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University of St. Thomas College of Education, Leadership and Counseling Autism Spectrum Disorders programs.
Special Education Licensure:
Autism Spectrum Disorders (K-12)


Educators specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) work towards discovering the ways that ASD challenges a student in communication, socialization and behaviors, and affect a student’s thinking and perceiving, sensory processing, and motor, vocational, academic and organizational skills. Learn more about our Autism Spectrum Disorders Summer Institute option

As you complete your program in Special Education and Gifted Education at the University of St. Thomas you will:

  • Gain the knowledge and skills to have a positive impact on students from Birth-21
  • Become part of a supportive network of fellow students, alumni and faculty that will inspire and sustain you throughout your career
  • Learn from expert faculty currently active in the classroom to help you shape your path


What you can earn

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  • Certificate
  • License (Birth-21)
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)

Where you'll learn

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  • In person or online. See locations below.

 

When you can start

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  • See locations below for start dates.


Questions about this program

Image for the contact

Ea Porter

Enrollment Advisor

(651) 962-4657

celc@stthomas.edu


Program Details

For the Certificate

Provides an overview of special education and specific categories of exceptionality. Examines the theories, legal mandates, definitions and terminology related to special education. Characteristics of individuals with exceptionalities are explored. Emphasis is placed on understanding learning characteristics, abilities, and underlying needs within a particular disability, common characteristics across various disabilities, and effective interventions in both general education and special education that respond to diverse learners.

This course explores the idea of positive behavior support for promoting acceptable behavior in school and other settings where individuals learn. This course, grounded in research based interventions, is designed to assess all who work with students in special and regular education in developing skills to teach and support acceptable behavior that is demonstrated in home, school and community settings.

Provides an overview to the disabilities of autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities including developmental cognitive disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, specific learning disabilities and other health disorders. Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, etiology and family and community supports and resources. Students will use this fundamental information and apply to IEP development, use of assistive technology and contemporary issues in the field.
 
*1-3 credits dependent upon whether this is a first time license or additional special education license and advisor recommendation

The purpose of this course is to develop competencies in the areas of communication and social skills for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is also to evaluate, identify needs, develop goals, design interventions, monitor effectiveness and adjust programming for individuals with ASD. Broad areas covered in this course include an overview of typical social/communication development, as compared and contrasted to the delayed and disordered social/ communication development of individuals with ASD. Also included are: how communication and social differences impact learning and behavior; methods and tools for evaluating an individual's social and communication skills; identifying educational needs in the social and communication areas; methods of teaching social skills to individuals with ASD; methods of teaching communication skills to individuals with ASD; and, methods for monitoring and evaluating progress in communication and social skills. 

The purposes of this course are to: develop an understanding of ways that an ASD may effect an individual's thinking and perceiving, sensory processing, motor skills, vocational skills, academic skills, organizational skills, and other functional skills and for students to develop the skills necessary to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan for an individual with ASD. Broad areas to be covered in this course include an overview of challenges/delays related to thinking and perceiving, sensory processing, motor skills, vocational skills, academic skills, organizational skills, and other functional skills for students with ASD. Also included are: the meaning of the "Restricted Repertoire of Activities and Interests" in individual's with ASD and its implications; current best practices and methodologies for teaching students with ASD (including structured teaching, Functional Behavioral Assessment and Positive Behavioral Supports, Applied Behavioral Analysis, and Visual Strategies); and developing, implementing, and evaluating IEP's for an individual with ASD. 

TOTAL 12-15 Credits

For the License

Provides an overview of special education and specific categories of exceptionality. Examines the theories, legal mandates, definitions and terminology related to special education. Characteristics of individuals with exceptionalities are explored. Emphasis is placed on understanding learning characteristics, abilities, and underlying needs within a particular disability, common characteristics across various disabilities, and effective interventions in both general education and special education that respond to diverse learners.

This course explores the idea of positive behavior support for promoting acceptable behavior in school and other settings where individuals learn. This course, grounded in research based interventions, is designed to assess all who work with students in special and regular education in developing skills to teach and support acceptable behavior that is demonstrated in home, school and community settings.

Developing an ethic of collaboration and the knowledge and skills needed to effectively collaborate with faculty, administrators, students, para-educators, families and community members. Students explore the fundamentals of collaboration; applications of collaboration related to consultation, team membership, co-teaching, partnership with families, developing interagency agreements and supervision of paraprofessionals; and pragmatic aspects of collaboration. Consideration of current practices in collaboration used in program planning and implementation for students receiving special education services is a focus.

