The latest data estimates that 1 in 68 American children have some form of autism spectrum disorder— up from 1 in 150 in 2000.1 As the rate of diagnosis rises, so does the need for autism specialists who understand, support and advocate for this growing population. The Autism Studies concentration of the online BLS in General Studies provides you with the skills to work with individuals who are on the autism spectrum.
The autism studies curriculum consists of ten courses (30 credits) that include an introduction to autism theories, techniques, treatment, and therapies, including three concentrated supervised fieldwork courses that equal the total hours of field experience required for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) exam. 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.*
What Can I Do With a Degree or Certificate in Autism Studies?
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts work with individuals on the autism spectrum in a wide range of settings, from primary schools to mental health facilities. As an autism specialist, you could find yourself teaching children in a special education classroom, or counseling adults who are participating in a behavioral health program. Communication with and support of the families and caregivers of autistic individuals is also a common responsibility in this field.
Behavior analysis increasingly is used for treating behavior problems associated with a wide variety of issues and causes, including autism spectrum disorders. Applied behavior analysis has been shown to help individuals learn more effectively in the classroom, as well as function more successfully in situations from social to work environments.
Listen to series of podcasts with Autism Studies Program Director Dr. Michelle Rowe for in-depth information about this concentration. Learn about the value it can have as a career and the impact it makes on the lives of those who have autism spectrum disorder.
Concentrated Field Experience Courses
To help you meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s supervised experience requirements, Saint Joseph’s University offers three courses that cover the BCaBA fieldwork requirement.
These courses (IHS 404, IHS 405, and IHS 406) allow you to demonstrate behavior analytic skills in applied settings. In order to generalize information and techniques learned in previous courses, you will work with clients with autism at an approved fieldwork site. Activities will include selecting learning objectives, measurement plan development, instructional plan development, generalization, data collection, fidelity checks, training others, evaluation of results, progress reporting, and discussion of ethical considerations. The course requires you to work the field of autism treatment, complete a site verification, secure practicum contracts, and garner client consent prior to logging hours.
Additional Certificate Options
Stand-alone certificate options are also available:
- Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Autism Studies: This option includes all ten courses in the concentration, including the BCaBA-approved coursework and fieldwork to prepare you to sit for the BCaBA examination. You must have a bachelor's degree to earn this certificate.
With You at Every Step
Saint Joseph’s University has been educating adults for more than 100 years. To support you as you work toward your educational goals, we offer:
- A full team of counselors, advisors and professors who offer one-on-one support
- Financial aid to those who qualify
- 24/7 technical support
- Assistance with the application process
How to Get Started with Your Autism Studies Program
Learn more about the online Autism Studies concentration or the BCaBA online programs: Call (866) 758-7670 to speak with a Program Manager or request more information below.
*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.