Online Master of Art in Special Education (Autism Spectrum Disorders)
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Earn your degree in autism spectrum disorders
The steady rise in the number of those impacted by autism has increased public demand for professionals who are aware of the issues and needs facing these special individuals, their families and service providers. As a graduate of this autism degree, you will be well prepared to provide services and care for individuals affected by autism spectrum disorders, whether you are an educator, interventionist, psychologist, speech pathologist, behavior analyst or family member.
Work with children and adults affected by autism
In this autism master’s program, you will complete a practicum customized to your individual interests around autism. Under the guidance of an instructor, you will work with adults and children who have autism and demonstrate these skills in your practicum at the end of your autism degree. Students will complete a minimum of 45 direct contact hours of approved activities under the supervision of an onsite supervisor and the guidance of an ASU instructor.
Students also complete an applied project or capstone course that demonstrates analysis and synthesis of material learned in the master’s program and evidence of competency in the Council for Exceptional Children autism standards. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) sets standards for professionals working with children with developmental disorders and those affected by autism. By completing this autism master’s program, you will earn the experience and skills needed to meet the CEC standards for professionals working with children with autism spectrum disorders.
NOTE: If you are interested in sitting for the national Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination (BCBA), please apply for the Master of Arts in Special Education: Applied Behavior Analysis or the Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate, depending on your interest and need.
Learn online from one of the best education colleges in the world
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College brings people and ideas together to increase the innovation capabilities of individual educators, schools and organizations, districts and communities. We know educators are the startup engines of individual minds and society. ASU is ranked No. 11 in the world in the subject area of education according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. MLFTC is ranked #16 according to the US News and World Report 2020 survey of graduate colleges of education in the US.
The purpose of this course is to increase the understanding of characteristics of individuals with autism, challenges for parents, teachers, interventionists and other professionals, and how to identify and select evidence-based interventions to reduce those challenges.
Examines data collection techniques, design methodologies, visual analysis and interpretation approaches. Students gain expertise and practical experience in the interpretation and application of experimental design to inform decision making. Focuses on evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions through use of behavior analytic technologies in clinical and applied settings.
Provides definitions, models, activities and exploration in the various roles in collaboration, consultation and teamwork in the field of special education. In-depth exploration of connections with families, professionals and support personnel across disciplines and agencies.
Models, activities and roles of educational consultants working with families, professionals and support personnel across disciplines and agencies.
Examines definitions, characteristics, assumptions and basic principles of applied behavior analysis. Describes and applies fundamental elements of behavior change, including reinforcement schedules, modeling, shaping, chaining and other behavior change procedures. Activities center on the design and delivery of social skill interventions with individuals with special needs in inclusive settings.
In the required practicum, students explore theoretical and practical approaches to coursework in the autism spectrum disorders concentration and apply them to real-world settings. Under the supervision of an onsite supervisor and the guidance of an ASU instructor, students complete a minimum of 45 direct contact hours of approved activities. Students arrange their own placements so they can best meet their personal and professional goals.
Students will have the option of enrolling in either an applied project or capstone as their culminating experience. The Capstone option will allow students to create a capstone paper and portfolio that incorporates a major assignment or project from each course and integrates reflection on the national autism standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). The applied project option will be at the direction of program faculty.
FacultyThe faculty of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College creates knowledge by drawing on a range of academic disciplines including cognitive science, sociology and psychology, gaining insight into important questions about student experience and outcomes. The faculty is committed to connecting research to schools and other learning environments. Our teacher and leadership preparation programs combine scholarly rigor with practical application.
What careers work with children and adults with autism?
Program graduates will be well-prepared to provide important services and care for individuals with autism spectrum disorders in a variety of roles, including:
Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.
Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.
All applicants must submit:
- Graduate admission application and application fee
- Official transcripts
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Proof of English proficiency
Additional application information
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.
The letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can speak to the applicant's potential for success in a graduate program.
The personal statement should describe the applicant's interests and reason for seeking this degree.
GRE scores are not required for admission.
View Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College graduate program application deadlines.