Date of Award

Spring 3-21-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Anthony Colella, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gerard Babo, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Karl Johnson, Ph.D.


Teacher Preparation Autism Spectrum Disorders Maryland


One strategy for improving teacher preparation programs for teaching Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is to enhance the coursework offered at colleges and universities at the undergraduate level. The goal is to better equip college programs to provide effective and substantial preparation for teacher candidate to effectively instruction ASD students. Programs offered by colleges and universities to prepare new special education teachers with the appropriate skills is multi-faceted. First, a clearly defined curriculum or coursework design is required. Secondly, an extended student teaching schedule is needed for an authentic and practical application experience. Finally, offering a monetary incentive for special educators to become certified in autism, after successfully completing additional coursework, is needed. This paper reviews evidence on the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs to prepare special educators to teach students with ASD. Despite the limited research on this topic, the future of students with ASD relies on the instruction highly prepared and competent teachers specifically trained to support their needs. Otherwise, the cost to school district and K-12 education will rise significantly to prepare students with ASD for life-skills, college, or career readiness.