While all of the Autism Studies Certificate Programs focus on meeting the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), each one serves different professional backgrounds and goals. From the ten-course Post-baccalaureate Autism Studies Certificate to the four-course post-graduate Autism Endorsement, they will prepare you to improve the lives of children and adults diagnosed with ASD.
The Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Autism Studies consists of ten courses: seven theoretical courses and three concentrated supervised fieldwork courses. This coursework sequence has been verified to meet the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.*
The Autism Studies Endorsement consists of four graduate-level courses.
Post-baccalaureate Autism Studies Certificate Courses
IHS 100 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
3 credits. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), including Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, are common, are a result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, ASD impacts social interactions and communication skills. The types of ASD range in severity from very low functioning, associated with significant cognitive deficits and highly disruptive behaviors, to very high functioning, associated with highly gifted intelligence and "quirky" behaviors. This course introduces students to the neurology, symptoms, diagnostic criteria, causes, biomedical treatments and behavioral interventions, as well as to the impact on individuals with ASD, families, friends, school districts, the economy, and society with regard to functioning, coping, prognosis, and outcomes. ABA 100 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with all other courses in the Autism Studies concentration.
IHS 101 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
3 credits. This is the first course within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s © (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. This course is designed to introduce the current research-based interventions in the field of applied behavior analysis and autism. Students will gain a general understanding of the philosophical underpinnings, the concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis and how they can be used across multiple environments (home, school, early intervention, clinics) to address the various social, behavioral and communication deficits of individuals with autism. Topics addressed include respondent and operating conditioning, reinforcement, punishment, extinction, generalization, discrimination, matching law, and various contingencies.
IHS 102 Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Behavior Analysis
3 credits. This is the second course within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s © (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. This course will explore professional and ethical issues in the field of applied behavior analysis. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s © Professional and Ethical Compliance Code will be examined and its relation to the provision of services. Students will explore ethical problem solving and practices, and societal issues of importance related to culture, human rights, punishment, parenting, education, behavior management, and workplace behavior. Students learn to demonstrate professionalism in the field and practice resolving ethical dilemmas from case studies and their work settings. Prerequisite: IHS 101.
IHS 202 Single Subject Research Design in Applied Behavior Analysis
3 credits. This is the third course within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s © (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. This course covers assessment of behavior, including all dimensions of behavior and structured observation. Single-case research methods, including reversal, multiple baseline, changing criterion, alternating treatment, and multi-element designs are covered. Students will be expected to understand, interpret, and apply single-subject research methodology through the experience of defining behavior, collecting data, calculating inter-observer agreement, and creating graphical displays of data. Students will have the opportunity to implement basic experiments for evaluating the effectiveness of behavioral interventions. Prerequisite: IHS 102.
IHS 302 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
3 credits. This is the 4th course within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s © (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. This course is designed to expand upon the previously learned concepts of behavior analysis and connect it to the practical world. In this course, students will gain an understanding of how to use the principles and practices of applied behavioral analysis. This course covers behavior change procedures from principles of learning and behavior from relatively simple animal studies to more complex issues such as the acquisition of human language. Examples of topics reviewed in depth include operant and respondent conditioning, reinforcement, punishment, extinction, shaping, chaining, stimulus control, and verbal behavior. Multi-disciplinary, real world examples and applications will be introduced. Prerequisite: IHS 202.
IHS 402 Assessment in Applied Behavior Analysis
3 credits. This is the fifth course within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s © (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. Assessment is an important part of any behavior analytic intervention. This course is designed to expand upon the previously learned concepts of behavior analysis and will present the student with information on observation, data collection, and data interpretation. Students will learn the methods for obtaining descriptive data and the procedures for conducting systematic manipulations. Functional assessments and analysis of individual behaviors will be a primary focus. Students will review completing record review, determining the need for services, identifying socially significant behavior, identifying client strengths and weaknesses, conducting preference assessments, graphing functions of behaviors, various application of assessment within behavior analysis, and the important of interdisciplinary collaboration, and incorporating client quality of life and happiness. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a functional behavior assessment, and review mock client data. Prerequisite: IHS 302.
