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The autism endorsement is comprised of 3 graduate courses in special education (SPED 7716, SPED 7726, and SPED 7767), and is approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. This endorsement will provide focused professional development for certified teachers and speech-language pathologists regarding the characteristics, strategies, and instruction of individuals with autism. Successful completion of all 3 courses qualifies certified teachers in the state of Georgia to apply for the autism endorsement which is an add-on to their Georgia teaching certificate. All three courses can be transferred into the M.Ed. in Special Education program.
For more information, please see the Academic Catalog
The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Credit and transfer
Total semester hours required: 9
This program is offered entirely online. Though a student may choose to sign-up for a face-to-face elective or core course, one can earn this degree completely online.
UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a huge cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.
- Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
- The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
- Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
- Fully or entirely online courses are charged at the general tuition rate plus an eTuition rate BUT with fewer fees and no extra charges to non-Residents.
- Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
- One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
- For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Bursar's Office website
There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.
SPED-7716 - Autism: Theories and Characteristics
This class focuses on persons with autism. Topics to be addressed include features of specific conditions seen in this group; historical and philosophical issues related to autism spectrum disorders; theories of intelligence, executive function, and their impact on definition and identification of autism spectrum disorders; and patterns of normal development and patterns of exceptional development in major developmental areas.
SPED-7726 - Autism: Collaboration and Instruction
The goal of this course is to connect foundational and research information to current educational practice in order to best serve students with autism in various educational settings. Topics include classroom assessment practices, collaboration with families and service providers, considerations related to cultural diversity, curricular approaches and resources, instructional interventions, communication approaches, and organizations and legal supports to help students with autism.
SPED-7767 - Strategies for Challenging Behaviors
This course focuses on intervention strategies for students with challenging behaviors. These intervention strategies will be based on positive behavioral supports, functional behavior assessment, and functional analysis procedures. Strategies for enhancing the learning environment and development of positive alternative behaviors also will be addressed.
Guidelines for Admittance
- All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
- Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
- International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
- Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Graduate Admissions Office.
Program Specific Admittance Guidelines
- 3.0 GPA from your Bachelor’s Degree Program
- Hold a level four (4) or higher renewable professional certificate in any teaching or service field and complete other requirements outlined in GaPSC Rule 505-2- .14 ENDORSEMENTS.
- Be currently enrolled in a UWG graduate program
Currently enrolled UWG students:
Students who are currently enrolled in a University of West Georgia graduate degree program in the College of Education should talk with their advisor if they are interested in adding the Autism Endorsement courses to their existing program of study.
The list of Graduate School Admission Deadlines is located here.
Admission Process Checklist
The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here
The list of Graduate School Admission Deadlines is located here.
- Learner and Learning: Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences: General and Special Educational professionals, in collaboration with Special Education staff, understand how exceptionalities may interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.
- Learning Environments: General and Special Educational professionals, in collaboration with Special Education staff, create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination.
- Curricular Content Knowledge: General and Special Educational professionals, in collaboration with Special Education staff, use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities.
- Assessment: General and Special Educational professionals, in collaboration with Special Education staff, use multiple methods of assessment and data-sources in making educational decisions.
- Instructional Planning and Strategies: General and Special Educational professionals, in collaboration with Special Education staff, select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities.
- Professional Learning and Ethical Practice: General and Special Educational professionals, in collaboration with Special Education staff, use foundational knowledge of the field and their professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to inform special education practice, to engage in lifelong learning and to advance the profession.
- Collaboration: General and Special Educational professionals, in collaboration with Special Education staff, collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with exceptionalities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities across a range of learning experiences.