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RIC Grad Student is Pawtucket’s Teacher of the Year!

Keri Bettencourt, a RIC graduate student, was recently named Pawtucket’s District Teacher of the year for 2021-2022. Bettencourt works with students with significant disabilities at Jenks Junior High School. Currently finishing up the Certificate of Graduate Study in Autism Education program, Bettencourt previously earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from RIC. Congratulations Keri – it is a well-deserved honor!!

Program Advisor:
Paul LaCava
401-456-9703
placava@ric.edu

The C.G.S. in autism education was driven by regional need and was developed by various constituents across Rhode Island. The program was created to support professionals who currently work with individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or who plan to do so in the future. The program's purpose is to extend professionals' knowledge and skills and ultimately the capacity of professionals, school districts, community providers, etc. to effectively teach and support individuals with ASD.

Autism is currently conceptualized as a spectrum of similar life-long disabilities. A prevalence increase has been reported since the early 1990s with the most recent data supporting a rate of all ASD at about 1 in 54 (Maenner et al., 2020). Causes for these dramatic increases remain controversial, but the implications are clear. Children with ASD must be identified as early as possible and, subsequently, be provided with evidence-based practices (EBP) to meet their needs. In response to this increasing need, constituents from across Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities and an Autism Legislative Commission spearheaded the development of this program to support professionals to increase their knowledge of working with and supporting individuals with ASD.

The C.G.S. in autism education is designed to help professionals understand the characteristics of ASD across the lifespan, implications of these characteristics as related to educational programming and the application of using EBP to support educational programs for people with ASD. All program courses are aligned with the initial and advanced Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) standards for teachers/specialists who work with individuals with developmental disabilities/autism.

This program is currently being offered in collaboration with the Paul. V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities. Applications for admission will not be processed until all materials have been received by the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but to ensure consideration for fall matriculation, please submit complete applications by May 1.

Admission and Course Information

Click below for information on admission requirements, course requirements and course descriptions.

Admission and Course Requirements

Course Descriptions