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Autism for the professions: one university, three colleges and one undergraduate course

Mary Carlson (Department of EDPL, College of Education, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
Wendy Krueger (Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, College of Health Sciences, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
Amy Van Hecke (Department of Psychology, Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 8 August 2023

Issue publication date: 29 August 2023

55

Abstract

Purpose

This paper discusses the elements of successful university-level, cross-disciplinary course development using best practices to foster richer relational networks and to meet the complex demands of education and treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Design/methodology/approach

The three authors created and taught a class on best practices in autism nine times. The authors assessed the knowledge base and attitudinal changes of undergraduates (most in psychology, speech pathology and audiology, and education) for two of the nine cohorts who were being prepared to work with individuals with ASD.

Findings

Pre- and postmeasures indicated significant improvement in knowledge and a predisposition to working in interdisciplinary teams. Anecdotally, a number of students indicated in course evaluations that this was their best undergraduate course.

Practical implications

The program development and research have pertinent implications for faculty who are preparing students for professions in which teamwork will be expected, for faculty preparing students to work with individuals with ASD and for any faculty who wish to engage in cross-disciplinary, collaborative teaching.

Originality/value

This is a unique look at best practices of college course development and best practices of the multiple professional fields for which students were being prepared. It was done across three different colleges within a university.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Creation of this course was initially funded by an intramural award, the Marquette University Way-Klingler Teaching Enhancment Award.

Citation

Carlson, M., Krueger, W. and Van Hecke, A. (2023), "Autism for the professions: one university, three colleges and one undergraduate course", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 256-268. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-03-2023-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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