M.Ed in Teacher Leadership with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorder

The University of Louisville's M.Ed in Teacher Leadership with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is designed to offer graduate level teacher training in the provision of supports for persons with ASD within their classrooms. The program has a strong emphasis on the application of assessment and intervention procedures rooted in the principles of applied behavior analysis. Furthermore, teachers interested in becoming board certified behavior analysts (BCBA) may also apply to Graduate Certificate in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis program. Upon acceptance to that program, they may complete an additional course to finish the BACB approved course sequence.

For more information on our graduate certificate Click Here.

Teachers in the program will take 30-hours of graduate coursework and upon completion will meet the Kentucky Education and Standards Boards requirements for a change from Rank III to Rank II.

All classes in the major concentrations are offered online through Blackboard. Blackboard is the course management system used by U of L to facilitate online learning. Among other things, students use Blackboard to...

  • Read the course syllabus or handouts
  • Submit papers and assignments
  • Take tests
  • View grades
  • Send email to other students or the instructor
  • Participate in an online chat
  • Discuss case studies with classmates on a discussion board

The biggest benefit of online learning is that you can work to earn your degree from your own home while raising your family, working full time, or experiencing particular life circumstances that make commuting to campus difficult or impossible. At UofL, you are taught by the same world class faculty as our on campus students. You read the same textbooks, do many of the same assignments and earn the same degrees. The biggest difference is that you are able to do it in a way that best fits your lifestyle.

Be prepared for online learning. Online learning is learning that is facilitated in an online environment. Rather than attend class in a traditional classroom setting, online learning allows you to "go to class" when it's convenient for you whether that's 5am or 11pm.

Will you be a successful online learner?

Online learning is not for everyone. Successful online students...

  • Have a desire to learn online
  • Are motivated
  • Have strong time management and organizational skills
  • Can work independently
  • Have college level reading and writing skills
  • Are not afraid to speak up when problems arise

For more information, view /online.

Program Curriculum

Teachers admitted into the program adhere to a set schedule of didactic coursework and field experiences work that typically extends across 5 semesters. All didactic coursework takes place during evening hours on campus or via synchronous real time web conferencing software. Detailed requirements for completing this degree are provided in the Graduate Catalog.

Sample Program

Fall Semester
EDSP 644 - Applied Behavior Analysis
ESSP 570 - Autism: Introduction and Understanding

Spring Semester
EDSP 669 - Single Subject Research Design
EDSP 671 - Autism: Strategies and Techniques

Summer Semester
EDSP 546 - Augmentative Communication and a Behavior Analytic Approach to Communication

Fall Semester
EDSP 650 - Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
EDSP 652 - Response to Intervention

Spring Semester
EDSP 651 - Research Seminar in Autism Spectrum Disorder
EDSP 639 - Education and Research in the P-12 Setting
EDSP 653 - Practicum in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis

Admission Requirements

Now Offered Online!

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Applicants to the M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership program must submit the following:

  • Completed Online Graduate Application for Admission
  • Application fee (non-refundable)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended with a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the Bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA or higher for graduate work.

    Applicants who have attended a college or university outside of the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through either WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.

    Please have transcripts sent to:
    School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
    University of Louisville
    Louisville, KY 40292

    If transcripts are sent electronically, please have them sent to the following e-mail: gradadm @ louisville.edu

  • GRE Scores – not required for applicants with a 2.75 minimum undergraduate GPA
  • Two letters of recommendation – Please list the email addresses for two recommenders in the online application. Recommenders will receive instructions and forms that they will complete online.
  • Teaching certificate or statement of eligibility - If you are certified in Kentucky, you are not required to submit this documentation as we have access through the Education Professional Standards Board. Please indicate that on your application.
  • A personal statement of no more than 250-500 hundred words, along with the Personal Statement Cover Sheet [PDF]

  • Signed statement: Technology and Code of Ethics Form [PDF]
  • TOEFL is required of all foreign students from countries in which English is not the native language. Students who hold a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. are exempt from this requirement.
  • Note: Meeting GRE score and GPA minimums does not guarantee admission to the program.

