Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Program: Robert Morris University Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Program | Robert Morris University


The Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Program at Robert Morris University is designed to meet the needs and interests of teachers and administrators who have the desire to increase their knowledge in working with students on the Autism Spectrum, including but not limited to general and special educators, school psychologists, principals, guidance counselors, speech and language clinicians, occupational and physical therapists, and reading specialists.

Students enrolled in the program receive one-on-one advising, attend small classes, collaborate with practitioners and administrators in local school districts, and develop close relationships with faculty with diverse experiences in K-12 schools. Students are engaged in innovative programs, partnerships within the school communities, and student organization and volunteer opportunities.

Applicants for the Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Program must hold a current Pennsylvania Level I or Level II certification (or equivalent), have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, submit two letters of recommendation, provide a copy of all transcripts, and complete an RMU graduate application.

Core Courses - 12 Credits

SPED6055 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
SPED6070 Communication and Special Educ: Instr Methods and Practices
SPED6060 Advanced Studies in Behavior
SPED6075 Advanced Studies in Autism Spectrum Disorders

In addition to the course requirements, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires that each student complete a specified number of field hours working with students on the autism spectrum, and the required hours may be completed in a variety of instructional settings. Field hours have been integrated with all course work. There is no state required examination for endorsement.

Most of our graduate programs can be completed in 27 months or less, through in-class, online or hybrid study. Take classes one night a week through your course of study. Admission is rolling and classes start fresh every eight weeks. You can also choose to pursue your degree full- or part-time.

RMU Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement students will be able to:

  • apply the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students with autism spectrum disorders in multiple settings.
  • describe characteristics and etiology of autism spectrum disorders.
  • plan, structure, and conduct assessments for students with autism spectrum disorders.
  • facilitate family and school collaboration to communicate and advocate for the needs of students with autism spectrum disorders.
Comprehensive, continuous academic advising is crucial for student success.  Each student in the Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement Program is assigned Dr. Vicki Donne as his or her academic advisor.  Dr. Donne is the M.Ed. in Special Education Coordinator, and students meet with her at least once per semester from the time they enter Robert Morris University to the time they complete all program requirements.