Grand Canyon University

M.A. in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Address:

3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States

Phone:

1-800-800-9776

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.A. in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Format: Online

Program Description:

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) continues to grow.1 This means that the need for educators trained in understanding the unique characteristics of students with ASD and the core challenges associated with language and communication, social skills, behavior and processing is also growing.

Earn Your On-Campus or Online Master’s Degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders at GCU

Graduates of this advanced online master’s degree in autism spectrum disorders program will study the special transitional skills needed to help students with ASD transition from school to independent living. The proven and innovative approaches in this MA in ASD degree are delivered by faculty and staff who are experts in the field. In addition, graduates will complete field experiences throughout the program and a capstone to apply techniques directly. The program integrates an action research project specific to the field and in consideration of becoming an ASD specialist.

What is a Master’s Degree in Autism?

This 32-credit ASD degree from Grand Canyon University (GCU) is designed for licensed teachers who understand the importance of educating students on the autism spectrum. You will be immersed in research-based learning techniques and inclusive teaching strategies, including effective instructional strategies, that equip you to teach students with autism spectrum disorders.  

The proven and innovative approaches in this MA in ASD degree are delivered by faculty and staff who are experts in the field. In addition, you will complete field experiences throughout the program and a capstone in order to apply techniques directly teaching students with ASD. The program integrates an action research project specific to the field and in consideration of becoming an ASD specialist.

Earn Your On-Campus or Online Master’s Degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders at GCU

In this advanced online master’s degree in autism spectrum disorders program, you will study the special transitional skills needed to help students with ASD transition from school to independent living.

This program is conveniently designed for professionals who already hold a teaching license, allowing you to continue working while pursuing a professional, advanced degree. If you’re seeking a degree that leads to licensure, consider pursuing an MEd in Special Education or an MEd in Special Education Moderate to Severe degree. In addition, financial aid and scholarships are available to help you follow your calling to support or teach students with autism.
 

What You Will Learn in GCU’s Master’s in ASD Degree Program

Teaching Students with ASD

Building knowledge, skills and abilities in implementing evidence-based and multi-faceted methodologies to engage with and teach students with ASD is at the heart of the master’s degree in autism program at GCU. Additionally, as part of the capstone course, an action research project will be completed throughout the program. The purpose of this action research project is for educators to investigate scholarly research in an autism area of interest and conduct their own action research. The culminating action research project and capstone course in the MA ASD program emphasizes leadership and advocacy opportunities, such as an ASD specialist, for professional educators working with the many stakeholders involved in the delivery of services for students with autism spectrum disorders.

As an ASD specialist, you need to be highly qualified in the areas of inclusive practices, instructional practices, data-driven assessments, assistive technology, behavioral supports, collaboration, advocacy with policies and ethics for students with autism spectrum disorders. In this ASD degree you will learn how current research and policies translate into classroom and school environments, as well as supporting students and families with post-secondary options. The importance of leadership and collaboration in working with or teaching students with ASD ensures you are well prepared for a career in advocating for, working with or teaching students with ASD.

What qualifications do you need to be an autism specialist?

As a future graduate of this advanced online master’s degree in autism spectrum disorders program at GCU, you will be prepared to develop future professional goals and apply knowledge of professional literature and research to promote professional development opportunities. In addition, you will be able to apply best practices in collaboration with stakeholders, conflict resolution strategies and creating and sustaining productive work environments for everyone who works with students with ASD.

The program of study will cover the following content areas specific to working with ASD students:

    Survey of special education including ASD
    
    Inclusive practices and curriculum interventions
    
    Instructional and communication strategies
    
    Data-driven assessment
    
    Assistive technology and communication strategies
    
    Positive behavior support
    
    Transitions and life skills
    
    Advocacy, policy and ethics
    
    Leadership and collaboration
    
    Capstone and action research project

Career Options for Master’s in Autism Spectrum Disorders Degree Graduates

The need for people with high-specialized special education training is growing. With this advanced master’s in autism spectrum disorders degree, you may find various career opportunities in the field, such as a postsecondary education teacher or a special education teacher in a preschool, elementary or middle school environment.

As an ASD specialist, you may find work in many different environments. Schools and private special education programs are common workplaces for people with a master’s in autism degree, but there are number of career paths to consider.

Families who have children with ASD need educators who will understand and advocate their developmental, educational and transitional needs. Specializing in ASD will support these needs as you will be able to develop relationships with students and families as you support them through their K-12 education and post-secondary goals.

If you are ready to pursue this meaningful line of work, sign up for the Master’s in Autism Spectrum Disorders degree non-licensure program at GCU today.

1 Autism Speaks, CDC estimate on autism prevalence increases by nearly 10 percent, to 1 in 54 children in the U.S. in November 2022

If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint/background clearance is required.

Accreditation:

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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