Wilkes University

Autism Endorsement Program

Autism Endorsement Program

Pennsylvania Autism Letter of Endorsement Program

 Dr. Vicki Jones, Program Coordinator

The Autism Letter of Endorsement is a 12-credit fully online graduate program designed to provide professionals with advanced training in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

The program has received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Therefore, satisfactory completion of the 12-credit letter of endorsement program, including all course and field experience requirements, will enable candidates to apply to the PDE to add the letter of endorsement on their existing Pennsylvania certificates. The four courses may also be taken as electives by other educational and clinical professionals who wish to gain additional knowledge in the areas addressed in each course.

The requirements for this 12-credit endorsement are:

  • AUT-501 Autism Diagnosis and Treatment (3 credits; 20 hours field experience)
  • AUT-502 Applied Behavioral Analysis and Autism (3 credits; 20 hours field experience)
  • AUT-503 Autism Scope and Sequence (3 credits; 20 hours field experience)
  • AUT-504 Advanced Autism Instruction and Intervention (3 credits; 20 hours field experience)

PA certification and endorsement candidates will be recommended for certification upon successful completion of the required certification coursework, fieldwork, and internship. Candidates must self-register and pass the certification test, if required.  Some certifications require verification of experience.  In those cases, the candidate will need to have input from their school district verifying that they have satisfactory met professional school experience required. Application for certification and Endorsement is made by the candidate through the PDE Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) found on the PDE portal.


AUT-501. Autism Diagnosis and Treatment

Credits: 3

The course will include an historical overview of the diagnosis and treatment of Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Special education policies, procedures, IEP development, and ethical considerations will be addressed. A review of contemporary diagnostic tools and biological research will be presented. A special emphasis will be given to evidence-based treatment protocols. A 20-hour field experience is required.

AUT-502. Applied Behavioral Analysis and Autism

Credits: 3

This course will introduce the basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with special consideration given to its applications to ASD and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Emphasis will be placed on positive behavioral supports, behavioral intervention plans (BIP), Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA), and error analysis. A review of outcome research in Early Intensive Behavior Intervention will be presented. A 20 hour field experience is required.

AUT-503. Autism Scope and Sequence

Credits: 3

This course will present a review of past and present curricular approaches for students with ASD and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) including Asperger's Syndrome. Particular emphasis will be placed on ABA designs and visually mediated strategies, including ME, ABLLS, and VB-MAPP that address core language deficits and social competence. The role of specific augmentative and alternative communication systems (AAC) will be discussed. A 20 hour field experience is required.

AUT-504. Advanced Autism Instruction and Intervention

Credits: 3

This course will offer an in-depth examination of state-of-the-art instructional techniques and protocols for ASD and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Topics will include Functional Behavior Assessment, Positive Behavior Support Plans, Precision Teaching, Instructional Control, Classwide Behavior Plans, FloorTime, Sensory Integrative Approaches, and Direct Instruction. Materials from the statewide Verbal Behavior Project, TEACCH, and Competent Learner Models will be reviewed. A 20 hour field experience is required.