Information about the Personal Statement

The personal statement is the applicant's opportunity to demonstrate his/her writing ability as well as provide a personal introduction to the admissions screening committee. The personal statement should be no more than 500 words, and should be double spaced and word-processed. Applicants are encouraged to proofread their writing, and to submit the best work possible. The attached rubric (Ideas to Action Holistic Construct Rubric [PDF]) is provided to help applicants understand how their writing will be evaluated.

In developing the personal statement, applicants are encouraged to identify and describe personal characteristics, abilities, beliefs and goals as well as diverse experiences with children and adolescents, which will contribute to their success as an outstanding educator. Applicants should also review the College of Education and Human Development’s Conceptual Framework, reflecting on the concepts of inquiry, action, and advocacy. Applicants should consider the following questions:

  • How do you demonstrate intellectual curiosity?
  • How do you develop positive relationships and work collaboratively with peers, teachers, and others?
  • How do you demonstrate the interpersonal skills necessary to do the daily work of teaching?
  • Can you give examples of your commitment to diversity, equity and social justice?
  • Can you identify characteristics critical to successful teaching (such as dependability, initiative, organization) and give examples of how you exhibit those traits?

Questions?

If you have questions about applying to the program, please email gradadm@louisville.edu or call Education Advising and Student Services at 502-852-5597.

The Program’s faculty are comprised of instructors, researchers, and practitioners with a wealth of experience in the science and practice of behavior analysis.

Robert Pennington, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Robert Pennington PhD BCBA-D is an associate professor at the University of Louisville in the Department of Special Education. He has over 25 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities, their families and teachers. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2010 and has since published 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters related to working with persons with ASD and intellectual disability. Robert is passionate about the dissemination of research-based practice and has provided nearly 200 refereed and invited presentations to practitioners. He currently sits on five journal editorial boards and on multiple advisory panels included the Governor’s Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder. His current research interests involve behavior analytic communication instruction and expanding writing repertoires for students with significant intellectual disabilities.

Monica Delano, Ph.D.
Monica Delano is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development. Prior to earning her doctorate, she worked as a classroom teacher, behavior consultant and job coach. A focus of her scholarly activities has been intervention research to promote literacy and social skills in learners with ASD. She is co-editor of the CEC/DADD publication, A Guide to Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a member of the Editorial Board of Research and Practice in Severe Disabilities.

Terry Scott, Ph.D.
Terrance M. Scott is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville. Having received his Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Oregon in 1994 (with an emphasis on emotional and behaviors) he has previously been a faculty member at the Universities of Kentucky, Florida, and Oregon. He has over 80 publications on a variety of issues in the areas of behavioral disorders and behavioral support systems and has conducted over 900 presentations and training activities throughout the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway. Dr. Scott has successfully competed for more than $13 million in external grant funding. In 2004 he received the Distinguished Early Career Award from the Research Division of the International Council for Exceptional Children and in 2012 he received the Outstanding National Leadership Award from the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders and was elected President of this organization in 2013. As a former counselor and teacher of students with seriously challenging behaviors, his research interests focus on school-wide prevention systems, the role of instructional variables in managing student behavior, functional behavior assessment/intervention, and scientific research in education.

Justin Cooper, Ed.D.
Justin T. Cooper is an Assistant Professor of Learning and Behavioral Disorders in the Department of Special Education at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. He received his Ed.D. in special education from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Cooper teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on behavior management and applied behavior analysis. He has provided numerous presentations and trainings on functional behavioral assessment and the use of applied behavior analysis methodology. His current research interests include function-based approaches to changing behavior within multi-tiered systems of support and the role that teacher behavior has in managing student behavior. In addition to his work in higher education, he has been a special education classroom teacher in Utah, Wyoming, and Florida, working primarily with students who have emotional and behavioral disorders.

