Specialization (9 credits)

  • Tuition grant available 2016-2021: The tuition costs for this specialization will be fully covered for 13 to 14 matriculated graduate degree students each year who meet federal Office of Special Education Programs Personnel Preparation grant criteria. Read the I-SPAN Scholars grant details.
  • I-SPAN is a graduate-level program that prepares professionals to work with individuals on the autism spectrum across the lifespan. 
  • The three-course sequence examines contemporary topics related to best practices in person-centered support of individuals on the autism spectrum in multiple settings.
  • I-SPAN is open to graduate-level matriculated and non-matriculated students in a variety of disciplines, including speech-language pathology, education, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nursing. 
  • Non-matriculated students can take I-SPAN courses for continuing education credits at half the price of regular course tuition to get a continuing education certificate.

Program is Ideal For

Career Information

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network reported that an estimated one in 68 children in the United States has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (2014).
  • Supporting individuals on the autism spectrum requires specialized knowledge and skills in evidence-based practices and there is a continued shortage of highly qualified professionals in this field.
  • Employers in disciplines such as education, speech language pathology, nursing, social work, physical therapy, and occupational therapy are seeking professionals who have this specialized knowledge.

What to Expect
  • Work and study collaboratively across disciplines
  • Evening courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters
  • Receive a local certificate of specialization in autism from Nazareth College upon completion
  • Earn continuing education units or professional development credits upon completion
  • Professional educators can use vouchers toward tuition

  • Exploring Autism from Multiple Perspectives 
  • Autism Supports Across the Lifespan
  • Autism: A Contemporary Lens

Registration Process

  • Current Naz students: Talk to your academic program director to determine whether you are eligible to enroll in this program. To apply for the grant, see I-SPAN Scholars.
  • Non-matriculated students (Rochester community residents): Fill out this form and submit it to the I-SPAN program directors for approval.
  • Registration occurs on a rolling basis for fall and spring terms. Starting classes in the fall is recommended.
  • If you have questions, contact the I-SPAN directors listed on this page.

Tuition and Fees

See Nazareth's fees and tuition per credit hour. Program costs »


Program Directors

Shanna M. Jamanis

Shanna M. Jamanis

Associate Professor & Associate Dean in Education, School of
Golisano Academic Center 257

Education: B.A., SUNY College at Geneseo; M.S., SUNY at Albany; Ph.D., University of Oregon.

Teaching and Research Interests: Autism spectrum disorders, personnel preparation; multiple perspectives and social model of disability; diverse learners; positive behavioral support; pre-service teacher education; instructional design; special education; systemic change.

Dawn K. Vogler-Elias

Dawn K. Vogler-Elias

Associate Professor, Speech-Language Pathology / Graduate Program Director in Communication Sciences & Disorders
York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute 227

Education: Ph.D. Communication Disorders and Sciences, University at Buffalo; M.A. Speech-Language Pathology, University at Buffalo; B.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University

Teaching and Research Interests: Assessment and intervention of language and social communication for children with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders.

Read full bio.

Transforming Perceptions

    TEDxRochester: Drs. Jamanis and Vogler-Elias address myths and misconceptions about autism.