Mercyhurst University

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Special Education and Applied Disability Studies Concentrations

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Concentration

This concentration prepares individuals to work as behavior analyst within the fields of education and developmental disabilities. These courses, in addition to other requirements including an intensive practicum experience, also prepare graduates to apply for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Mercyhurst also offers a six course graduate certificate to prepare those who already have earned, or who are currently working on, a master's degree for the BCBA examination.

EDSP 640 Basic Principles of Behavior
EDSP 650 Functional Assessment and Intervention Development
EDSP 660 Advanced Seminar: Applied Behavior Analysis

Autism Concentration

This concentration is for graduate students who are looking to specialize in providing special education services to students with autism. With associated clinical hours, this concentration also qualifies those who hold any Pennsylvania Department of Education Certification to add an Autism Endorsement to their certificate. This concentration is also available as a graduate certificate.

EDSP 540 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
EDSP 541 Instructional Assessment and Methods: ASD
EDSP 501 Behavior Management: Intro to ABA and Behavior Change


English Language Learners Concentration

This concentration is for graduate students who are looking to specialize in instructing English Language Learners (ELLs). Our education department’s recent creation of the Carpe Diem Academy, in conjunction with the Erie School District, is creating new opportunities for our students to interact with ELLs and witness the need for skilled educators with training in English language learning. The program is a mixture of core special education course plus cross-listed ELL courses including:


ELL 501 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
ELL 512 Second Language Acquisition (with 20 hour practicum)
ELL 514 Introduction to Sociolinguistics
ELL 515 Supporting Literacy for English Language Learners (with 20 hour practicum)
ELL 500 Teaching English as a Second Language: Issues in Theory and Practice (with 20 hour practicum)
ELL 505 Professionalism and Program Development for English Language Learners