Autism Studies Certificate

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
https://www.towson.edu/chp/departments/health-sciences/grad/autism-certificate/

Program Director: Dr. Connie Anderson
Phone: 410-704-4640
Email: connieanderson@towson.edu

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) Program in Autism Studies is designed to enhance the knowledge and subsequent practice of professionals working with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families across the lifespan. It is grounded in the belief that people on the autism spectrum are integral members of their families and communities, and have the right to fully participate in the educational, social, cultural, political and economic life of society.

Topics covered include typical traits of individuals on the spectrum, their gifts and challenges, co-occurring conditions, epidemiology, evidence-based interventions, classroom and workplace strategies, family impact, and research and key policy issues. Earning this degree validates your commitment to working in the field and prepares you to broaden your role as an educator, early childhood professional, mental health professional, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, agency staff, disability specialist, researcher, advocate or policymaker.

The 16-unit program — including five 3-unit courses and one 1-unit course —generally takes 1-2 years to complete. Many courses are offered in the evening "live" online (using a virtual classroom system called WebEx) to accommodate working professionals. 

In some cases, it is possible to combine this PBC with a Master's or doctoral degree program to enhance your professional credentials. This option may be of particular interest to students in advanced degree programs such as Occupational Therapy, Child Life, Health Science and Early Childhood Education.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.**
  • An undergraduate GPA minimum of 3.00 (2.75 for conditional admission) in either the cumulative units of the degree or the last 60 units of the degree. An admission exception policy is in place for eligible candidates with undergraduate degrees obtained at least 5 years ago.

  • Completion of the following courses with a grade of “C” or better:
    • Human development across the life span (one lower-division course)
    • Human Biological Science (one lower-division course)
    • Social or Behavioral Science (one lower-division course)
  • Documentation of completion of 30 hours of human service activity as part of field experience, volunteer or paid work in the last five years (e.g., experience with a human service agency or community program, educational or health program, advocacy group, Special Olympics)

For those whose primary employment involves "human service" (e.g. educators, therapists), a resume may serve as evidence of completion of the required service hours.

Students may request a competency in lieu of course work review by the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program Committee for the required courses for admission. Students must submit documentation of didactic preparation (e.g., workshops, professional development or related courses) and professional practice that verifies course content mastery.

Non-immigrant International Students

Program Enrollment: F-1 and J-1 students are required to be enrolled full-time. The majority of their classes must be in-person and on campus. See the list of programs that satisfy these requirements, and contact the International Student and Scholars Office with questions.

Admission Procedures: See additional information regarding Graduate Admission policies and International Graduate Application online.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

Certificate Requirements

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Autism Studies consists of a total of 16 units: 10 units of required courses and 6 units of electives.

Required Courses
IDHP 621CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FOR INFANTS AND CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM3
IDHP 623CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FOR ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM3
SPED 605WORKING WITH FAMILIES OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES 13
or FMST 610 FAMILY-PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION
IDHP 681SEMINAR IN AUTISM SPECTRUM ISSUES1
Electives 2
500-700 level courses in arts; education; family studies; health science; interdisciplinary health professions; kinesiology; nursing; occupational therapy and occupational science; psychology; or speech-language pathology, audiology and deaf studies that directly apply to people on the autism spectrum 6
IDHP Elective Courses 3
SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE FIELD OF AUTISM
DIRECTED READINGS IN THE FIELD OF AUTISM
INDEPENDENT STUDY IN THE FIELD OF AUTISM
Total Units16
1

Courses may be taken as part of required or elective courses in student’s graduate program.

2

Courses must have prior written consent and approval from the director of the autism certificate program for learning activities to satisfy requirements of the autism certificate.

3

Courses may be taken in lieu of required electives.

  1. Students will demonstrate acquisition of knowledge related to the field of autism that addresses epidemiology, etiology, and diagnosis as well as strengths and challenges of individuals with autism, issues faced by their families, and the roles and effectiveness of relevant systems (e.g. public schools, adult service agencies).
  2. Students will critically evaluate autism research to identify evidence-based interventions, policies, and practices that contribute to optimal outcomes and enhance quality of life for people on the autism spectrum and their families.
  3. Students will effectively communicate autism information, sensitive to whether their audience consists of professionals or laypeople, using technology as appropriate.

Courses

IDHP 501 HIV/AIDS-TESTING AND CONFIDENTIALITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY (3)

Explores societal factors, resources, policies, health care delivery, legal/ethical issues and counseling. Students will be prepared for Maryland State Certification as HIV testing counselors. Prerequisites: HLTH 101 or NURS 406, PSYC 101, SOCI 101 and one of the following: BIOL 221/BIOL 221L (BIOL 213), BIOL 215, HLTH 207 or NURS 204 or consent of instructor.

IDHP 560 MENTORING AND AUTISM (3)

Classroom instruction on mentoring models and self-advocacy principles, and out-of-class mentoring experiences with adults on the autism spectrum. Prerequisites: HONR 370; IDHP 300; or permission from instructor.

