MA in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders Track

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 30-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.

Career Options

The University of Texas Permian Basin's online Master of Arts in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders Track provides a solid foundation for you to excel as a teacher in a variety of roles, including:

Special Education with Autism Spectrum Disorders Track - Core Courses

30 Credits

Courses
Duration
Credits
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: Fall A 2024 Spring A 2025 Summer A 2025 Fall A 2025 Spring A 2026 Summer A 2026 Fall A 2026 Spring A 2027 Summer A 2027 Fall A 2027
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 2024 Fall A 2024 Fall B 2024 Spring A 2025 Spring B 2025 Summer A 2025 Summer B 2025 Fall A 2025 Fall B 2025 Spring A 2026 Spring B 2026 Summer A 2026 Summer B 2026 Fall A 2026 Fall B 2026 Spring A 2027 Spring B 2027 Summer A 2027 Summer B 2027 Fall A 2027 Fall B 2027
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: Summer B 2024 Fall B 2024 Spring B 2025 Summer B 2025 Fall B 2025 Spring B 2026 Summer B 2026 Fall B 2026 Spring B 2027 Summer B 2027 Fall B 2027
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: Summer B 2024 Fall B 2025 Spring B 2026 Summer B 2026 Fall B 2026 Spring B 2027 Summer B 2027 Fall B 2027
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 A 2024 Spring A 2025 Summer A 2025 Fall A 2025 Spring A 2026 Summer A 2026 Fall A 2026 Spring A 2027 Summer A 2027 Fall A 2027
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: Fall A 2024 Spring A 2025 Fall A 2025 Spring A 2026 Summer A 2026 Fall A 2026 Spring A 2027 Summer A 2027 Fall A 2027
EDSP 6353 - Literacy & Language Arts for Diverse Learners
8 weeks
3
This course is focused on improving the success of children and youth with reading disabilities. Students will learn to identify skill deficiencies, modify curriculum, and design and implement instructional strategies to improve the literacy and language arts outcomes of diverse learners.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Summer B 2024 Fall B 2024 Spring B 2025 Summer B 2025 Fall B 2025 Spring B 2026 Summer B 2026 Fall B 2026 Spring B 2027 Summer B 2027 Fall B 2027
EDSP 6354 - Assessment in Special Education
8 weeks
3
This course will provide students with a survey of different individualized, standardized, and non-standardized assessment instruments and classroom observation techniques. Instruction in aligning classroom curriculum, methods, state standards, and assessment practices will be provided.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Summer B 2024 Fall B 2024 Spring B 2025 Summer B 2025 Fall B 2025 Spring B 2026 Summer B 2026 Fall B 2026 Spring B 2027 Summer B 2027 Fall B 2027
EDSP 6355 - Consultation and Collaboration
8 weeks
3
This course is designed to provide students with the background, knowledge base, experience, and personal contact to work collaboratively with professionals and parents. This course has implications for teaching, supervision, and educational service delivery for students in general and special education settings.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Summer B 2024 Fall A 2024 Fall B 2024 Spring A 2025 Spring B 2025 Summer A 2025 Summer B 2025 Fall A 2025 Fall B 2025 Spring A 2026 Spring B 2026 Summer A 2026 Summer B 2026 Fall A 2026 Fall B 2026 Spring A 2027 Spring B 2027 Summer A 2027 Summer B 2027 Fall A 2027 Fall B 2027
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: Summer B 2024 Fall A 2024 Fall B 2024 Spring A 2025 Spring B 2025 Summer A 2025 Summer B 2025 Fall A 2025 Fall B 2025 Spring A 2026 Spring B 2026 Summer A 2026 Summer B 2026 Fall A 2026 Fall B 2026 Spring A 2027 Spring B 2027 Summer A 2027 Summer B 2027 Fall A 2027 Fall B 2027

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

Official Transcripts

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

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

Official transcripts in electronic format can be sent to gradstudies@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.
Veterans and Active Duty Military: Your application fee is waived for this program. Get details now.

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

Faculty Bios

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department Chair and Associate Professor of Special Education
College of Education
rosenblatt_k@utpb.edu

Kara Rosenblatt is an associate professor of special education and the department chair of the literacy, Language, and special populations department at the University of Texas Permian Basin.  Dr. Rosenblatt received her PhD in Exceptional Education from the University of Central Florida in 2009.  In her current role, she teaches graduate level special education courses. Dr. Rosenblatt's research interests focus on technology for teachers and students with high incidence disabilities and teacher preparation. She was a special education teacher for 5 years in Florida and Maryland. 

Assistant Professor of Special Education/Special Education Program Co-Coordinator
College of Education
frates_a@utpb.edu

Dr. Frates joined UT Permian Basin in 2022 as an assistant professor of special education. She received her master’s degree in special education and her PhD in curriculum and instruction from Northern Arizona University. Her previous experience includes teaching college courses in special education and working in an elementary school setting as a special education teacher. Her research currently focuses on literacy instruction for students with extensive support needs who are also multilingual learners.

Assistant Professor of Special Education/Special Education Program Co-Coordinator
College of Education
jackson_h@utpb.edu

Dr. Jackson is an assistant professor of special education within the department of Literacy, Language, and Special Populations at the University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB). She holds a PhD in special education with a specialization in instructional design, technology, and innovation from the University of Kansas. Dr. Jackson has experience in public and private education as an educator and administrator, with a background in math education. Her research interests include investigating instructional design frameworks and their implementation on affective dispositions of learners in K-12 and higher education. Dr. Jackson has served on multiple research projects to support UDL implementation by consulting with educators and facilitating educator preparation.

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. 

SemesterApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Summer A4/29/245/6/245/10/245/13/246/28/24
Summer B6/17/246/24/246/28/247/1/248/16/24
LengthApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Fall A8/12/248/19/248/23/248/26/2410/18/24
Fall B10/7/2410/14/2410/18/2410/21/2412/13/24
LengthApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Spring A12/30/241/6/251/10/251/13/253/7/25
Spring B3/3/253/10/253/14/253/17/255/9/25
SemesterApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Summer A4/28/255/5/255/9/255/12/256/27/25
Summer B6/16/256/23/256/30/256/30/258/15/25
LengthApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Fall A8/11/258/18/258/22/258/25/2510/17/25
Fall B10/6/2510/13/2510/17/2510/20/2512/12/25

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