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Yes 12 credits $439/cr. in-state and $549/cr. out-of-state May 1 Deadline: Summer start only None

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Program Requirements (12 credits)

The certificate program includes four courses (a total of 12 credits). Students will complete this Graduate Certificate in one fiscal year by enrolling in one course per semester. Courses are taken in sequence to build knowledge and understanding. 

Program of Study for the Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders (printable)

SED 528: Educational Methods for Students with Autism (1st course, summer course offering).  This course is designed to assist educators in developing strategies and techniques to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in accessing the general education environment to the fullest extent possible. This introductory class is designed to familiarize participants with the complexity of the autism spectrum.

SED 585: Communication for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (2nd course, fall course offering).  This course examines communication, including an overview of typical communication and language development, the difference in autism speech and language development, assessments of communication, augmentative communication supports, visual supports, and the interrelationships between communication and socialization.

SED 556:  Assessment for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3rd course, spring course offering).  This course provides advanced training in assessing individual learning needs of students with autism spectrum disorders and students with severe disabilities, emphasizing ecological inventories, person-centered planning and quality of life indicators. A value-based system of respecting the individual and individual capabilities within a fully inclusive society is presented as the underlying philosophy. Applied assignments will allow students to demonstrate specific skills that reflect this philosophy.  Course content will be presented in a series of modules that contain information on specific topics related to the assessment and intervention of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and students with severe disabilities. 

SED 563: Positive Behavioral Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (4th course, summer course offering). This course provides training in behavioral assessment, support, and intervention for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Emphasizes evidence-based practices including functional behavioral assessment and communication training, social skills instruction, self-management, and antecedent and broader environmental interventions.

Course Descriptions

General Overview Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 68 children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is reported in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The primary purpose of this 4-course certificate sequence is to prepare experienced educators, administrators and related service providers to assume a leadership role in the development and implementation of educational programs for students with autism in school settings. This certificate program gives you critical knowledge and practical skills necessary to address the needs of children and students across the autism spectrum.  

*Participants must have experience with supporting students with ASD, and also be currently working with students with ASD to be considered for this program.

Certificate program objectives:

  1. Candidates will develop theoretical knowledge and applied skills for understanding the needs of students with ASD and providing evidence-based practices according to individual needs.
  2. Candidates will have the necessary theoretical and applied background to provide leadership to their schools and districts in developing a sound model of educational and social/behavioral support and intervention.
  3. Candidates will be familiar with and able to access available resources to support their districts’ efforts in providing services for their students with ASD.
  4. Candidates will have the knowledge and skills to serve as team leaders and coaches in supporting ASD program implementation in their schools and districts.

Visit the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research website for additional information.

What can I do with a Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in the development and implementation of educational programs for students with ASD.  Graduates work with parents, teachers, direct care staff and others who provide support for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Graduates may also find careers in:

  • Health and Human Service Agencies
  • Educational Settings
  • Assessment and Intervention Programs

Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research Faculty

The Institute serves as the primary source of education and training concerning evidence-based practices for professionals working with children and families with autism spectrum disorders, and for undergraduate and graduate students aspiring to serve children, families, schools and community service providers. For families seeking assistance, the Institute offers services, resources and information; support and guidance; and tools to contribute to awareness regarding their children with ASD.

For a listing of faculty and staff visit the MAIER website.

What students have to say about the Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate

photo of Sue and her daughter, Monique Theriault“Completing my Master of Education in Special Education [Concentration in Low Incidence] has been a tremendous source of pride for my family and me. In fact, my daughter received her Bachelor’s Degree from UMaine on the same weekend that I was hooded for my Master’s! The graduate program at UMaine is exceptional. The courses focus on research-based practices, which are crucial for educating individuals with disabilities. While completing my M.Ed., I was also able to complete the requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders. The faculty are actively engaged in advancing the education and training of professionals who work with individuals with ASD and their families. I love how I can continue to be involved with these highly committed faculty through the Maine Autism Leadership Team and professional development workshops.” – Sue Theriault

How will your story go?


When you are ready to apply, please first review these Application Instructions. Then, complete your online application here. The certificate application (including an essay and resumé), official transcripts, and a letter of recommendation are required. 

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