Special Education & Literacy

M.S. in Special Education (Autism)

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears in the first three years of life. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that as many as one out of every 110 children falls somewhere on the autism disorder spectrum. Helping these children and their families is the goal of the master’s degree program in special education with a concentration in autism.

The 30-credit Master of Science in Education prepares highly specialized educators to work with autistic children and adults. It also prepares educators to work in teams with psychologists, social workers and families to respond to the special needs of this unique population. The program leads to New York State certification in Special Education for Grades 1-6, and includes three courses certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

As a student in this program, you will study the assessment and instruction of students with severe disabilities, behavior management for children with autism and developmental disorders, communication development and language disorders in autistic children and other subjects central to the education of children on the autism spectrum. Professors with extensive experience and expertise lead small classes, and the program places considerable emphasis on field study and practicum.

Program Goals

The M.S.Ed. in Special Education: Concentration in Autism is dedicated to preparing teachers who are:

  • Knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision-makers for students with special educational needs, including autistic students, in the context of diverse and inclusive social groups, communities, families and students.
  • Educators who serve children and families with specific educational needs through: assessment and intervention; leadership and collaboration; clinical application, research, and practice.
  • Instructors skilled in the planning, implementation and assessment of education for children with special needs.
  • Proficient in instructional technology including the knowledge of skills, strategies, software and hardware to be used in classroom management and computer-assisted instruction.
  • Knowledgeable in theories of learning and growth, content areas to be taught, and the theories, laws, procedures, and programs related to the field of special education.
  • Collaborative and ethical decision-makers
  • Life-long learners committed to: intellectual growth, inquiry, professionalism, appreciation of diversity, and advocacy for students.


College of Education, Information, and Technology
Dr. Albert Inserra, Dean