Provides an overview to the disabilities of autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities including developmental cognitive disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, specific learning disabilities and other health disorders. Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, etiology and family and community supports and resources. Students will use this fundamental information and apply to IEP development, use of assistive technology and contemporary issues in the field.
*1-3 credits dependent upon whether this is a first time license or additional special education license and advisor recommendation

Examine principles of formal and informal educational assessment and learn to use data to inform decisions for service eligibility, Least Restrictive Environment, and best practices for culturally diverse learners. Synthesis of assessment data to develop evaluation summaries and IEP's based on data and best practices for students with mild to moderate disabilities are also addressed. 

Focuses on academic instructional interventions with elementary age students identified as having mild to moderate disabilities. Specific instructional emphasis includes understanding the development of and teaching of mathematics, reading, language arts and literacy, and writing. The course also emphasizes developing systematic instructional programs utilizing research-based interventions that incorporate progress monitoring, academic learning standards, and differentiated instruction to support diverse student needs. 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with information on selection and implementation of appropriate reading instruction approaches for students with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Students will learn to differentiate basic components of reading instruction to meet individual student learning needs. Varied assessment tools and progress monitoring methods will be examined.

The purpose of this course is to develop competencies in the areas of communication and social skills for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is also to evaluate, identify needs, develop goals, design interventions, monitor effectiveness and adjust programming for individuals with ASD. Broad areas covered in this course include an overview of typical social/communication development, as compared and contrasted to the delayed and disordered social/ communication development of individuals with ASD. Also included are: how communication and social differences impact learning and behavior; methods and tools for evaluating an individual's social and communication skills; identifying educational needs in the social and communication areas; methods of teaching social skills to individuals with ASD; methods of teaching communication skills to individuals with ASD; and, methods for monitoring and evaluating progress in communication and social skills. 

The purposes of this course are to: develop an understanding of ways that an ASD may effect an individual's thinking and perceiving, sensory processing, motor skills, vocational skills, academic skills, organizational skills, and other functional skills and for students to develop the skills necessary to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan for an individual with ASD. Broad areas to be covered in this course include an overview of challenges/delays related to thinking and perceiving, sensory processing, motor skills, vocational skills, academic skills, organizational skills, and other functional skills for students with ASD. Also included are: the meaning of the "Restricted Repertoire of Activities and Interests" in individual's with ASD and its implications; current best practices and methodologies for teaching students with ASD (including structured teaching, Functional Behavioral Assessment and Positive Behavioral Supports, Applied Behavioral Analysis, and Visual Strategies); and developing, implementing, and evaluating IEP's for an individual with ASD. 

A practicum in an educational and/or community-based setting designed to provide students an opportunity to work with a range of students with autism spectrum disorders. Includes documentation of competencies and practical experiences gleaned from the student's masters program.
*1-3 credits dependent upon whether this is a first time license or additional special education license and advisor recommendation

Required coursework for working toward a first teaching license in Minnesota. These courses meet the Standards of Effective Practice and can be completed during your time at St. Thomas.

TEGR 510  Educations' Place in Society and Field Experience I 3 Credits
TEGR 512  Human Relations and Multicultural Education               3 Credits
TEGR 530  Psychology of Teaching and Learning                          3 Credits
TEGR 532 Field Experience II: Learning and Teaching                   1 Credit
TEGR 550 Language Development and Literacy I                         3 Credits
     

TOTAL 25-29 (39-43) Credits

For the Master of Arts (M.A.)

Provides an overview of special education and specific categories of exceptionality. Examines the theories, legal mandates, definitions and terminology related to special education. Characteristics of individuals with exceptionalities are explored. Emphasis is placed on understanding learning characteristics, abilities, and underlying needs within a particular disability, common characteristics across various disabilities, and effective interventions in both general education and special education that respond to diverse learners.

This course explores the idea of positive behavior support for promoting acceptable behavior in school and other settings where individuals learn. This course, grounded in research based interventions, is designed to assess all who work with students in special and regular education in developing skills to teach and support acceptable behavior that is demonstrated in home, school and community settings.

Developing an ethic of collaboration and the knowledge and skills needed to effectively collaborate with faculty, administrators, students, para-educators, families and community members. Students explore the fundamentals of collaboration; applications of collaboration related to consultation, team membership, co-teaching, partnership with families, developing interagency agreements and supervision of paraprofessionals; and pragmatic aspects of collaboration. Consideration of current practices in collaboration used in program planning and implementation for students receiving special education services is a focus.

Provides an overview to the disabilities of autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities including developmental cognitive disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, specific learning disabilities and other health disorders. Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, etiology and family and community supports and resources. Students will use this fundamental information and apply to IEP development, use of assistive technology and contemporary issues in the field.
 

