Gain the Skills and Knowledge to Assist Students with ASD

If you're a passionate educator looking to make a significant impact on the lives of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Madonna University's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program with a specialization in ASD equips you with the knowledge and skills to become a highly effective educator in this critical area. 


1 in 36

Kids identified with ASD in 2023. 


Increase in ASD prevalence in the US since 2000. 



Of students with ASD drop out of high school.


Equip Yourself to Support Students with ASD

  • Deepen Your Expertise: Gain a comprehensive understanding of ASD, encompassing its characteristics, assessment methods, and evidence-based interventions. 
  • Strengthen Your Teaching Practices: Learn to create individualized learning plans, implement effective instructional strategies, and promote successful inclusion for students on the spectrum. 
  • Develop Practical Skills: Through coursework and supervised field experiences, hone your ability to collaborate with families, service providers, and other educators to ensure a smooth transition for students across educational settings.
"gain a comprehensive understanding of asd" in text with an icon of a puzzle piece
"individualize learning plans to meet your students needs" in text with an icon of clipboard with a plan on it
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Career Opportunities

Madonna University's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) equips you to make a lasting impact on the lives of students with ASD. This program opens doors to a fulfilling career path where you can: 

Become a Highlight Sought-After Educator:

  • Special Education Teacher: Lead specialized classrooms designed to meet the unique needs of students on the spectrum. 
  • Autism Specialist: Provide targeted support and services with general education classrooms, fostering inclusion and promoting student success. 
  • Educational Consultant: Offer guidance and professional development to educators working with students with ASD, empowering them to create effective learning environments. 
  • Behavior Interventionist: Design and implement individualized behavior plans to promote positive learning experiences and support students' emotional well-being. 

Work in Diverse Settings:

  • Public School Districts: Contribute to inclusive learning initiatives in public schools, ensuring all students have access to quality education. 
  • Private Schools: Embrace innovative teaching approaches in private school settings designed to cater to the specific needs of students with ASD. 
  • Intermediate School Districts (ISD): Collaborate with a network of professionals to provide specialized services and support students across various educational settings within an ISD. 
  • Educational Agencies: Advocate for students with ASD at the policy level, influencing positive change within the education system. 
  • Non-Profit Organizations: Contribute to the mission of non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by ASD. 
a teacher helps a student with down syndrome on a laptop

Ready to take the next step?

Apply today or contact our graduate admissions officer to learn more about how Madonna University's MAT program with a specialization in ASD can empower you to make a lasting difference in the lives of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 




Faculty Bios

Karen ObsniukDean, College of Education and Human Development

B.S. Wayne State University

M.A. Wayne State University

Ph.D. Wayne State University


734-432-5648, 2230D

Karen Obsniuk

Karen L. Obsniuk, Ph.D., is the Dean of the College of Education. She joined the faculty of Madonna University in 1996. Previously, she was an adjunct faculty, while working in K-12 schools as a teacher and school administrator. She completed her doctoral degree in Administration and Supervision, with a cognate in curriculum, and her M.A. in English Literature, at Wayne State University. She teaches in the areas of educational practice and action research

Her interests include educational change, K-12 student behavior, literacy intervention with at-risk students, and quality of work life issues for teachers. Her research has been mixed methods research primarily with pre-service and in-service teachers, school administrators, and EL learners. She is actively engaged in the field of education through her work at the State and local levels, serving on State committees and a local board. 

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Anne-Marie SladewskiAssistant Professor

B.S. Central Michigan University

M.A. St. Joseph University

Ed.S. Oakland University

Ed.D. Michigan University


734-432-5651, 2230H

Anne-Marie Sladewski

Director and an Assistant Professor in the College of Education. She joined the full-time faculty of Madonna University in 2023. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Michigan State University. Experienced professor and school-based and central office administrator with a demonstrated history of success and leadership in higher education. Her research interest includes collective responsibility of educational partnerships and improved learner outcomes.

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Michele Harmala Adjunct Associate Professor

B.S. Eastern Michigan University

M.A. Wayne State University

Ed.S. Wayne State University

Ph.D. Wayne State University


Michele Harmala

Leading to inspire learning, growth, and service!  Experienced professor and superintendent with a demonstrated history of success and leadership in higher education and the education management industry. Strong organizational professional skilled in Strategic Planning, Organizational Development, Talent Development and Performance Improvement, Program Evaluation, Instructional Design, Curriculum Development, and Public Speaking.  Experienced professor with demonstrated history of developing and facilitating adult learning and scholarship in both online and face-to-face settings.

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Sue Ann Sharma

Chair of Graduate Education, Professor

B.S. University of Michigan – Flint

M.S. Oakland University

Ed.S. Oakland University

Ph.D. Oakland University


734-432-5785, 2230G

Sue Ann Sharma

Dr. Sue Ann Sharma is Professor and Chair of Graduate Education at Madonna University. With extensive experience in education, including having served as a curriculum director, literacy coach, and elementary teacher. In addition to her academic leadership, Dr. Sharma is the Director of the Early Childhood Education and Graduate Literacy programs within the College of Education.

Passionate about educational excellence, Dr. Sharma is dedicated to preparing teachers to address the diverse needs of learners. Her commitment extends to developing instructional literacy leaders, contributing to the future of education. As an advocate for literacy, she has actively served on the International Reading Association's Literacy Reform Task Force and holds the position of Past President at the Michigan Reading Association.

Sharma's academic pursuits focus on early childhood education, culturally responsive pedagogies, digital curation, and online teaching and learning. Through her research, she aims to advance knowledge in these critical areas, contributing to the ongoing evolution of effective educational practices. A respected figure in academia, Dr. Sue Ann Sharma continues to inspire and shape the educational landscape, leaving an indelible mark through her leadership, research, and commitment to fostering excellence in teaching and learning.

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