May 29, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Education, M.Ed., Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement PK-12

Department Contact:

Director: Mrs. Melissa Peppetti,, 814-472-3068

Program Description:

The Master of Education with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Endorsement is designed for candidates interested in completing a competency-based sequence of courses at a baccalaureate degree level or higher. This endorsement provides an additional level of specific training and experiences for professionals who provide educational services for the population of students presenting with various autism spectrum disorders. It will allow professional educators holding this endorsement to address the complex needs of students with ASD in various classroom and school settings. Education professionals achieving this endorsement will have demonstrated competencies related to research -based assessment, intervention, instruction, and program management for student with ASD. Students will gain the knowledge and experience necessary to work with family members with ASD and the broader community. (from the PDE guidelines)

The Autism program requires a total of 80 hours of field experiences integrated into each of four specialized courses.

Two tracks:

  • Professional: Candidates for the professional track must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields (not limited to): PT, OT, PA, Nursing, Social Work, Psychology, Sociology or Behavior Specialist.
  • PDE Endorsement: Candidates must have an Instructional I or Instructional II certificate through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Accreditation Statement:

The Autism Spectrum Endorsement is granted through PDE.

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 2 years of full-time study or 2+ years part time

Admission Requirements:

Students must apply for admission into the program. The Graduate Education program will review all applicants throughout the year and candidates will receive an acceptance letter from the Director. In order to be considered for application, applicants must submit the following information:

  • Online Application and $30 application fee made payable to Saint Francis University;
  • Two letters of professional recommendation;
  • A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 is required. If candidate’s GPA is less than 3.0; he or she may be accepted on a provisional basis while taking up to nine (9) credits. The student must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the first nine credits to be admitted to the program. If these requirements are not met the student will not be admitted to the program.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work completed;
  • Copy of Instructional Certificate (if applicable).

Admission Deadline:

The program has rolling admission.

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

  • Students must complete their degrees within five (5) years of their initial enrollment.
  • A minimum average grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained throughout the program. If a student falls below the 3.0 requirement, he or she will be placed on academic probation for the next semester. Student’s continued eligibility in the program will depend on the GPA in the semester following the low GPA. If the student’s GPA does not go above the 3.0, after being placed on probation, the student is subject to dismissal from the program.

Graduation Requirements:

A candidate for graduation must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Complete all requirements for an approved program of study.
  • Complete a minimum of 30 credits of master-level education courses depending on which specialization option they choose.
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • Submit a completed Application for Degree form at least one semester prior to graduation date.
  • Satisfy financial obligations to the University.
  • Students must participate in an exit interview.


Students will have 90 hours of clinical observations upon completion of this program. These clinical hours may be completed in the student’s current place of employment; with instructor permission.

This is an online program. Student must have a computer and access to the Internet to complete all program requirements.

Total Credits required:

30 credits