*1-3 credits dependent upon whether this is a first time license or additional special education license and advisor recommendation

Examine principles of formal and informal educational assessment and learn to use data to inform decisions for service eligibility, Least Restrictive Environment, and best practices for culturally diverse learners. Synthesis of assessment data to develop evaluation summaries and IEP's based on data and best practices for students with mild to moderate disabilities are also addressed. 

Focuses on academic instructional interventions with elementary age students identified as having mild to moderate disabilities. Specific instructional emphasis includes understanding the development of and teaching of mathematics, reading, language arts and literacy, and writing. The course also emphasizes developing systematic instructional programs utilizing research-based interventions that incorporate progress monitoring, academic learning standards, and differentiated instruction to support diverse student needs. 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with information on selection and implementation of appropriate reading instruction approaches for students with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Students will learn to differentiate basic components of reading instruction to meet individual student learning needs. Varied assessment tools and progress monitoring methods will be examined.

The purpose of this course is to develop competencies in the areas of communication and social skills for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is also to evaluate, identify needs, develop goals, design interventions, monitor effectiveness and adjust programming for individuals with ASD. Broad areas covered in this course include an overview of typical social/communication development, as compared and contrasted to the delayed and disordered social/ communication development of individuals with ASD. Also included are: how communication and social differences impact learning and behavior; methods and tools for evaluating an individual's social and communication skills; identifying educational needs in the social and communication areas; methods of teaching social skills to individuals with ASD; methods of teaching communication skills to individuals with ASD; and, methods for monitoring and evaluating progress in communication and social skills. 

The purposes of this course are to: develop an understanding of ways that an ASD may effect an individual's thinking and perceiving, sensory processing, motor skills, vocational skills, academic skills, organizational skills, and other functional skills and for students to develop the skills necessary to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of an Individual Eduation Plan (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan for an individual with ASD. Broad areas to be covered in this course include an overview of challenges/delays related to thinking and perceiving, sensory processing, motor skills, vocational skills, academic skills, organizational skills, and other functional skills for students with ASD. Also included are: the meaning of the "Restricted Repertoire of Activities and Interests" in individual's with ASD and its implications; current best practices and methodologies for teaching students with ASD (including structured teaching, Functional Behavioral Assessment and Positive Behavioral Supports, Applied Behavioral Analysis, and Visual Strategies); and developing, implementing, and evaluating IEP's for an individual with ASD. 

A practicum in an educational and/or community-based setting designed to provide students an opportunity to work with a range of students with autism spectrum disorders. Includes documentation of competencies and practical experiences gleaned from the student's masters program.

Methods of descriptive and experimental research, basic statistical theory and application, orientation to library resources, development of significant research methodology.

The purpose of the final project is to give candidates for the master of arts degree opportunities to integrate what has been learned in their program and apply that knowledge in useful and creative ways. Beyond the demonstration of this knowledge in teaching, candidates should also demonstrate the ability to influence professionals in their field of choice. This can be demonstrated through design and implementation of innovative curricula, adapted instruction, in-service programs or through more formal research projects. Through the final project, candidates have the opportunity to provide leadership in their field and to take an active advocacy role for persons with disabilities.

Required coursework for working toward a first teaching license in Minnesota. These courses meet the Standards of Effective Practice and can be completed during your time at St. Thomas.

TEGR 510 Educations' Place in Society and Field Experience I 3 Credits
TEGR 512 Human Relations and Multicultural Education  3 Credits
TEGR 530 Psychology of Teaching and Learning 3 Credits
TEGR 523 Field Experience II: Learning and Teaching 1 Credit
TEGR 550 Language Development and Literacy I 3 Credits
     

TOTAL 29-33 (43-47) Credits

Minneapolis, MN (on-campus)

Degree: Certificate, License, and Master of Arts degree options
Time: Evening Courses
Start Date: Varies by term
Location: Opus Hall | Downtown UST Campus (map)

Students who are interested in taking all of their courses at our on-campus location in Downtown Minneapolis are welcome to start in the Fall, Spring or Summer terms.

Burnsville, MN: Fall 2014

Degree: License or Master of Arts degree (ABS, ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE & LD)
Time: Thursdays, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.; two Saturdays per course: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Start Date: October 23, 2014
Location: Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W Burnsville Pkwy #100 (map)

Starting Fall 2014! Application Deadline: September 25, 2014

Plymouth, MN: Fall 2014

Degree: License or Master of Arts degree (ABS, ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE & LD)
Time: Thursdays, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.; two Saturdays per course: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Start Date: October 23, 2014
Location: Intermediate District 287 Community Center, 1820 Xenium Lane North (map)

