Special Education

Special Education Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) - Autism Spectrum Disorders

About Autism Spectrum Disorders

Refine your special education expertise with this fully online master's degree.

For students who hold Pennsylvania teaching certification in special education, Cal U's 100% online M.Ed. in special education with certification in autism spectrum disorders will give you the specialized preparation you need to be an effective and highly qualified teacher for children with autism.

Cal U's special education programs are rooted in applied behavior analysis and proven best practices. Our autism M.Ed. directly addresses the needs of today's educators who are seeing a rapidly growing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders - as well as the many school districts that are in need of special education teachers who are specifically focused on autism spectrum disorders.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

Top Faculty: As an autism spectrum disorders graduate student, you'll take comprehensive courses from faculty who are at the top of their fields. Your professors will address the changing needs of special education and will prepare you not only for your career, but for leadership in the autism spectrum disorders field.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


Learn more about applying.

100% Online 
Cal U's Global Online courses are asynchronous, so you can complete your classes anywhere and at any time.
160+ years 
Cal U has a 160-year reputation of producing top-quality educators in Pennsylvania and beyond.
icon undergrad for degree

Degree Benefits

As a Cal U master's degree student studying autism spectrum disorders you will:

  • Have the flexibility to complete your online courses on the schedule that's best for you.
  • Learn how to understand and address the unique and complex challenges faced by individuals on the autism spectrum.
  • Get hands-on practice designing and delivering communication, behavior and instructional support for diverse learners with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Benefit from career support from program faculty and Cal U's Career and Professional Development Center.
icon undergrad for degree

Graduate Outcomes

The field of special education continues to grow, providing excellent professional career opportunities for today's graduates. As more school administrators recognize the importance of having an autism specialist on staff, there will continue to be vast employment opportunities. Cal U program graduates have successful careers as Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialists (ASDS) in schools, organizations, counseling centers and medical facilities across Pennsylvania and the United States.

 
Autism Spectrum Disorders Master's Degree
Alumni testimonial

Program Alumni Testimonial

"The autism spectrum disorders program at Cal U is excellent; the instructors are very knowledgeable in their field, and they work very hard to make sure their students have a clear understanding of how to work with and teach children or adults with autism." -Julie Devirgilio '12, Behavior Specialist Consultant, WJS Psychological

Campus in the Fall.

Best Online

U.S. News & World Report has listed Cal U's graduate education program as a Best Online Program three years in a row and counting.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorders Master's Degree Courses

Cal U's fully online M.Ed. consists of 18 credits of graduate-level special education courses and 12 credits in specialized autism spectrum disorders topics. Upon completion of this program, you will hold a master's degree in special education and will be eligible to add autism spectrum disorders to your current teaching certificate.

Curriculum

 

Course Credits
ESP 602 Life Skills Planning and Instruction 3
ESP 603 Assessment and Prescriptive Teaching 3
ESP 606 Transition Planning & Instruction OR ESP 607 Early Intervention: Special Education 3
ESP 639 Field Experience Seminar in Special Education 3
ESP 701* Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
ESP 740 Nature/Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 741 Communication, Behavior and Instruction: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 742 Life Transitions and Partnerships: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 743 Navigating the Social World: Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
ESP 800 Seminar in Advanced Behavior Analysis and Research Design 3
Total 30

* ESP 701 is a prerequisite course for all other courses in Special Education.

Students must complete 15 credits of Required Special Education Courses. These courses listed in the sequence above include ESP 602, ESP 603, ESP 606, ESP 607, and ESP 639. Students may substitute any of these required 15 credits with the following courses listed below:

ESP 612 Evidence Based Practices for PK-8 Inclusion (3 credits)
ESP 613 Evidence Based Practices for Secondary Inclusion (3 credits)
ESP 620 Special Ed. History, Theory, and Exceptionality (3 credits)
ESP 622 Advanced Evidence Based Practices for PK-8 Inclusion (3 credits)
ESP 623 Advanced Evidence Based Practices for Secondary Inclusion (3 credits)
Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements (Regular)

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or a 3.00 in last 48 credits earned (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • MEd or MEd plus Certification ONLY:  Copy of teaching certificate
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate ONLY:  Copy of teaching certificate is not required if certification is not desired.

Conditional Admission Requirements
  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements.  Those admitted conditionally based on missing document/s have up to a maximum of two semesters to satisfy these requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Unofficial transcripts

Program Requirements

How to Apply:

                  School of Graduate Studies and Research
                  California University of Pennsylvania
                  Box 91
                  250 University Ave. 
                  California, PA 15419

  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email (gradschool@calu.edu) or fax (724-938-5712)

For additional information:

Email: gradschool@calu.edu  
Phone: 724-938-4187 

Out of State Students:

All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Special Education

Bachelor's Degrees
Master's Degrees
Certifications
Certificates

Special Education Faculty

Dr. James Burton
Associate Professor

burton@calu.edu

View profile
Dr. Peter Heh
Assistant Professor

heh@calu.edu

View profile
Dr. Jason Kight
Associate Professor and Chair

kight@calu.edu

View profile
Dr. Kalie Kossar
Associate Professor

kossar@calu.edu

View profile
Dr. Katherine Mitchem
Professor

mitchem_k@calu.edu

View profile
Dr. Mary Seman
Professor

seman@calu.edu

View profile