The goal of the Autism Program is to enhance pre-service and in-service teachers' preparation to serve children with severe and multiple disabilities from diverse cultural, ethnic, racial, and linguistic backgrounds in urban special-education programs.
To accomplish these goals, the program is pursing the following four objectives:
1. Recruit and enroll 48 working (dually certified) special-education teachers, bilingual special-education teachers, and/or special-education (dual certification) teacher candidates, including those from underrepresented groups, in four cohorts of 12 graduate-level students over four years;
2. Offer coursework (12 graduate-level course credits) based on current research and evidence-based pedagogy leading to a certificate annotation by the State of New York Education Department over a period of 8 months;
3. Offer intensive (100 hours) field experiences that integrate theory and practice and build cultural competency and instructional skills that help children with autism and other developmental disabilities to be successful in inclusive urban classrooms and to reach proficiency according to New York State Learning Standards;
4. Offer continued professional development and support for graduates of the program through a full academic year of induction support.
EDC|Center for Children and Technology will serve as the external evaluator for the Autism Program. In this role, they will consult with project staff on the design and implementation of the formative and summative evaluation.
Specifically, they will
- contribute to the refinement of the research design and instruments;
- provide input on the analyses of data;
- review data collected;
- prepare annual evaluation reports summarizing evaluation activities and findings.