Starting Fall 2014! Application Deadline: September 25, 2014

St. Paul, MN: Spring 2014

Degree: License or Masters (ABS, ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE & LD)
Time: Thursdays 4:45-8:45pm; two Saturdays per course: 8am-4pm
Start Date: March 6, 2014
Location: University of St. Thomas St. Paul Campus (map)

Starting Spring 2014! Application Deadline: February 14, 2014

Woodbury, MN: Spring 2014

Degree: License or Master of Arts degree (ABS, ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE & LD)
Time: Thursdays 4:45-8:45pm; two Saturdays per course: 8am-4pm
Start Date: March 6, 2014
Location: East Ridge High School (map)

Starting Spring 2014! Application Deadline: February 14, 2014

Online

Degree: Certificate, License or Master of Arts degree options (ASD)
Time: 100% online program
Start Date: Courses start every 8 weeks
Location: Online (map)

The University of St. Thomas offers a 100% online option for its License or Master of Arts degrees in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Stansberry Brushnahan, L. Lynn 80x72

L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Special Education and Gifted Education (651) 962-4397
MOH 439 | Opus Hall

Vandercook, Terri 80x72

Terri Vandercook, Ph.D.

Associate Professor | Department Chair Special Education and Gifted Education (651) 962-4389
MOH 441 | Opus Hall

Neilsen Gatti, Shelley 80x72

Shelley Neilsen Gatti, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Special Education and Gifted Education (651) 962-4396
MOH 437 | Opus Hall

 
 

Ongoing Professional Development

The Department of Special Education and Gifted Education offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities throughout the year. Whether networking with leaders in the field at the annual Education for Everyone Event series or simply catching up on the latest tools and techniques in gifted and talented education at the biennial Gifted Education Conference, the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling provides lifelong learning opportunities. Most events include a CEU component. In addition to annual events, the department offers specialized summer institutes in the area of Supervising Paraprofessionals, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Twice Exceptional Education.

 

Mentored Clinical Practice

The dedicated faculty in the Special Education and Gifted Education programs will work with you to ensure that your clinical practice experience (student teaching) will meet your needs and facilitate your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time student teaching, regularly scheduled seminars with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter the field and have a positive impact on K-12 students.

 

Community Partnerships

The College of Education, Leadership & Counseling takes pride in engaging in innovative partnerships with a variety of organizations. Students in the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling will find many opportunities for professional growth as a result of working with these organizations. Partnership examples include the Northwest Suburban Integration District, Center for Academics and Sports, FAIR School and the Collaborative Urban Educators program. 

 

The Value of a St. Thomas Degree

We offer our students much more than just a degree. We offer the chance to be a part of a personal and professional network like no other, which means your graduate education will enrich your life and career long into the future.

Calculating the cost of your degree can be challenging, as every institution approaches it a bit differently. At St. Thomas, we list our tuition cost as cost per credit:

  • Each course can be 1-3 semester credits, but the standard course is 3 credits.  
  • A typical part-time student in our graduate programs takes 3-6 credits per term.
  • To view the total number of credits per program you can view the courses tab above.

It may be possible for you to receive some type of financial assistance. To learn more, please visit our Graduate Financial Aid page.




Cost

Education (M.A., Ed.S., Certificate, Licensure)

On-campus Tuition (per credit) $793.50
Off-site Program Tuition (per credit) $415
Books and materials
(estimate per course)
$150-250
One-time application fee $50

1 | Meet the Requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or the successful completion of a graduate level program from another institution

If you do not meet the above requirement(s), you may be eligible for special admission, which requires:

  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 2.75 (4.0 scale)
  • The completion of a standardized test, such as the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), GRE, GMAT or LSAT
  • A possible interview with an admissions person/committee

2 | Submit the following application materials:

  • Application form and one-time $50 application fee
  • Two positive letters of reference from non-related individuals
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (unless that work was completed at the University of St. Thomas)
  • Personal statement

3 |  Submit the supplementary materials:

  • Initial Licensure:  MTLE Basic Skills required by the end of an initial teacher licensure candidate's first semester of coursework.
  • International Applicants:  (1) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for any candidate whose primary language is not English. (2) Transcript Review: All international transcripts must be reviewed by an accredited evaluation service to determine U.S. equivalency of the degree awarded and the institution awarding the degree. Applications will not be reviewed for admissions until the official review is submitted.

Please note: The online program has different application requirements than those listed here. To inquire about admission to the online program, please visit www.stthomasonline.com.

Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

  • For Fall Term: June 1
  • For Spring Term: Rolling
  • For Summer Term: May 1
  • To inquire about admission to the online program, visit www.stthomasonline.com.

 

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© University of St. Thomas · Minnesota
1000 LaSalle Avenue · Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 · USA
1-651-962-4550 · education@stthomas.edu