Saturday, Dec 16 2017 | Updated at 07:07 PM EST

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Mar 27, 2017 11:50 AM EDT

Ball State University's Degree on Autism Analysis Shows Record High Enrollment

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Ball State University's Teachers College is offering a degree in autism analysis and treatment. The degree, which the college began to offer six years ago, has shown a record-high enrollment within a short span of time.

When Ball State University's Teachers College began offering an online master's degree program in the analysis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder, they did not expect that the response would be overwhelming. In fact, they were just expecting 150 students to apply to the program.

In 2016, six years after the degree was offered, the enrollment was 1,556 students and in fall 2017, it's already 1,607. Because of this show of enthusiasm, the university might be adding an undergraduate degree on ABA-autism.

Students of the online program on autism make up more than one-third of the enrollment of Teachers College. After autism, elementary education students are the next largest group.

Students who enrolled in the online program come from 49 different states in the country as well as from other countries. They are required to complete 1,500 hours of fieldwork in the hospital, mental center, school, group home, and more. After that, they take and exam to receive certification.

According to John Jacobson, dean of Teachers College, there is a big need for professionals who will work with children and adults diagnosed with autism since 1 out of 68 children is diagnosed with the disorder.

Some of the most common signs of autism in children are repetitious language and mannerisms, lack of spoken language, delay in language learning, lack or absence of eye contact, fixation on certain objects, and lack of interest in social activities. Autism, however, is treatable using behavioral analysis methods according to the Autism Society.

According to Ball State University, there is a shortage of professionals in a field where a lot of children and adults are diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. Because of this need, the personal and financial rewards of this field are very promising.

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