Q and A Certificate in Autism

Q: How long does it take to complete the certificate in Autism?
A: The certificate program typically can be completed in 12 months. The quickest the program can be completed is within 2 semesters. Students completing the Certificate Program in Autism can develop a plan of study that fits their life styles. Students can choose to take one course a semester (16 weeks) or one course over 8 weeks. However, students who wish to take 2 to 3 courses at a time (full-time) can do so. The course offerings are designed to be flexible. In addition, the goal is to offer enough sections of each course so students can complete the certificate in a timely fashion. Each student needs to complete a Plan of Study and have it approved by his/her advisor. Although a student may not follow the exact sequence when completing the courses approved on the Plan of Study, it is important that the courses on the plan be completed before the certificate can be awarded.

Q: How many hours are required to complete the Certificate in Autism?
A: To attain the certificate, students will be expected to complete a total of 15 credit hours, which includes a 3 credit hour practicum.

Q: Can students use prior graduate coursework from Ball State University toward the 15 hour Certificate in Autism?
A: Yes, students can apply prior graduate level courses toward the certificate if they are the same courses that are required for the certificate. It is important to remember that graduate courses over five years old cannot be applied to certificates and not older than 6 years at time of commencement.

Q: Can students transfer graduate courses from other institutions toward the Certificate in Autism at Ball State University?
A: No, courses from other institutions cannot be transferred and applied to the Certificate in Autism at Ball State University.

Q: Can students use the same graduate courses toward two different certificates (e.g., Certificate in Autism and Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis)?
A: No, students are not permitted to use the same courses toward to different certificates. However, if a student is pursing two different certificates, your advisor will work with you to identify an alternate course that you can take or you have already taken that can be used toward one of the certificates so you can attain both certificates.

Q: Do I need to complete a Plan of Study for the certificate program in Autism?
A: Yes, this should be completed prior to starting the certificate program and approved by your advisor. A blank Plan of Study form is available under the Certificate in Autism Program header on the home webpage.

Q: Where can I complete my practicum for the Certificate in Autism?
A: The practicum can be completed in a variety of settings, including schools, mental health centers, hospitals, behavioral centers, group homes, among others. You must ensure that you have the opportunity in the setting to work with a variey of individuals who have a current diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Q: Do I have to find my own site for the practicum in Autism?
A: Yes, you are responsible for finding a practicum site. However, the practicum supervisor at Ball State University will assist you in finding a practicum site and making sure the site is appropriate based upon your career goals.

Q: How many courses can I take each semester?
A: Most students take between 1 and 3 courses each semester. Taking over 4 courses per semester would be difficult and not advised.

Q: What are the requirements to be admitted to the Certificate in Autism progarm?
A: To be eligible, each student must be admitted into the Graduate School. Also, a student must possess each of the following:

  1. Hold an earned bachelors degree from a college or university accredited by its regional accrediting association; and
  2. Have one of the following:
    1. An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale; or
    2. A cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the latter half of the baccalaureate.

    Q: How do I enroll in courses online?
    A: To enroll in courses online, go to www.bsu.edu/distance/schedule. Click on the desired semester (i.e., fall) and then on the appropriate academic department. This should bring up a departmental distance education schedule for the desired semester. You will need a username and password to complete your registration online. These should have been issued to you once you were admitted into the Graduate school.

    Q: Can any of the courses taken toward the autism certificate be used toward becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)?
    A: Only SPCED 609 and SPCED 611 can be used toward the BCBA. You would need to take additional courses and complete practicum hours to be eligible to take the BCBA exam.

    Department of Special Education
    Teachers College (TC), room 722
    Ball State University
    Muncie, IN 47306

    Phone: 765-285-5700