TU to offer autism studies postbaccalaureate certificate
Interdisciplinary program to address growing need
TOWSON, Md. (Feb. 25, 2009)—This fall TU’s College of Health Professions will introduce its postbaccalaureate certificate (PBC) in autism studies, a 16-unit interdisciplinary program that will prepare professionals working or planning to work with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. It is designed to serve these individuals across their life span and in a variety of settings, including home, education and work.
Only 13 universities in the mid-Atlantic or New England regions offer a postbaccalaureate or master’s degree in autism. TU will be the only public institution in Maryland to do so.
The certificate program seeks to address a growing statewide need for personnel adequately trained to work with adults people on the autism spectrum and their families.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) indicates that 6,341 of the 845,700 (approximately one in 133) students in the state’s schools have ASD. The number of programs and people educated about and able to work with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families across the life span falls significantly short of the need, and Maryland families requesting such services are confronted with long waiting lists.
Janet DeLany, professor of occupational therapy and occupational science, says the program will draw on TU’s interdisciplinary resources in clinical psychology, family studies, school psychology, occupational therapy, special education, and speech-language pathology, health sciences and the arts.
“We’ve designed the program so students can complete their postbaccalaureate concurrently with their master’s degree program in related subject areas, such as those in the health professions, education, health sciences and the liberal arts," says DeLany. "Students not in the certificate program who wish to study about autism spectrum issues also can also take courses in this program.”
Although the certificate program launches this fall, some classes will be offered as early as this summer.