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Cal State San Marcos Announces Launch of Autism Spectrum Disorder Added Authorization

Cal State San Marcos Announces Launch of Autism Spectrum Disorder Added AuthorizationCSUSM Becomes Only Fourth CSU and Tenth University to Offer the Authorization.California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) has announced the launch of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Added Authorization program that will help special educators obtain the authorization they need to teach students with ASD.The ASD Added Authorization, offered by the College of Education in partnership with Extended Learning, is open to all those who hold or are eligible for a Preliminary or Clear Mild/Moderate Education Specialist credential and successfully complete two, three semester unit courses. The courses will examine characteristics, assessments, instruction and diverse supports for students with ASD. Upon completion of the coursework, the candidate may apply for the authorization from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) through the College of Education's Student Services Center.The CTC recently approved the add-on authorization. Prior to the decision, teachers were required to complete an entire additional credential program in order to expand their teaching authorizations beyond the original special education credential. However, in the face of severe special education teacher shortages and an increase in students who need specialized instruction, CTC knew it needed to provide an expedited path to obtaining the authorization. According to the CTC, there has been an 88 percent increase over the last five years in students requiring services for autism spectrum disorders.CSUSM is only the fourth CSU campus and the tenth university to offer the ASD Added Authorization. In addition to approving CSUSM to offer the ASD Added Authorization, the CTC ruled that recent CSUSM Preliminary Level I Mild/Moderate Education Specialist program graduates may not be required to take the extra coursework and may be considered for the authorization solely based upon their past credential studies."We in the College of Education are thrilled to be able to join the ranks of the few public universities that have been authorized to offer the new Autism Spectrum Disorder Added Authorization," says Dr. Jacqueline Thousand, coordinator of the special education credential and master's options at CSUSM. "There is a tremendous need for local educators to have the tools and the authorization to meet the needs of the increasing number of students eligible for special education in the ASD disability category."The ASD Added Authorization courses will be offered each semester beginning this fall. For more information about the program or to register for the courses, visit www.csusm.edu/el or call 760-750-4020.