Erick Dubuque, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Erick Dubuque is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Special Education at the University of Louisville. Dr. Dubuque also serves as the Accreditation Administrator for the Association for Behavior Analysis International’s (ABAI) Behavior Analysis Accreditation Board (BAAB). Prior to his work at the University of Louisville, Dr. Dubuque served as an Assistant Professor and Program Director for Spalding University’s M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis Program. He earned his degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2012. Dr. Dubuque is a former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer (Kenya) and is the President-Elect of the Kentucky Association for Behavior Analysis (KYABA). As an active member of the behavior analytic community, Dr. Dubuque has served as the Student Representative to the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and on the organization’s Education Board. He is past Academic Coordinator for the Jordan University of Science and Technology Master’s Degree Program in Applied Behavior Health Analysis, the first graduate degree program in behavior analysis founded in the Middle East. Dr. Dubuque’s scholarly interests extend across the philosophical, experimental, applied, and professional domains in behavior science. A general theme across all of his interests is the understanding of technology and complex human behaviors, especially as they relate to the topics of education and social justice. Dr. Dubuque is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctor (BCBA-D) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Molly Dubuque, M.A., BCBA, LBA
Molly L. Dubuque is the Practicum Director for the University of Louisville’s M.Ed. in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis Program and provides services as a Behavior Analyst at the University of Louisville’s Autism Center. She earned her M.A. in Psychology (with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis) from University of Nevada, Reno in 2008 where she served as the Assistant Director for a day treatment and habilitation program for adults with developmental disabilities and held various positions in the University of Nevada, Reno’s Early Childhood Autism Program. Molly is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Licensed Behavior Analyst, and is a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis International, the Nevada Association of Behavior Analysis, and the Kentucky Association for Behavior Analysis. She has over 15 years of experience treating children and adults with developmental disabilities in the United States and overseas. Prior to moving to Kentucky, she served as a Behavior Analyst with Advanced Child Behavior Solutions where she provided consultation to parents and teachers of children with and without disabilities, conducted teacher and parent trainings, and managed home-based early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services for young children with Autism. Molly has been actively involved in the education, supervision, and training of behavior analytic practitioners for over 10 years. Her previous appointments included Tutor Auditor in the Early Childhood Autism Program at the University of Nevada, Reno, Practicum Instructor in the Masters of Science in Applied Behavior Health Analysis Program at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, and Practicum Director in the M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis Program at Spalding University. Molly currently serves as a representative to the Kentucky Association for Behavior Analysis (KYABA) and is an active member of Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT).

Upon completion of the M.Ed in Teacher Leadership, candidates may apply to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board for Rank II and a Teacher Leadership Endorsement.

Teachers interested in becoming board certified behavior analysts (BCBA) may also apply to Graduate Certificate in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis program.

Financial Aid

JCPS Tuition Waiver

Please note: If you are a JCPS teacher in a magnet career academy, you may be eligible for limited tuition at UofL. Please complete the Tuition Waiver Form that can be found on the Office of Career and Technical Education's Kentucky Tech Principals' Resource page. (Scroll down to "Forms" and click on "Tuition Waiver Form."

In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the College of Education & Human Development also has information about financial aid.

Other financial aid opportunities available include graduate assistantships and other employment opportunities.

Supervising and Resource Teachers

In recognition of valuable service to the preparation of teachers and the need for all teachers to have continual professional growth, a Supervising Teacher or a Resource Teacher for a teacher intern may, with prior approval of the course-offering institution, take a maximum of six (6) credit hours per term at any public postsecondary institution and pay no tuition. The postsecondary institution shall waive the tuition up to a maximum of six (6) credit hours.

To apply, you must complete the Tuition Waiver Certification for Supervising and Resource Teachers Application . Please make certain that all Eligibility Criteria have been met. When completed by the Supervising Teacher and certified by the school principal, return the form to the Student Financial Aid Office at UofL. Students may exercise the tuition waiver option up to twelve months following the assignment.

For additional information, contact Lindsay Driskell at 502-852-8379 or lindsay.driskell@louisville.edu.

Practical Training

The Program's structured practical training system offers students the opportunity to practice the skills learned in the classroom across a variety of populations and settings. Students dedicate around 15 hours per week to their practicum coursework across four of their five consecutive semesters. As part of this training, students learn how to provide comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services to young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Students are also assigned to community sites where they gain a wealth of experience working with a variety of populations in schools, clinics, and hospitals alongside talented BCBA professionals. The program is proud to have partnerships with the following community providers.