Program Details

Bethel’s Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Certificate program was designed with your busy schedule in mind.

You can earn your certificate in just 9 months with your choice of program format—fully online or a blend of classroom and online learning.

Online Program

Students in the online program take a total of 3 online courses over 9 months. They also complete a field experience within the school where they’re employed as part of the final course.

  • Fall course (3 credits)
  • Spring course (3 credits)
  • Summer course (3 credits) and field experience (1 credit)

Hybrid Program

Students in the hybrid program enjoy online courses that include face-to-face classroom sessions at Bethel’s main campus—completing a total of 3 courses and a field experience in the school where they’re employed.

  • Fall course (3 credits) - Includes 1 Saturday classroom session
  • Spring course (3 credits) - Includes 1 Saturday classroom session
  • Summer course (3 credits) Includes 3 weeknight classroom sessions and 1-credit field experience


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    • Characteristics of ASD (SPED601)

      Course examines characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Course content will prepare special education teachers for their unique role as academic instructors and skillful classroom managers for students with ASD. Instruction will draw from theories, research, medical, diagnostic, and legal criteria for autism. Personal viewpoints and ethics from a biblical perspective will be examined regarding educational approaches to autism. This course begins with an introduction to educational criteria, identification and assessment, teaching strategies and socio/cultural family issues. The course later progresses through an overview of behavior management philosophy and practical strategies and skills related to the instruction of children identified with autism spectrum disorder. Course objectives are congruent with current standards mandated by the Minnesota Department of Education for special education teachers working with students with autism spectrum disorders.

      3 credits

      Corequisite Course: SPED603

      Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605

    • Communication, Assessment and Intervention of ASD (SPED611)

      Examination and communication characteristics and challenges often associated with autism spectrum disorders. Current tools and strategies used to assess speech, language, and interaction skills. Ethical and moral issues from a biblical perspective will be discussed. Use of assessment results to identify needs and develop intervention plans. Creation of an Autism Tool Kit (defined in the assessment section), including techniques and interventions for building receptive and expressive language, as well as social communication skills of children with ASD.

      3 credits

      Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED601, SPED601, SPED601, SPED603, SPED605

    • Planning, Instruction & Consultation for ASD (SPED612)

      Focus is on the process of identification, assessment, and educational planning for students with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Using appropriate tools for evaluation of autism spectrum disorders, effective utilization, and reporting results. Examine and/or design critical elements of consulting in an educational and family environment specifically for students identified with autism spectrum disorders.

      3 credits

      Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED601, SPED601, SPED601, SPED605, SPED611, SPED611, SPED611

    Who Should Apply

    Our program is designed for licensed special education teachers and other related special education professionals looking to expand their career opportunities and better serve their students.

    In some circumstances, other professionals are considered if their current role relates to serving students with ASD.

    Licensure Details

    This is a certificate program only. When the new ASD license has been approved by the state of Minnesota, we will change this program to a licensure program.

    Any students going through the certificate program will be able to get the ASD license with some minor additions to the ASD certificate. Contact the program director if you have specific questions related to this.