May 29, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement

Department Contact:

Director:  Mrs. Melissa Peppetti,, 814-472-3068

Program Description:

The post-baccalaureate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Endorsement program is designed for candidates interested in completing a competency-based sequence of courses at a baccalaureate degree level or higher. This endorsement provides an additional level of specific training and experiences for professionals who provide educational services for the population of students presenting with various autism spectrum disorders. It will allow professional educators holding this endorsement to address the complex needs of students with ASD in various classroom and school settings. Education professionals achieving this endorsement will have demonstrated competencies related to research -based assessment, intervention, instruction, and program management for student with ASD. Students will gain the knowledge and experience necessary to work with family members with ASD and the broader community. (from the PDE guidelines)

This one-year, online program is 12 credits and requires a total of 80 hours of field experiences integrated into each course.

Two tracks:

  • Professional: Candidates for the professional track must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields (not limited to): PT, OT, PA, Nursing, Social Work, Psychology, Sociology or Behavior Specialist.
  • PDE Endorsement: Candidates must have an Instructional I or Instructional II certificate through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Admission Criteria:

Students must apply for admission into the program. The Graduate Education program will review all applicants throughout the year and candidates will receive an acceptance letter from the Director. In order to be considered for application, applicants must submit the following information:

  • Online Application and $30 application fee made payable to Saint Francis University;
  • Two letters of professional recommendation;
  • Official transcripts with a B.S. or B.A. degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0;
  • Copy of Instructional Certificate (if applicable).

Admission Deadline:

The program has rolling admission. New cohorts begin every fall semester.

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

A minimum average of 3.0 must be maintained throughout the program. If a student falls below the 3.0 requirement he or she will be placed on academic probation for the next semester. Student’s continued eligibility in the program will depend on the GPA in the semester following the low GPA. If the student’s GPA does not go above the 3.0, after being placed on probation, the student is subject to dismissal from the program.

Licensure and/or Certification:

Upon completion of the program requirements, the candidate will be recommended for endorsement through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) TIMS. 

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 1 year of full-time study or 2 years part time

Total Credits Required:

12 credits


Students will have 90 hours of clinical observations upon completion of this program. These clinical hours may be completed in the student’s current place of employment; with instructor permission.

This is an online program. Students must have a computer and access to the Internet to complete all program requirements.