The Autism Practicum is one of the very few hands-on clinical courses an undergraduate student can experience. The graded courses enhance college resumes for those wishing to attend graduate school or work in the field with individuals with special needs or children. These courses provide exceptionally useful teaching guidelines for those students pursuing careers in special education, speech pathology/therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation therapy and counseling.
A Meredith student progressing through all three levels of the Meredith Autism Program (MAP) courses (PSY 342, PSY 343, and PSY 442) may be eligible to apply for the credential of Registered Behavior Technician (RBT).
Autism Practicum Courses:
PSY 342: Introductory Autism Practicum—An introductory practicum course where students are taught via initial classroom training and video modeling the basic concepts of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and discrete trial teaching (DTT) to work one-on-one with a preschool child with autism. Students will apply learned concepts in order to handle common behaviors and maintain mastered skills of their assigned child. All practicum hours are on campus and attendance is a significant part of grade. Each student works 7 hours a week with their client plus attends a one hour team meeting bi-weekly. Other requirements are completed via Blackboard. Sessions are worked around the student’s class schedule. This course qualifies for the experiential learning thread for the Meredith College general education requirements.
Pre-requisite: PSY 100
PSY 343: Intermediate Autism Practicum—An advanced practicum course providing students with an opportunity to build on applied behavioral analysis (ABA) techniques taught in Introductory Autism Practicum to work with preschool children with autism. Students will be expected to apply ABA techniques to make significant behavior changes and use discrete trial training (DTT) to teach new skills. Students are expected to know how to implement a variety of behavior protocols and read and interpret data. Students can take Intermediate Autism Practicum for 2 or 3 credit hours. 2 credit hours requires 7 hours a week and 3 credit hours requires 10 hours a week one-on-one with a child, plus a one hour team meeting bi-weekly.
Pre-requisite: PSY 342 and instructor permission
PSY 442: Advanced Autism Practicum & Data Analysis— Students who have mastered skills needed in Intermediate Autism Practicum can enroll in this course. Students will read data provided by a discrete trial teaching (DTT) team and analyze trends in learning. Students will take raw data and graph the data to present to assigned consultant for review. Students will continue to provide weekly one-on-one teaching with their assigned child. This course is only offered for 3 credit hours and includes 7 hours of 1:1 work with their client, a 1 hour team meeting bi-weekly, and 3 hours of data collection and analysis per week.
Pre-requisite: PSY 343, PSY 324, and instructor permission.
College Students Attending Other Institutions
Students enrolled at William Peace University, Saint Augustine’s University, NC State University, Shaw University, and Wake Tech Community College may enroll in the Autism Practicum Course (Psy 342A) for credit through the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges program, given they meet the pre-requisite requirements. Though Meredith College students receive a grade for these courses, some CRC colleges/universities report only a pass/fail grade on their transcript. CRC students can request a transcript from Meredith that will show their letter grade in the course.
Current High School Students Who Will Be Attending Meredith College
Incoming Meredith College freshman cannot enroll in the Autism Practicum course without receiving special permission from the Program Director and the Psychology Department Head, unless they have passed their AP Psychology exam. Current high school students who have an interest in autism or working with young children who have special needs, are welcome to come observe the program by contacting Meredith Autism Program Director Hilary Wilkinson and making an appointment.
Working Part-Time for the Autism Program
Any student who has completed one semester of the Autism Practicum coursework (Psy 342A), is eligible to work for pay when classes are not in session (Spring Break, Summer, Christmas Break, etc). The Autism Program maintains temporary full-time and part-time paid positions during the summer months (May-August). All paid positions must be pre-approved by the director.
If you would like to talk to a MAP staff member about the possibility of taking the Autism Practicum course or working for the MAP, please contact us. You may also set up a time to take a tour of our facility and observe students doing sessions with our clients.
**Many students enroll in the Autism Practicum course and are employed part-time by the Meredith Autism Program. In NO way has their one semester or years of experience provided them the training necessary to implement teaching programs, strategies, or behavior plans with children outside the enrollment of the Meredith College Autism Program. Any former Meredith student who advertises or utilizes these “consultation” skills is working with their own convictions and without the guidance or endorsement of the Meredith College Autism Program.
The Meredith Autism Program is an early intervention program serving children who are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.