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Eastern Kentucky University


Psychology 5 Autism Certificate Program

Autism Certificate Program

Interdisciplinary Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

About the Certificate

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) represent an increasing and heterogenous group of consumers who require an individualized and specialized approach to assessment, treatment planning, and intervention. Currently 1 of 110 individuals is diagnosed with an ASD (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Behaviors exhibited by these unique individuals include impairment of social interaction and communication abilities and restricted, repetitive behaviors. Treatment and supports have been found to be effective in teaching new skills, replacing challenging behaviors, and improving occupational functioning for people with ASDs. As interest increases in providing appropriate identification and support for people on the autism spectrum, interest in professionals with training and experience in ASDs also increases. This certificate will provide professionals in training from four disciplines with documented skills and experiences related to ASDs.

Program Admission

  • Students applying for this certificate program must be currently enrolled in Eastern Kentucky University masters programs in clinical psychology, communication disorders, occupational therapy, and/or special education, or specialist program in school psychology. Post-degree students with graduate degrees in one of these fields will also be considered, although the focus of the certificate is on pre-service training.
  • Prospective ASD certificate students should submit application form and 2 page purpose statement to the faculty member listed for their department.
  • Two reference letters should be sent separately to the faculty member listed for the department. A faculty representative from each discipline represented in the emphasis program will sit on the admissions committee.
  • Three to four graduate students from each of represented disciplines will be admitted each academic year, so that the program will be comprised of a multidisciplinary group of students and taught by a multidisciplinary set of instructors. Applications should be received by each program in adherence with deadlines for the program’s standard application.
  • To be officially admitted to the graduate school and to actually receive your certificate, you MUST also complete the “simultaneous curricula” ASD form found at

Course Requirements

See graduate catalog for course descriptions.

  • OTS 863 (3 credit hours) – Occupation and Sensory Processing
  • PSY 777 (3 credit hours) – The Autism Spectrum
  • CDS 867 (3 credit hours) – Advanced Language Disorders
  • SED 790 (3 credit hours) – Applied Behavior Analysis
  • OT 831, or PSY 843, CDS 874 or SED 897 (3 credit hours) – Practicum in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Capstone Experience in Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credit hours) – Students will complete their choice of one of the following: 3 Independent Project hours in ASDs (OTS 846, CDS 899, or PSY 887) OR 3 Clinical Internship/Fieldwork hours in ASDs (OTS 846, CDS 898, SED 897, OR PSY 898 or 899) OR 3 thesis hours focused on an ASD topic (CDS 899, PSY 890)

The application of knowledge and skills learned in prerequisite courses to those with ASD in a supervised clinical and/or educational setting that specializes in assessment, intervention, and/or education for those with ASD. Students will work on interdisciplinary teams to assess and provide individual and group intervention. Supervision will be provided by faculty with expertise in ASD. Students will be expected to attend an approved off-campus regional training conference/meeting on ASD either before or during their practicum experience.

Students will also be required to receive a passing score on an Oral Comprehensive Exam, to be administered at the completion of their course requirements and before they go on internship.

Who is Eligible?

This certificate will train a select group of current EKU graduate students and post-graduate degree students in clinical psychology, school psychology, occupational therapy, special education, and communication disorders to provide services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Faculty Members

Dr. Myra Beth Bundy
Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Dr. Justin Cooper
Associate Professor of Special Education
Department of Special Education

Dr. Charlotte Hubbard
Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders
Department of Special Education

Dr. Peggy Wittman
Professor of Occupational Therapy
Department of Occupational Therapy

Adjunct Faculty

Neelkamal Soares, MD, FAAP
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
University of Kentucky

Credit Hours

The certificate will consist of 18 credit hours of certificate course work, supported by other relevant coursework taken within the student’s discipline. This program will prepare students to provide communication, social-emotional, behavioral, occupational, educational, and community services to individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and their community service providers. Students will be engaged in both didactic and practicum-based learning experiences. Specifically, students successfully completing this certificate will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in effective assessment and intervention for individuals with ASD.
  2. Compare and contrast evidenced-based intervention strategies used for those with ASD.
  3. Effectively collaborate with parents and other professionals in the assessment and intervention process.
  4. Apply knowledge and skills to consumers with ASD in schools, clinics, home, or in the workplace
  5. Appreciate the need for skilled service provision to those with ASD Classes will be taught online and face-to-face on campus.

Classes can be taken in any order but successful completion of at least two of them will be required before a student can enroll in Practicum and Fieldwork courses. Practicum experiences will be completed at the EKU Psychology Clinic or the EKU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in Richmond, Kentucky or at other locations approved by the graduate students’ advisor, instructor, and/or clinical supervisor.

“Gainful Employment” Reporting for Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Students

  • EKU Admission Webpage
  • List of Occupations
  • Program Cost: TBA
  • Number of students Completed Program 2010 – 11:7
  • Number Students Completing in Normal Time 2010 -11:7
  • Job Placement: 57% employed in Autism and Developmental Disabilities-related fields and 14% pursuing doctoral-level education in related fields.
  • Median Loan Debt: TBA

Psychology Department

521 Lancaster Avenue
127 Cammack Building
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-1105

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