Notre Dame College Adds Online Graduate-level Autism Education Certificate

Notre Dame College is offering an internationally recognized graduate-level autism education certificate that can be completed online in two semesters.

The certificate consists of four, three-credit hour graduate-level courses and a practicum. Each course is eight weeks in length and offered completely online through College beginning in fall 2019. This advanced training is for working professionals in education, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language pathology, music therapy or any other touchpoint profession with students ages 3 to 21 who have autism spectrum disorders.

Candidates who successfully complete the course sequence will be eligible to sit for the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) examination for Certified Autism Specialist. Notre Dame is pleased to partner with IBCCES to provide this internationally recognized certification.

The new program is being introduced in 2019-2020 through the College’s Office of Professional Development in conjunction with the Notre Dame Division of Professional Education and will become available to students on campus in the Master of Education program beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year.

Distinctive Coursework

Those enrolled in the certificate program will learn how to create a model environment that respects and enhances the ecological learning needs of students with autism spectrum disorders. The curriculum encompasses evidence-based approaches to education as well as adaptive, communicative and other relevant contemporary technologies.

In their coursework, professionals will design both a resource guide for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and a transition proposal for students age 14 and older as part of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The certificate also covers data collected in a hypothetical Multifactored Evaluation (MFE) and sample Evaluation Team Reports (ETR) for students with autism spectrum disorders.

The program includes a field experience working with youth on the autism spectrum in a setting applicable to the professional seeking the certificate.

Expert Faculty

Courses for this certificate have been designed and will be taught by Notre Dame faculty members, including Kelli Tibbitts, M.Ed., an Advanced Certified Autism Specialist, who is an assistant professor of education, and Sarah M. West, J.D., Ph.D., assistant professor and director of graduate studies in professional education at the College, who has a background in urban education as well as disability law.

Notre Dame also is home to the nationally recognized Academic Support Center for Students with Learning Differences (ASC).

Since its founding in 2005, the ASC has become a signature program of the College and is distinctive among higher education services for offering assistance to students with learning disabilities beyond what is required by law. The program at Notre Dame is designed for students with documented learning differences, including those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, who are capable of performing college work, graduating and moving on to successful lives and careers.

Contact Information

Details, including registration information, for the College’s graduate-level autism education certificate, are available online.

To learn more about the curriculum, contact West at or Tibbitts at in the Notre Dame Division of Professional Education.

For assistance with enrollment, contact Tina Jurcisin at 216.373.6520 or or Kris Jensen at 216.373.5219 or in the College’s Office for Professional Development.

March 2019

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or

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