Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, Missouri

College of Education

Dean: Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson
Department of Elementary, Early & Special Education
Department Chair: Dr. Julie Ray


Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate Program*

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Certificate Program enables students to attain knowledge and skills essential in making a positive impact on individuals with ASD. The increasing prevalence and large research-to-practice gap in educational programs drives this critical need. We offer a 15 credit hour certificate program that is available as an add-on to an undergraduate degree or can be incorporated into a graduate degree. The courses are also available to non-degree seeking students wanting to learn more and make a positive impact on individuals with ASD. Courses are taught as online courses with opportunities to meet face-to-face if desired.

Program Requirements:

EX 555             Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credits)  Offered every Fall, Spring, and Summer semsester

This course offers an overview of student characteristics, theory and teaching applications for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Major theories, teaching approaches, trends, etiological and diagnostic issues, classroom structure and environmental arrangements, research based instructional strategies, and family involvement will be discussed.  Field experiences are embedded in this course.


 EX 556                   Communication Intervention & Strategies for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credits) Offered every Spring and Summer semester


This course addresses the process of verbal and non-verbal communication skills, the assessment of ability in communication and investigates research-based strategies and interventions for improving communication in individuals with communication difficulties, autism spectrum disorder and related disabilities. A brief overview of language development, social skills training, alternative/augmentative modes of communication, assistive technology devices and environment arrangement will be discussed and investigated. Field experiences are embedded in this course.


 EX 557                   Behavior Management & Interventions for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credits)  Offered every Fall semester

This course provides an in-depth analysis of the principles of behavior management and interventions that have been successful for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and sensory disabilities. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) will be emphasized for classroom and school management systems. Field experiences are embedded in this course.


 EX 558                  Seminar: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credits)  Offered every Spring semester


This course addresses critical issues and trends in the field of developmental disabilities. Contemporary issues and research including social relationships, sensory integration, communication, behavior, core academic areas, transition, family and professional collaboration, and educational models will be discussed. Field experiences are embedded in this course.


 EX 559                  Clinical Practicum (3 credits)  Offered every Summer semester


This course consists of a supervised field experience which will be conducted in a clinical environment with individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities, sensory impairments, and/or with ASD. Students will apply the knowledge gained in previous coursework by completing a capstone project consisting of an educational, treatment and family support plan.

Contact Dr. Nancy J. Aguinaga at for more information



* This certificate program is a Certificate program through Southeast Missouri State University. Autism is currently NOT a Missouri state certification area.


 Autism Awareness RibbonMissouri Blue Ribbon Autism Report 


The Blue Ribbon Panel recommends that additional curricula be added to the teacher education programs at the university and college level that is specific to ASD and to the management of behavior problems encountered with ASD.


Autism Society of AmericaOrganization for Autism ResearchNational Institute of Mental Health