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Certification programs
in special education

Non-Degree Option:
Autism Spectrum Disorders

West Virginia permits individuals who are completing a program in Multicategorical Special Education K-6 or 5-Adult OR in Early Chidhood Special Education OR in Severe Multiple Disabilities K-Adult to elect to pursue an additional endorsement in Autism with 6 additional credits of coursework by completing only the 2 specialization courses in the Autism Spectrum Disorders Program.

West Virginia also currently permits individuals who already hold prior certification in Multicategorical Special Education Grades K-12 OR Behavior Disorders Grades K-12 OR Mental Impairments K-12 OR Preschool Special Needs PreK-K OR Severe Disabilities K-Adult to add an endorsement in Autism by completing only the 2 specialization courses and passing the required Praxis Content Test.

The additional endorsement in Autism will be awarded at the same levels as the existing certification in special education.

At the present time, the West Virginia Department of Education allows this endorsement to be added without completion of a practicum in this area or formal recommendation by a college or university. In other states, a practicum experience may be required; if that is the case, the second practicum can only be taken after the practicum in the primary program is successfully completed.

Below are courses required for the Additional Endorsement Option in Autism Program:

SPED 650    Learning Characteristics: Autism   3 cr.
SPED 652 Educational Interventions: Autism*   
  3 cr.
       6 cr. Total

Students seeking additional endorsement in Autism must pass one of these Praxis tests prior to applying for the additional endorsement:

Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications (5354) OR
Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications (5543)

NOTE: Because each college or university organizes the content and field experiences in the 2 courses in a different way, the policy of the Department of Special Education is that students who pursue the 2 course additional endorsement in Autism are required to complete BOTH courses at West Virginia University and can NOT be approved to transfer in one of the courses from another institution.