Address the unique and complex needs of special education students

Posted by Kimberly McCoy-Blauser on April 22, 2019 at 12:14 PM

Overall employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. School enrollment and the demand for special education services should drive employment growth.*Autism-BCBA_200x200

Two graduate certificates: Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Behavior Analyst graduate certificates are available to help you further your knowledge and better serve these students. On May 2, 2019 at 5 pm we will be offering a free webinar to help you learn more about these certificate programs and how they will be a great addition to your educational skill set.

The Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate is designed for educators seeking to increase their knowledge and skill set for working with and supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recognizes our four-course sequence in meeting the educational and field experience requirements necessary to obtain an Autism Endorsement for Teachers.  Embedded within our four courses is 150 hours of field experience that enable candidates seeking this endorsement to fully understand the unique and complex educational needs of students on the autism spectrum.  Educators holding a license as a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities,  Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, or Teacher of the Visually Impaired or educators who hold a teacher license and at least three credits related to special education are eligible to apply for the program, and upon successful completion receive endorsement from Fitchburg State University.

The Behavior Analyst Certificate is designed for people who are looking to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and/or Licensed Applied Behavior Analysts (LABAs).  Gaining that qualification allows people to work as behavior analysts in schools, as well as private agencies supporting children with autism.  The course sequence is a VCS (Verified Course Sequence), which means that the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) recognizes it as meeting the educational requirements to sit for the exam to become a BCBA.  It’s a six-course sequence (but will be changing to keep up with BACB requirements), that begins in the fall and runs in six consecutive seven-week classes (back to back, two in the fall, two in the spring, two in the summer).  People taking the sequence have to either have earned a master's degree in education, psychology, or applied behavior analysis, or be enrolled at Fitchburg State in a master's program.

Find out more at our May 2 webinar.  Register today!


Thank you to Nancy Murray, Ed.D., Graduate Program Chair - M.Ed. in Special Education, Moderate Disabilities & Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate Program Chair and Robert Shapiro, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, Assistant Professor, Graduate Program Chair – Behavior Analyst Certificate Program for their contributions to this blog. 

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Special Education Teachers, on the Internet at (visited April 1, 2019).

Topics: Programs, Webinars