The Autism Certificate program is ideal for future teachers who are passionate about positively impacting the lives of students and meeting an important need in our schools. The number of children diagnosed with Autism is continuing to increase and the certificate is designed for those who seek additional expertise in this critical-need area.
Within the past decade, the number of children diagnosed with Autism has increased dramatically. One in every eighty-eight children is diagnosed with autism according to the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Therefore the need for professionals trained in this specialized area has increased.
This certificate furthers a student’s understanding of the diagnosis of Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Students will explore current issues and best practices in providing educational services that meet the unique characteristics and needs of students that fall within the autism spectrum. Current theories in the field will be a focus of the certificate.
It is strongly advised that interested applicants meet with their advisor prior to entering the certificate to assess the on-site learning component. This certificate is delivered through an online/hybrid forum.
Candidates for positions and careers in education are encouraged to explore health requirements associated with employment in a school setting. Prospective students with special needs requiring accommodations that may affect their learning are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Services Coordinator.
The health and safety of children, adolescents and other learners is of paramount concern to the program. Applicants for teaching positions in public and private schools in New Hampshire should be aware that background checks through the New Hampshire Department of Safety must be completed by potential employers prior to employment. Students must also be aware that the college requires national criminal background checks for admission into the Teacher Education, Special Education Certificate and Career and Technical Education Certificate Programs. The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the student. Applicants, who have been in difficulty with the law, depending upon the nature of their experience, may not be employable or even eligible for field experience. Applicants are advised that such matters may be discussed during an admission interview so that future goals to be a teacher will not be compromised.
Technical standards have been established to provide guidance to students as to skills and abilities required to function successfully in the program and ultimately in the public and/or private school classroom as teachers. Applicants who think they may not be able to meet one or more of the technical standards should contact program faculty members to discuss individual cases. Department faculty will give serious consideration to all academically qualified candidates providing that the technical standards can be met with reasonable accommodations. Students in the program must have sufficient strength, stamina and motor coordination to perform the following:
- Sufficient hearing and visual acuity to ensure a safe environment and ability to respond quickly in the event of emergency;
- Sufficient verbal ability to express and exchange information and ideas, as well as to interpret important instructions to children, adolescents, colleagues and parents;
- Sufficient writing skills to accurately record students’ daily progress and milestones, as well as a variety of reports;
- Ability to work with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately to unexpected situations, and to cope with extreme variations in workload and stress levels.
Program available in Berlin and online.