MA in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders Track

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Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders Track Program Overview

Our CAEP-accredited online Master of Arts in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders track, is designed for individuals who want to enrich the lives of students with differing needs on the autism spectrum. This program explores the use of evidence-based interventions and strategies along with technology and innovative practices in the classroom and demonstrates how to overcome the unique challenges teachers face today, including maximizing resources, parental involvement, using universally designed instruction, a focus on diversity and inclusion issues, and assessing the individual needs of students who are on the autism spectrum. 

This affordable 36-credit online program can be completed in as little as one year and will equip you with the specialized skills and knowledge you need to:

  • provide accessibility to students of varying needs on the autism spectrum
  • integrate technology and universal learning-focused curriculum into your instructionand
  • remove barriers to learning opportunities, providing students on the autism spectrum with as many pathways to learn as possible across their lifespan.  

The Master of Arts in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders track includes a practicum capstone requirement that allows students to gain hands-on experience by working one-on-one with individuals on the autism spectrum for 100 contact hours over an 8-week period. 

TEACH Grant

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant provides up to $4,000 per year to students who are completing coursework needed to begin a career in a high-need teaching field. UT Permian Basin participates in the TEACH Grant program.

To be eligible to receive a TEACH Grant, you must meet basic eligibility criteria for federal student aid programs, complete the FAFSA, be enrolled at a school that participates in the TEACH Grant program, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.25, receive TEACH Grant counseling for each year you receive the grant, and sign a TEACH Grant agreement. For more information about the TEACH Grant and its service requirements post-graduation, please click here.

Accreditation

UT Permian Basin’s College of Education is accredited by the prestigious Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Core Courses

6 Credits

Courses
Duration
Credits
EDUC 6302 - Cultural Diversity in Education and the Social Sciences
8 weeks
3
This course gives candidates the opportunity to develop cultural diversity competence in order to face challenges in education and the social sciences. Research and reflection are emphasized.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Summer B 2021 Fall B 2021 Spring B 2022 Summer B 2022 Fall B 2022 Spring B 2023 Summer B 2023 Fall B 2023 Spring B 2024 Summer B 2024 Fall B 2024 Spring B 2025 Summer B 2025 Fall B 2025
EDUC 6304 - Educational Psychology
8 weeks
3
Review of theories of behavior, learning, and instruction, research on human ontological development, and consideration of applications of such theory and research to classroom practices, including issues related to their measurement and evaluation.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Fall A 2021 Spring A 2022 Summer A 2022 Fall A 2022 Spring A 2023 Summer A 2023 Fall A 2023 Spring A 2024 Summer A 2024 Fall A 2024 Spring A 2025 Summer A 2025 Fall A 2025
Special Ed Core

18 Credits

Courses
Duration
Credits
EDSP 6339 - Foundations of Special Education
8 weeks
3
This course is designed to provide the historical and legal foundations of special education and the educational implications for the teacher and exceptional child.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Summer B 2021 Fall A 2021 Fall B 2021 Spring A 2022 Spring B 2022 Summer A 2022 Summer B 2022 Fall A 2022 Fall B 2022 Spring A 2023 Spring B 2023 Summer A 2023 Summer B 2023 Fall A 2023 Fall B 2023 Spring A 2024 Spring B 2024 Summer A 2024 Summer B 2024
EDSP 6341 - Behavior Management and Social Skills
8 weeks
3
This course will cover strategies for behavior management, functional behavioral assessment, positive behavioral supports, and social skills training for exceptional learners.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Spring B 2022 Spring A 2023 Spring A 2024
EDSP 6343 - Programs and Practices for Exceptional Learners
8 weeks
3
This introductory course will examine the unique needs of students with cognitive and behavioral needs. Typical characteristics, identification, referral procedures, and effective educational practices will be examined.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Fall A 2021 Summer B 2022
EDSP 6344 - Methods for Teaching Exceptional Learners
8 weeks
3
Learning strategies and methods for delivery of instruction for students with cognitive and/or emotional problems will be examined. Emphasis will be on developing strategic environments, curriculum, and models for inclusive settings.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Spring A 2022 Fall A 2022 Fall B 2023
EDSP 6346 - Foundation and Legal Aspects of Special Education
8 weeks
3
Legislation and litigation that form the foundations and present basis for special education practices will be presented and investigated.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Spring B 2022 Fall B 2022
EDSP 6352 - Technology and School Change
8 weeks
3
This course is intended to help students develop a deep understanding of the impact of technology on education, particularly as it relates to students with disabilities. The purpose of the class is to understand not only what the impact has been, but what it can be, and consider how educators could use technology across all settings to positively impact the learning environment for students with and without disabilities.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Fall B 2021 Spring B 2023
Autism Specification