IDHP 570 SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTERDISCIPLINARY HEALTH PROFESSIONS (1-3)

The study of special topics in interdisciplinary health professions. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

IDHP 600 TRANSITIONS: HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT (3)

Introductory course in CAT program, focused primarily on context and stakeholders of health delivery system, along with leadership and teamwork.

IDHP 602 CLINICAL PROGRAM PLANNING,IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION (3)

Planning clinical programs for health care environments and business planning. Course includes practical skill development in the design of a program proposal, including elements of reimbursement and regulatory requirements. Students will apply tracking systems to evaluate program effectiveness.

IDHP 605 MANAGING HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS (3)

Overview of issues and skills involved in effectively managing the health professional. Focuses on the application of the entire range of supervisory skills and personnel management practices to the tasks of administering a health care operation. Also listed as OCTH 605.

IDHP 610 ADMINISTRATION OF HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS (3)

Capstone course in the interdisciplinary Clinician to Administrator Transition (CAT) certificate program. Integration and application of knowledge and skills related to program planning, financial management and management of human resources. Prerequisites: Completion of the first five courses in the CAT program.

IDHP 621 CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FOR INFANTS AND CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM (3)

Theoretical and applied perspectives of current issues related to infants and children on the autism spectrum; family concerns; and considerations of educational, community, and home contexts. No prerequisites.

IDHP 623 CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FOR ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM (3)

Overview of theoretical and applied perspectives of current issues related to adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum with a primary focus on person-centered strategies and evidence-based practice.

IDHP 636 INTERMEDIATE STATISTICS FOR THE HEALTH SCIENCES (3)

The focus of this course is on the statistical methodologies and research designs in public health. The course content ranges from Single Factor to Multiple Factor analyses. Advanced statistical analytical techniques will be addressed using hand-held calculators (TI83 or equivalent), as well as statistical software available in Excel and SPSS. Topics, such as, effect size, confidence intervals, standard error of the mean, Type I error, Type II errors and power will be continuously emphasized throughout the course. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

IDHP 641 COMMUNICATION, BEHAVIOR, AND PARTICIPATION LINKAGES FOR PEOPLE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM (3)

An analysis and application of positive communication and behavioral management strategies to promote social participation and inclusion of people on the autism spectrum. Prerequisite: IDHP 621.

IDHP 642 PROGRAM DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION IN AUTISM (3)

Program needs assessment, design, and evaluation for people on the autism spectrum to support participation in educational, work, home, and community settings. Prerequisite: IDHP 621.

IDHP 647 HEALTH CARE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT (3)

Examination of financial aspects of health care, including accounting and budgeting. Aspects of production, distribution and organization and health services are reviewed from financial and economic perspectives. Also listed as HLTH 647.

IDHP 651 PLANNING AND MARKETING HEALTH IN BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY (3)

Health promotion and delivery in the profit and not-for-profit sectors. Concepts and application of planning and marketing health in various settings. Also listed as HLTH 651.

IDHP 653 RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH (3)

An interdisciplinary exploration of issues in the ethical conduct of research, and in the process of moving from graduate school into a career. Includes: societal, political, and institutional environment and values surrounding research and research misconduct; ways to encourage research integrity; and ways to evaluate it. Also covers the regulation of human and animal research; data management; informed consent and confidentiality; conflicts of interst; mentoring & collaboration; resume-building; grantsmanship; authorship & publication (including plagiarism); peer review; whistle-blowing; and seeking employment in research or academic settings. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

IDHP 681 SEMINAR IN AUTISM SPECTRUM ISSUES (1)

Interdisciplinary analysis of issues and integration of services for people on the autism spectrum, their families and communities. Prerequisites: IDHP 6xx, IDHP 6yy and FMST 610 or SPED 605, must be taken final semester of program.

IDHP 705 CULTURE AND HEALTH (3)

Provides a theoretical framework for culture and health. Students will analyze cultural understandings on healthcare and synthesize this knowledge for application into their professional practice.

IDHP 712 THE ADULT LEARNER (3)

Introduction to learning in adulthood, including context, development, process and practice. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

IDHP 741 ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN CLINCIAL PRACTICE (3)

Provides an interdisciplinary exploration of legal and ethical issues in clinical practice, research, administration and teaching. It includes emphases on cultural diversity, truth-telling, informed consent, confidentiality, accountability, reimbursement pressures, new technologies and treatments, end-of-life care, licensure concerns, practice in varied settings and organizational ethics. Prerequisite: Admission into the graduate school.

IDHP 770 SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE FIELD OF AUTISM (1-3)

Study of selected topics in the field of autism. Student may repeat up to 6 units. Prerequisites: Vary with each topic; consent of program chair.

IDHP 791 DIRECTED READINGS IN THE FIELD OF AUTISM (3)

Guided review of literature to explore in depth subjects related to field of autism. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: Consent of program chair.

IDHP 792 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN THE FIELD OF AUTISM (3)

In-depth investigation specific to areas of interest related to the field of autism. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: Consent of program chair.