Minor in Autism Studies

As the autism field grows, future care providers are seeking the proper training and credentials from their undergraduate coursework to give them a competitive edge. The autism studies minor offers a rich curriculum in autism theories, techniques, treatment and therapies, and is designed for students from relevant majors who require a more in-depth study of autism.

At Saint Joseph's, students interested in the study of autism have the opportunity to become involved at the University's Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support. The Kinney Center offers services, resources and information; support and guidance; and tools for public and individual advocacy that contributes to improved autism awareness and care.

SJU students who complete the minor in autism studies online which includes practicum fieldwork will be eligible to sit for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) examination, an important certification for professionals in the field.

Program Director Contact Information:
Dr. Michelle Rowe
mrowe@sju.edu
610-660-1576
250 Connelly Hall
Website: http://kinneyautism.sju.edu/academics/minor.html

Requirements for the Minor in Autism Studies for Undergraduate Day Students

Core Courses — 3 Required:
IHS 465: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
IHS 466: Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Treatment*
IHS 467: Social Skills Development in Autism*

Elective Courses — Choose 3 from the following:**
IHS 468: Resources and Advocacy for Autism*
IHS 490: Internship in Autism Studies* (listed in the Academic Catalog as "Internship in Health Services")
IHS 110: Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness & Disability
IHS 248: Health and the School-aged Child
PSY 120: Lifespan Development
PSY 121: Child Development
PSY 122 or PSY 232: Abnormal Psychology for Non-Majors (or Abnormal Psychology for Psychology Majors)
PSY 201: Biological Basis of Behavior
PSY 222: Neuropsychology
PSY 226: Psychology of Emotion
PSY 237: Abnormal Child Psychology
EDU 155: Foundations in Early Childhood Education
EDU 241: Social Motor Development
SPE 160: Introduction to Special Education
SPE 200: Teaching in Inclusive Environments
SPE 339: Educating Students with Low Incidence Disabilities
SPE 369: Educating Students with Emotional-Social, Behavior Disabilities
SPE 379: Family, School and Community in a Diverse Society

*IHS 465 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with this course.
**Some courses require prerequisites. Please check the department listings in the Academic Catalog for prerequisite requirements.

Procedure for Undergraduate Day Students

Step 1: Download and fill out the Approval For A Minor form
Step 2: Obtain a signature from Dr. Michelle Rowe, Professor of Health Services, at the Kinney Center (Connelly Hall, Room 250)
Step 3: Dr. Rowe will then make a copy and submit the original to the Hawk Central (Barbelin/Lonergan Hall, Room 121). You may be asked to deliver the signed form to Hawk Central yourself.
Note: Students choosing a minor must seek the approval of the chair in the department of the minor no later than the last day of the add/drop period of their seventh semester.

If you are not already an SJU student, please
Apply to Saint Joseph's University as an undergraduate freshman or transfer student.

Requirements for the Minor in Autism Studies for PLS Students

Courses — 6 Required:
IHS 465: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders*
IHS 466: Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Treatment
IHS 467: Social Skills Development in Autism
IHS 468: Resources and Advocacy for Autism*
IHS 469: Adult and Transition Services in Autism
IHS 470: Seminar in Autism Spectrum Disorders

*IHS 465 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with all other courses for the Minor in Autism Studies.

Procedure for PLS Students

Schedule an appointment with an advisor in the College of Professional and Liberal Studies by calling
1-877-NITE-SJU or emailing your request to plsadvising@sju.edu.

Please visit the College of Professional and Liberal Studies' Autism Studies page for more information.

If you are not already an SJU student, please
Apply to the College of Professional and Liberal Studies at Saint Joseph's University.

Selected Course Descriptions

Please refer to the Academic Catalog for other Course Descriptions

IHS 465 - Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD's), including Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Asperger's Syndrome, are common, occurring in 1 in 100 individuals. The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, ASD's impact social interactions and communication skills. The types of ASD's range in severity from very low functioning, associated with significant cognitive deficits and highly disruptive behaviors, to very high functioning, associated with highly gifted intelligence and "quirky" behaviors. This course introduces students to the neurology, symptoms, diagnostic criteria, causes, biomedical treatments, and behavioral interventions, as well as to the impact on individuals with ASD's, families, friends, school districts, the economy, and society with regard to functioning, coping, prognosis, and outcomes.

IHS 466 - Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Treatment
This course is designed to introduce the current research-based interventions in the field of autism that include applied behavior analysis (verbal behavior, discrete trial instruction, picture communication, Pivotal Response Training, Competent Learner Model), TEACCH, and social skills. Students will gain a general understanding of applied behavior analysis principles and how they can be used across multiple environments (home, school, early intervention, clinics) to address the various social, behavioral and communication deficits of individuals with autism.
IHS 465 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with this course.

IHS 467 - Social Skills Development in Autism
Social skills are learned behaviors that individuals need to successfully navigate social interactions and relationships. This course introduces students to a variety of approaches for assessing and improving the social skills of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A variety of empirically validated methodologies will be discussed, including incidental teaching; video modeling; social stories; and using textual cues. Students will learn to apply these methodologies to teach skills such as joint attention, greetings, conversations, social play, self-awareness, perspective-taking, critical thinking, developing friendships, and community and home success.
IHS 465 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with this course.

IHS 468 - Resources and Advocacy for Autism
Intervention and therapeutic services are critical to improving the lives of children and adults, and advocating for individuals with autism is an important process in securing these services. This course introduces students to the role that therapists, physicians, families, case workers and community agents serve in advocating for those with autism, where services are provided, how they are funded, what they offer those with autism, and how to advocate for individuals with autism.
IHS 465 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with this course.

IHS 469 - Adult and Transition Services in Autism
This course focuses on understanding the issues facing adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Students will learn about issues adults with ASD face including independent living skills, friendships, sexual relationships and marriage, finding and coping with employment, secondary education, post-secondary education, psychiatric disturbances in adulthood, legal issues, and enhancing independence. Students will learn the newest research and intervention techniques to promote a successful transition to adulthood.
IHS 465 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with this course.

IHS 470 - Seminar in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Only available to PLS students
In this course, important topics on Autism Spectrum Disorders will be discussed in more detail and students will design an individualized major project. This project will help students to focus on the specific needs of children or adults with autism by developing particular types of goals, services, programs, or other relevant activities. This course will also involve observing the process of working with individuals with autism to help improve the quality of their functioning in meaningful areas of their lives.
Prerequisite required - at least one other course in Autism Studies is required prior to taking this course. IHS 465 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with this course.