Certificate Recognition

To encourage and acknowledge efforts towards exemplary teaching and training, the Virginia Autism Council (VAC) offers recognition of college and university certificate programs that provide comprehensive teaching and experiences in the field of autism spectrum disorders. The Virginia Autism Council recognizes comprehensive programs that are aligned with the skill competencies for Paraprofessionals and Professionals Serving Individuals with Autism across the Lifespan.

The Virginia Autism Council acknowledges the value of research to practice and has outlined a series of requirements that will lead to recognition of a comprehensive certificate program. Requirements include: 1) instruction on 80% or more of the knowledge and skill statements included in the Skill Competencies document; 2) incorporation of 9-12 credit hours; and 3) inclusion of field experiences totaling a minimum of 15 hours. Examples of field experiences include observations, practicum, and internships.

Institutions seeking recognition of certificate programs must submit a completed “Recognition of a Comprehensive Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders” application.

In addition to the certificate recognition program, the Virginia Autism Council also recognizes general overview courses in autism spectrum disorders provided by institutes of higher education that do not offer a certificate program. General overview courses must provide instruction on 80% or more of the General Autism Competencies found in the Skill Competencies for Paraprofessionals and Professionals Serving Individuals with Autism across the Lifespan‌. Institutions seeking recognition of general overview courses must submit a completed “Recognition of a General Overview Course in Autism Spectrum Disorders” application.

As more and more educators seek to learn about autism spectrum disorders, it will be beneficial for your program to be recognized as a certificate program.  All recognized certificate programs and overview courses will be listed on the VAC website.  E-mail us with any questions related to the Virginia Autism Council certificate/coursework recognition program.