Wilson College offers Pennsylvania certified teachers a path to the state Department of Education's Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement as an extension of the College's Master of Special Education (MSE) program. The endorsement, which may be applied for after completing the required courses, requires specialized training and education that will strengthen skills and improve employment prospects for teachers - including but not limited to those concentrating in special education - by increasing their knowledge of autism in the areas of characteristics, assessment, instruction and behavior interventions.
Other school positions that would benefit from the autism endorsement curriculum include principals, school psychologists, reading specialists, occupational and physical therapists, guidance counselors and home and school visitors.
Although the autism endorsement is only available to Pennsylvania-certified teachers, other professionals not enrolled in the MSE may take the autism-focused courses as long as they have a bachelor's degree. The courses will give them an advantage in jobs that involve working with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including life coaching, group homes and agencies providing services to those with ASD.
All of Wilson's autism endorsement courses may be taken online. Currently, there are four courses in the curriculum, two of which are already required for the MSE degree.
As the number of people diagnosed with ASD continues to rise, demand for teachers and others with some training in the field is also growing. Whether for teachers or others working with people with autism, completing the autism endorsement curriculum will add to their skill set and give them an edge in employment opportunities.
Dr. Theresa Hoover
Assistant Director of Graduate Education Programs Associate Professor of Education
1015 Philadelphia Avenue
Chambersburg, PA 17201