three female graduates and one female instructor outside smiling for photo

First Graduates of Nicolet's Autism Spectrum Disorder Program Receive Diplomas


The first graduating class of Nicolet College’s new Autism Spectrum Disorder program recently completed their studies and earned diplomas in this emerging education specialty that is in high demand across the Northwoods.

“The need is across the board in many different settings for individuals who have the skill sets to work effectively with individuals with autism spectrum disorders,” said Nicolet Psychology and Early Childhood Education Instructor Kristi Thoreson.

“Teaching and working with individuals with autism requires an understanding of the behavioral issues that can present challenges. All of the graduates now have the skills and know the strategies to communicate with individuals with autism, to support families, seek out and navigate the transition services available, and to reduce challenging behaviors.”

Nicolet launched the nine-credit, three-class, certificate program last year after identifying significant need in the region. The certificate is offered all-online with in-person lab support available to students as needed.

The program is open to anyone, especially child care providers, K-12 paraprofessionals, classroom teachers, family members, and caregivers.

For more information on the program visit and enter autism spectrum disorder in the search box top right on the homepage. Individuals can also call the college at (715) 365-4493.

Pictured above left to right: Nicolet Psychology Instructor Kristi Thoreson with graduates Krystal K. Barlowski, Tammy S. Dibbles, and Jodi S. Bellile, all of Rhinelander. Also graduating but not pictured are Norman T. Crazy Thunder Jr., Woodruff, Susan A. Erickson, Ashland, and Kiona Poupart, Lac du Flambeau.