Notre Dame de Namur University now offers a new add-on teaching authorization for teaching students with autism spectrum disorders.
This authorization can be added to an existing special education teaching credential to expand the scope of instruction for current teachers. It can also be added on to any base credential, whether it was obtained at NDNU or somewhere else. Additionally, there may be general education teachers or related service personnel who may choose to enroll in this course sequence to better their understanding of ASD.
There are severe teacher shortages in the area of special education, and an increase in students who need specialized instruction. The CTC reports that there is an 88% increase over the last five years in students requiring services for autism spectrum disorders*.
In the past, teachers were required to complete an entire additional credential program in order to expand their teaching authorizations beyond the original special education credential. For example, a teacher with an Education Specialist credential in the area of Mild/Moderate Disabilities was not previously authorized to teach students with autism spectrum disorders. Now, by completing a Commission-approved program of about 12 semester units, the teacher can be assigned to teach these students.
*Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Special Education report, 2009