Autism and Neurodiverse Learners Graduate Certificate

Online 15 credit hours * 1 year

Program Highlights & Benefits

Fully online synchronous format combines interactive real time learning with the convenience of online delivery

1 year completion time, including breaks

Cohort model helps facilitate supportive and collaborative learning

Workload designed for full time professional educators


Students in the Autism and Neurodiverse Learners Graduate Certificate program must have a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and access to a classroom and students throughout the duration of the program to fulfill field study requirements. Parents and related service professionals are invited to participate in the program.

Goals and Focus of the Program

The Autism and Neurodiverse Learners Graduate Certificate program focuses on special education theory and strength-based practice grounded in the latest research. Candidates will develop knowledge and skills to support Neurodiverse learners in inclusive classrooms. Coursework focuses on diverse learning, social-emotional, mental health and behavioral needs of children with autism and other neurodiverse learners. Interactive, synchronous classes develop knowledge and skills in inclusive instructional classroom strategies for behavioral intervention, communication and technology, and mental health support for children with autism and related learning profiles as collaborative members of interdisciplinary teams. The program builds techniques for strengthening systems of support through effective communication and collaboration with parents, families, community providers.

Program Design

The Autism and Neurodiverse Learners Graduate Certificate program follows a cohort instructional model with a fully online synchronous delivery structure. Eight-week courses include weekly contact with cohort members and instructors, small and larger group activities, and collaborative problem solving within the four hour class period. Online class sessions meet virtually from 4:45 PM – 8:45 PM on the same night of the week during this scheduled class time. The duration of the program is approximately one year.

Program Requirements and Career Outcome:

The requirements for this program are successful completion of the program’s respective courses (listed below). Upon completion of this program, students will have earned a university graduate certificate. This is not a licensure or endorsement program, but students who complete the program will be eligible for a University of Saint Joseph Graduate Certificate in Autism and Neurodiverse Learners. Students who complete the certificate program will be eligible to continue their study to complete a 30-credit MA in Special Education with a focus on Autism and Neurodiverse Learners.

Plan of Study

SPEC 560Introduction to Autism and Neurodiverse Learners
SPEC 561Behavioral Interventions
SPEC 562Communication and Technology for Neurodiverse Learners
SPEC 565Supporting Mental Health Needs of Neurodiverse Learners
SPEC 564Application of Instructional Strategies for Neurodiverse Learners
 Total Credit Hours:15

Candidates who enroll in the certificate only program are not eligible for financial aid.

Please Note:

The courses for this program may be offered in a different order. This list should not be considered the finalized course sequence.