Added Authorization/Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Added Authorization/Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism is a complex developmental disability characterized by difficulties in communication and social interaction. It is considered a “spectrum disorder” because it affects individuals in varying ways. In addition to autism, the spectrum includes Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental delay, and Asperger's syndrome. As California, the nation and, indeed, the world, grapple with the increasing incidence of autism spectrum disorders, it is clear that there will continue to be a growing need for trained professionals to work with individuals with these challenges.



After four highly successful years, the Autism Authorization/Certificate program at Cal Poly Pomona will be phased out at the end of Fall Quarter, 2014. Cal Poly’s online program trained more than 400 teachers, school psychologists, speech/language specialists, family members, and other school and community personnel from all over California, the U.S. and the world. The program, a joint project between Cal Poly’s Department of Education and the College of the Extended University, was developed in response to a mandate from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing that all special education teachers receive additional training in autism disorders. The program continues to garner highly favorable reviews from teachers and school districts for its fully online format, as well as for the relevance and applicability of course content. Courses in the program cover causes and characteristics of ASD, teaching strategies, and home-school collaboration. Persons wishing to enroll in courses and/or complete the program must do so before the phase-out date of Fall Quarter 2014. All courses will require a minimum enrollment of 10 students; classes with less than 10 will be cancelled. For more information or to register for courses, call 909-869-2288 or go to

The Added Authorization and Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders is offered through the College of the Extended University in partnership with the College of Education & Integrative Studies. For more information on this program, go to the Education Specialist credential programs page.

Benefits / Objectives


This program is designed for teachers, parents, and other professionals to gain additional expertise in the area of autism spectrum disorders. Courses cover the causes and characteristics of ASD, instructional strategies and educational approaches, behavior management, and collaborating with home, school, and community partners who provide educational services for students with ASD. Through coursework and embedded field experiences, participants have the knowledge and skills to meet the educational needs of these students.

The Autism Authorization will allow holders of Levels I and II Mild/Moderate and other credentials to work with K-12 students (up through age 22) with autism spectrum disorders. The Added Authorization in ASD is required by CTC for teachers who (1) work with students with autism spectrum disorders; and (2) have any of the following credentials:

  1. Level I or Level II Mild/Moderate credential
  2. Level I or Level II Deaf and Hard of Hearing credential
  3. Level I or Level II Visual Impairments credential
  4. Level I or Level II Physical and Health Impairments credential
  5. Old Learning Handicapped (LH), Physical Handicaps (PH), Communication Handicaps (CH), Visual Handicaps (VH) credentials (Ryan)

Teachers in the above categories do not need the Added Authorization unless they are specifically working with (or want to be qualified to work with) students with autism spectrum disorders, or if required for employment. The AASE remains valid as long as the prerequisite credential remains valid. Note: Teachers who do not have any of the credentials listed above are not authorized by CTC to earn the Added Authorization. However, you are most welcome to take any or all of the courses, and you may earn a Certificate of Completion (issued by Cal Poly Pomona) upon satisfactory completion of all three courses.

Course Information & Registration

Intended Audience


The ASD program is designed for special educators, general education teachers, paraprofessionals, and school administrators. It is also designed for social workers, psychologists, parents, and others working with or interested in children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders.

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Awarded Certificate

  Upon successful completion of all three courses, participants will receive a certificate of completion in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Eligible candidates will earn the Added Authorization in ASD.

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