IHS 403 Consultation and Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis
3 credits. This is the sixth and final course within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s © (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. This is the final course in the sequence, where students will build upon previous knowledge around behavior analytic principles, measurement, data, experimental design, ethics, assessment, selecting and implanting interventions. This course takes that foundation and applies it to data-based decision making to evaluate the effects of interventions for clients and staff of organizations. Students also learn to collaborate while selecting and implementing interventions that integrate behavior analytic concepts and principles into plans and to rely on the best available scientific evidence and to incorporate information about preferences, risks, the environment, and social validity for program planning. The course includes team activities and case studies to assess and intervene in collaborative, positive ways that maximize outcomes. Prerequisite: IHS 302.
IHS 404 Concentrated Field Experience 1
3 credits. This is the first concentrated field experience, within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. Prerequisite: IHS 101.
IHS 405 Concentrated Field Experience 2
3 credits. This is the second concentrated field experience, within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. Prerequisite: IHS 101, IHS 404.
IHS 406 Concentrated Field Experience 3
3 credits. This is the third concentrated field experience, within the PLS 5th Edition Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) Verified Course Sequence (VCS) BCaBA certification. Prerequisite: IHS 101, IHS 201, IHS 404, IHS 405.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist Endorsement Graduate Courses
SPE 720 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Overview of Causality, Diagnosis, and Advocacy
3 credits. This course will provide candidates with an introduction to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). With the increase in the number of individuals being diagnosed with ASD, this course will examine the challenge ASD presents to families, educators, students, related service providers, advocates, and policy makers. Course content will include an overview of ASD; family issues and challenges; ASD screening, diagnosis and assessment; an overview of intervention and treatment approaches; accessing appropriate supports and services; policy issues; advocacy and the experience of individuals living with ASD. Note: SPE 720 must be taken as the first Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement program.Read More
SPE 721 Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Socialization Strategies
3 credits. This course will focus on a wide range of current research and evidence-based practices in the area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) as it is implemented to increase, improve, and maintain functional communication skills of students with ASD. In addition, specific strategies and techniques to address socialization skills for individuals with ASD as well as their communication partners will be addressed. Case studies, discussions, and activities will be utilized to personalize these strategies and techniques.Read More
SPE 722 Evidenced Based Practices, Assessment, and Instructional Methodologies
3 credits. This course will provide comprehensive coverage of the importance of using evidence-based practice in assessment, instruction, and implementation of interventions for individuals with ASD. Course content will include identifying the legal basis and requirements for evidence-based practice; a review of how to locate and evaluate evidence in the literature base; a review of the theoretical basis of, and evaluation of the empirical evidence for screening and assessments; a review of the theoretical basis of, and evaluation of the empirical evidence for screening and assessments; the continuum of interventions from traditional behavior to social-developmental-pragmatic; comprehensive program approaches; and instructional strategies in the classroom. Additional topics will include the use of medical, dietary, and sensory interventions in the schools; pseudoscience and fad interventions; and finding the middle ground between parents and professionals in the decision-making process.Read More
SPE 723 Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis: Behavior Management Approaches
3 credits. This course will examine and introduce the major therapies/educational interventions that have been developed to treat autism and related pervasive developmental disorders. Applied behavior analysis (ABA), an empirically validated treatment for individuals with autism and related disabilities will be discussed in detail. In addition, other emerging treatments including Greenspan, Relationship Development Intervention, and the principles of Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS) in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) will be examined in relation to ABA. In addition, scientific criteria will be compared to pseudoscientific criteria for various interventions. This course is relevant for both novices and experienced practitioners in the field of autism treatment.Read More
*The Behavior Analyst Certification Board has approved courses IHS 100 through IHS 406 as meeting the 5th Edition Task List’s coursework requirement for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) examination. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify for the examination. Students who enrolled in this program prior to Fall 2018 must register for IHS 465 through IHS 482, which meets the 4th Edition Task List’s coursework requirement for taking the BCaBA examination. For information on these courses, please see the SJU Catalog.
NOTE: Courses are in alpha-numeric order, not necessarily the order in which they are taken, and are subject to change. Please speak with a Program Manager for a course map.
To learn more about the classes in the online Autism Studies Certifications from Saint Joseph’s University, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with a Program Manager or request more information below.