leading to an Instructional I or II certificate.


Autism Endorsement Certificate (12 semester hours,100% online)

SPU 433 Characteristics and Etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders
This course covers the characteristics of autism and other related disorders, commonly referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) including; communication deficits, social skills, stereotypical behaviors, and typical responses to environmental stimuli. Additionally, theoretical and scientific etiologies are discussed with various diagnostic instruments and procedures. Cultural perspectives of autism and related disorders with their relationships to educational services are also addressed.

SPU 434 Applied Behavior Analysis
This course introduces principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and how it can serve individuals with autism, with special attention given to classroom settings. ABA coverage includes; reinforcement, punishment, thinning, stimulus control, prompting, fading, generalization, maintenance, and data collection with analyses. Specific empirically-based ABA methods such as discrete trial training, direct instruction, and verbal behavior will be discussed. 

SPU 435 Assessment and Instructional Interventions for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This course examines methods of assessment for implementing instructional strategies that have been shown to be effective in promoting the development of communication and social skills by students with ASD. Augmentative and alternative communications systems (AAC) and approaches for teaching social skills in home, school, and community environments along with coordination of services and advocating for students with ASD will be discussed.

SPU 436 Working with Individuals with ASD and Collaborating with Family, Agencies, and the Community
An opportunity is provided for observation and for student teaching of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Discussion periods are provided for classification of techniques, methods, and approaches. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a deadline to apply?
No, applications are accepted throughout the year but availability of courses may vary due to enrollment.

Must I complete the courses in a particular order?
Yes and no: While SPU 433 may be taken at any time during a student's coursework, SPU 434, 435, and 436 must be taken consecutively OR by the permission of the instructor. 

How long does it take to complete the coursework?
Candidates can complete the coursework in 1-2 years.

When are the courses available?
Currently, SPU 433 is available in the winter, SPU 434 in spring, and SPU 435 and 436 in summer sessions.

How are the courses conducted?
All four courses are offered online.

Can I still apply for the autism certificate if I don't have/obtain an instructional certificate?
No, an instructional certificate is necessary to apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the autism endorsement certificate.

Can I be enrolled in the Autism Endorsement Program if I do not yet have a bachelor's degree?
Yes, students can enroll but will not be able to apply for the certificate until they have acquired a bachelor's degree and an instructional certificate.

Must I be a teacher or studying to be a teacher to enroll in the program?
No, the Autism Endorsement Program at Kutztown University has content that includes professionals that serve people with autism beyond the classroom. Recognizing that a Level I or II certificate is necessary to obtain endorsement, the content includes transition, employment, and adaptive behavior content to include teachers, administrators, counselors, therapists, community service providers etc. This program is designed to appeal to a broad range of professionals. 

Will this coursework transfer to my undergraduate/graduate program?
Candidates are encouraged to inquire with their individual institutions to determine the availability of transferring credits. For Kutztown University students, these courses can enhance but will not supplement their required coursework towards a particular degree. 

If I have an instructional certificate from a state other than PA, will I be able to complete the coursework and apply for the Pennsylvania Autism Endorsement Certificate?
No, in order to apply for the Pennsylvania Autism Endorsement Certificate, candidates must possess a Level I or II certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

Will this coursework allow me to apply for an autism endorsement from a state other than Pennsylvania?
While out-of-state candidates are certainly eligible to enroll in the Autism Endorsement Program at Kutztown University, they are encouraged to inquire with their respective state's department of education to determine the eligibility of the coursework.

For information, please contact Christopher Bloh, Ph.D., BCBA-D at

To apply, please complete the online application for professional credit status. There is no application fee.  Once the application is added to the system, an acknowledgement email will be sent providing you with a list of items due and a log in to access your KU online student center, referred to as MyKU.  Submit all non KU transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions. You will then receive a notification with next steps for the registration process.  At the conclusion of each course, you may apply for ACT 48 credits.  Information can be found at ACT 48.