Online Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies Option, M.Ed.

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This degree program is designed for those who would like to integrate knowledge of autism studies with graduate courses in Education. This is a 10-course Online Master of Education Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an Autism Studies Option. Students accepted into this program are allowed to count up to five UMass Lowell Autism Certificate courses toward their Master's Degree with the balance of their required courses focusing on curriculum development and instruction in a K-12 setting.

Note: This program does NOT lead to a teaching license, nor does it satisfy all requirements for BABC Certification.

Admission into the Master's Degree

Candidates interested in pursuing this Master's Degree Option must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

To apply, complete the online application for the Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies Option available on the Graduate Admissions website. Special education teacher and autistic student

All applicants must submit:

  • Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages in length)
  • All official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Application fee
  • Proof of valid teaching license in their state or GRE or successful completion of the Behavioral Intervention in Autism Certificate Program
  • Resume or CV

Program Outline

Total courses required: 10 courses (30 credits)

Includes courses taken as part of the Autism Certificate Program

Core Courses - (4 courses; 12 credits)

  1. EDUC.6300 Educating Diverse Populations
  2. EDUC.6350 Dynamics of Curricular Change - Available Fall 2016!
  3. EDUC.6370 History & Theory of Curriculum
  4. EDUC.6380 Curriculum Design K-12 - Available Fall 2016!

Specialization - Choose 5 Autism Courses (15 credits)

  1. PSYC.5610 Introduction to Behavioral Intervention in Autism - Available Fall 2016!
  2. PSYC.5620 Teaching and Positive Behavioral Support in Autism - Available Fall 2016!
  3. PSYC.5650 Measurement and Experimental Design in Behavioral Intervention - Available Fall 2016!
  4. PSYC.5660 Functional Analysis and Treatment of Challenging Behavior - Available Fall 2016!
  5. PSYC.5680 Behavioral Intervention Program Models in Autism - Available Fall 2016!
  6. PSYC.5720 Legal and Ethical Issues in Professional Practice - Available Fall 2016!

Capstone - 3 credits:

*This course is taken as the last course or in conjunction with the one other course in the final semester. It is offered only in Fall & Spring Terms.

**This course is taken as the last course or in conjunction with the one other course in the final semester. It is offered only in the summer Trimester Terms.

Candidates who are enrolled in the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction general program of study may take some of the Autism Option courses as electives with prior permission of the program advisor, but unless they officially apply to and complete the BIA certificate program, the option will not be recorded on their transcript.

Questions About the Master's Degree

For questions about the Online M.Ed. Program in Curriculum and Instruction:
Autism Studies Option or any of the online Education courses in this program, contact Dr. Charmaine Branchaud at Charmaine_Branchaud@uml.edu or call 978-934-4658.

For questions about the online Autism courses and certificate program, please contact Dr. Richard Siegel at Richard_Siegel@uml.edu or call him at 978-934-3961.

ncatelogo UMass Lowell's Graduate School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), a national accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Course Descriptions

EDUC.6300 Educating Diverse Populations

As the world becomes increasingly diverse, educators must be prepared to examine, confront, and manage the factors that affect the education of all children. This course addresses several central issues focusing on how teachers address the problems that confront students who differ from the majority population in language, ethnicity, culture, gender, and sexual orientation. Ensuring that their families and communities are actively involved in the educational process is also an important component of the course. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6350 Dynamics of Curricular Change

This course considers alternative perspectives of curriculum and explores issues and strategies involved in the process of changing the curricular visions and practices of schools. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6370 History & Theory of Curriculum

This course examines the historical development of American curriculum from the colonial period to the present, with a focus on theories that shaped what was taught in schools, and how those theories reflected social, cultural and political values and conflicts. Particular attention will be paid to curriculum theories that have shaped contemporary curriculum, and to examination of programs that reflect those theories. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6380 Curriculum Design K-12

A review of state mandates which, by law, shape the curriculum of the school. Examination of new curricula and their sources, as well as the development of a rationale for curriculum design and an evaluation of the personnel and techniques by which these curricula can be developed. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6501 Capstone Project: Advanced Programs

Students will have the opportunity to develop a teacher work sample consisting of work in six major areas: (1) contextual factors, (2) learning goals, (3) assessment plan, (4) design for instruction, (5) analysis of student learning, and (6) reflection. 3 credits. Prerequisite: M.Ed. matriculated only

EDUC.6530 Capstone Alternative

This Capstone Alternative is the culminating course for students who are not in regular PK-12 classroom settings, particularly those who are in the Autism Studies program. Candidates in this course will apply information that they have learned during their coursework to an action research project in a classroom or small group setting. In addition, candidates will develop a professional portfolio with products developed during coursework. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

PSYC.5610 Introduction to Behavioral Intervention in Autism

This course provides an introduction to the causes and diagnosis of autism, scientific validation, applied behavior analysis, and ethical treatment. Students also learn to write functional objectives, plan positive reinforcement, and design an applied measurement system in the context of developing Individualized Family Service Plans and Individualized Eduction plans. The isse of culturally appropriate interventions is addressed Prerequisite: coursework in the psychology of child development, or permission. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

PSYC.5620 Teaching and Positive Behavioral Support in Autism

This course covers the application of specific behavioral teaching procedures, including prompting, reinforcement, shaping, chaining, error correction and generalization methods, and the development of instructional plans. Emphasis is placed on procedures and plans to teach communication, social, self-help and per-academic skills. Application of such methods in inclusive classroom settings is also considered. 3 credits. Prerequisite: PSYC.5610 Pre or Co-req

PSYC.5650 Measurement and Experimental Design in Behavioral Intervention

This course provides advanced coverage of measurement methods used in behavioral intervention. It also offers in-depth coverage of the within-subject experimental designs commonly used in behavioral research and practice. Component analysis and parametric analysis methods, and ethical considerations in research, are also covered. 3 credits. Prerequisite: PSYC.5610 Pre or Co-req

PSYC.5660 Functional Analysis and Treatment of Challenging Behavior

This course covers the purpose, rationale and methods used in conducting and interpreting functional analyses of challenging, or maladaptive, behaviors (self-injury, stereotypy, agression). It also describes the full range of behavioral procedures used to decrease or eliminate these behaviors, with emphasis placed on ethical interventions and the desirability of least restrictive and non-aversive strategies. 3 credits. Prerequisite: 47.562 pre-requisite Special Notes: May be used towards UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Intervention in Autism.

PSYC.5680 Behavioral Intervention Program Models in Autism

This course explores how educational environments can be designed to maximize learning. Different models of effective, evidence-based behavioral intervenions are analyzed. The use of teaching activity schedules and staff training to build supportive educational settings is also covered. 3 credits. Prerequisite: 47.562 pre-requisite

PSYC.5720 Legal and Ethical Issues in Professional Practice

This course will explore the legal and ethical issues facing professionals working with individuals diagnosed with disabilities, particularly those on the autism spectrum. The goal is to provide behavior analysts and other professionals the opportunity to develop skills in dealing with the complex legal and ethical issues that arise when working in human service fields. Prerequisite: ASPP 5650 or ASPP 5660 Pre-req

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