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Two new programs offered to professionals

March 25, 2014

Saint Francis University will offer two new endorsement programs for professionals, the Autism Spectrum Disorders and Instructional Coach programs. Both programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and begin in the fall 2014 semester.

The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) program is a 12-credit, online program to be completed in one year. The program has two tracks: one for professionals and one for PDE Endorsement. Candidates for the professional track must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and be employed in one of the following fields: physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, nursing, social work, psychology, sociology, or behavior specialties. Candidates for PDE Endorsement must already have an Instructional I or Instructional II certificate through Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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.
The Instructional Coach Endorsement program is a 12-credit program that can be taken alone or as part of the master of education curriculum. Candidates for the Instructional Coach program must have an Instructional I or Instructional II certificate with a minimum of three years of teaching experience.

Instructional coaching as a professional development activity involves a highly skilled professional (the coach) working with other professionals (the teachers) in a collegial manner to raise instructional practice to the highest possible level. Coaching promotes teacher growth and problem solving. It should provide consistent support to teachers as they work to improve practice based on collaboration, inquiry and consultative feedback from the coach.

Both programs are currently accepting applications for the fall 2014. For more information about these or other graduate education program offerings contact the graduate education office at (814) 472-3058 or stoth@francis.edu.