12 Credits

Courses
Duration
Credits
EDSP 6348 - Curriculum and Instruction for Autism Spectrum Disorder
8 weeks
3
This course is designed to help educators develop strategies and techniques to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorders access the general education environment to the fullest extent possible.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Fall B 2021 Fall A 2022 Summer A 2023 Summer A 2024
EDSP 6349 - Autism Across the Lifespan
8 weeks
3
The purpose of this course is for students to evaluate physical and cognitive development of individuals with ASD from birth through adulthood in order to analyze and implement appropriate evidence-based practices for each stage of life.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Spring A 2022 Fall B 2022 Summer B 2023 Summer B 2024
EDSP 6315 - Parent Involvement in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
8 weeks
3
The purpose of this course is for students to investigate, appraise, and apply evidence-based practices for early intervention of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and evaluate strategies for promoting parent education, parent training, and parent involvement in early childhood education.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Summer B 2021 Summer A 2022 Summer B 2023
EDSP 6393 - Practicum: Autism/Developmental Disabilities
8 weeks
3
Candidates in the Autism/Developmental Disabilities track are expected to demonstrate knowledge, actions, or skills regarding seven recommended practices from the Division for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children. These seven areas include: assessment; curricular content knowledge programs, services and outcomes; research and inquiry; leadership and policy; professional and ethical practice; and collaboration. Completion of Special Education Core Courses is required prior to taking EDSP 6393.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Fall A 2021 Spring A 2022 Summer A 2022 Fall A 2022

Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Upper-division GPA of at least 3.0
  • Essay that answers the following prompt:
    • What skills and personal characteristics do you have that will make you successful in graduate school and effective in the special education field?
  • Official transcripts

Conditional Admission Requirements

If you do not meet the GPA requirements for this program, you may qualify for conditional admission with the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Upper-division GPA between 2.5 and 3.0
  • Essay that answers the following prompt:
    • What skills and personal characteristics do you have that will make you successful in graduate school and effective in the special education field?
  • Two of the following: 
    • GRE score of 282 (verbal and quantitative combined)
    • Statement related to the circumstances surrounding your lower GPA and why you believe you are ready for this graduate program.
    • Two professional letters of recommendation from school administrators who supervised your work in the classroom. 
      • If you can only secure one from such a person, the second must be a professional letter from someone who can speak to your capacity to become a special education teacher.
  • Official transcripts

All documents and essays must be uploaded through your myUTPB student portal.

Official Transcripts

Official copies of transcripts must come directly from the school in a sealed envelope and can be mailed to:

UT Permian Basin
Office of Admissions
4901 E. University Blvd.
Odessa, TX 79762

Official transcripts in electronic format can be sent to admissions@utpb.edu.

Supporting Documents

All supporting documents related to a graduate program, such as letters of recommendation, essays, statements of interest, resumes, professional work experience, and awards should be sent to the Graduate Studies Office:

UT Permian Basin
Graduate Studies
4901 E. University Blvd.
Odessa, TX 79762-0001

Electronic versions of supporting documents may be emailed to gradstudies@utpb.edu. 

Application Fee

The application fee is $40.

If you have any questions regarding the admission requirements, please email rosenblatt_k@utpb.edu.

Faculty Bios

Special Education Program Coordinator
Department Chair – Literacy, Language, and Special Populations
Associate Professor
College of Education
rosenblatt_k@utpb.edu

Dr. Rosenblatt is an associate professor of special education and the department chair of the Literacy, Language, and Special Populations Department at UT Permian Basin. She received her PhD in Exceptional Education from the University of Central Florida in 2009. In her current role at UT Permian Basin, Dr. Rosenblatt teaches graduate-level special education courses and is the special education program coordinator. Her research interests focus on technology for teachers and students with high-incidence disabilities and teacher preparation.

Assistant Professor
College of Education
balderaz_l@utpb.edu

Dr. Balderaz joined UT Permian Basin in 2015 as an assistant professor in the special education program and currently serves as the founding director of the Transformative Leadership Academy in Monahans, Texas. She holds a master’s degree and PhD in special education from the University of North Texas and has more than 10 years of experience working in schools. Her research interests include autism interventions, technology-based interventions, universally designed learning, innovative school designs, and improving teacher preparation programs.

Assistant Professor
College of Education
wade_w@utpb.edu

Dr. Wade joined UT Permian Basin in 2020 as an assistant professor. Prior to this, she worked at various universities, where she served as facilitator for the training, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of the Video Coaching Model. Dr. Wade earned a PhD in Exceptional Education from the University of Central Florida. Her current focus is ensuring teacher preparation programs integrate contemporary technology solutions as a means for training, mentoring, coaching, and evaluation of both student teachers and those transitioning into their initial classrooms.

We’re pleased to offer program admission on a rolling basis.

Rolling admission refers to our process of accepting and evaluating applications as we receive them and moving any applications that miss the deadline to the next semester. However, if you want to enroll in courses for a specific semester, you will need to make note of the application deadlines found below. If you don’t complete your application and submit the required materials by the deadline, your application will be rolled over to the next semester. 

LengthCourses BeginCourses EndApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration OpensRegistration DeadlinePayment DeadlineLast Day to Withdraw
Summer A5/10/216/25/214/26/215/3/214/1/215/12/215/7/216/4/21
Summer B6/28/218/12/216/14/216/21/214/1/216/30/216/25/217/23/21
LengthCourses BeginCourses EndApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration OpensRegistration DeadlinePayment DeadlineLast Day to Withdraw
Fall A8/23/2110/15/218/9/218/16/214/1/218/25/218/20/219/24/21
Fall B10/18/2112/10/2110/4/2110/11/214/1/2110/18/2110/15/2111/19/21
LengthCourses BeginCourses EndApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration OpensRegistration DeadlinePayment DeadlineLast Day to Withdraw
Spring A1/10/223/4/2212/27/211/3/2211/1/211/12/221/7/222/11/22
Spring B3/14/225/6/222/28/223/7/2211/1/213/16/223/11/224/15/22
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