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Online MS in Special Education With Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement

Autism is a challenging condition for children and their families, but the outlook today is much better than it was a generation ago. With advances in early detection and intervention, new behavioral therapies can now improve outcomes in a wide range of developmental areas.

Parents and school districts are increasingly seeking special services for children with autism spectrum disorders. Since the skills and abilities of each individual with autism are unique, a comprehensive curriculum that results in concentration will enable teachers to effectively empower their students at every level. Saint Joseph’s University’s online Master of Science in Special Education with an Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement will prepare you to fill this pressing need – taking your career to a higher and more rewarding level.

The Curriculum

Saint Joseph’s University’s online MS in Special Education with an Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement focuses on appropriate assessment and research-based strategies, with emphasis on skill development and behavioral modification for students of all ages who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

The endorsed four-course concentration includes an overview of causality, initial diagnosis and advocacy; augmentative and alternative communication and socialization strategies; evidenced-based practices regarding assessment, interventions, and instructional methodologies; and applied behavior analysis and other behavior management approaches. Additionally, these four courses can be part of a comprehensive Master’s degree program.

What can I do with an Autism Spectrum Disorders’ Endorsement?

The Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement will help you build a thorough base in the foundations, principles, ethics, values and methods of best practices in ASD education. Students focus on specific strategies and techniques to address socialization skills, and gain in-depth knowledge and expertise in behavior management approaches.

Why get the Endorsement?

The Autism Spectrum Disorders’ Endorsement opens the doors of opportunity and gives you a competitive advantage over other teachers. This advantage strongly aligns with the needs of today’s education market across all geographic regions.

Schools continue to identify a growing number of students who are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. In many cases, teachers are heavily involved in the evaluation and assessment process. Upon diagnosis, intervention with proven research-based strategies becomes critical. This means there is a growing demand for qualified teachers who can meet the unique needs of autistic children. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports many school districts are having trouble finding an adequate number of certified special education teachers – and even more so those who specialize specifically in autism.

Not all special education programs offer a recognized endorsement in this area. In fact, Saint Joseph’s University is one of a select few that has received this distinct designation from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. It empowers you to have a transformative impact on students with autism while attracting employer interest to help you advance your career.

1Source: Autism Spectrum Disorders’ Endorsement granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

2Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2014-15 Edition

Click on the image for an interactive infographic on teaching students with special needs in your state.

Outlook for Careers in Special Education Focusing on Autism

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children with autism in the United States continues to rise. The latest data estimates that 1 in 68 American children have some form of autism spectrum disorder.* That’s a 78% increase compared to a decade ago. As a result, employment of preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school special education teachers is also increasing. Forecasts predict a 21% growth from 2010 to 2020 (20% for middle school Special Ed teachers and 7% for high school Special Ed teachers.)** A large number of teacher openings will also result from the need to replace special education teachers who change careers or retire.


Start advancing your career today with an online Master of Science in Special Education with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorder from Saint Joseph’s University. Call (866) 758-7670 or request more information.

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