| Staff Writers
Alabama’s Auburn University established itself in 1856 to help working-class, male citizens obtain practical higher-education degrees in agriculture, industry and classical studies. Under the Morrill Act in 1872, the school evolved from a private Methodist institution into the South’s first public land-grant college. Auburn became a coeducational four-year school in 1892 and a full-fledged university in 1960 with schools and colleges offering more than 140 degree programs. Today, AU’s historical commitment to educate citizens for sustainable careers remains a foundational part of all university programs. With state-of-the art facilities, Auburn employs rigorous academics across majors, cutting-edge research, and experiential learning opportunities to prepare graduates for professional occupations designed to address community needs. To accomplish this, AU offers different paths of study including traditional on-campus classes, distance learning courses or a hybrid of both. These format choices provided greater opportunities for a variety of learners to continue their education at the highest levels.
Auburn University: Accreditation Details
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges regionally accredits Auburn to confer undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral degrees through traditional or distance learning formats. Accreditation is also granted to AU by professional organizations who approve schools for adhering to industry standards and guidelines for curricular development. For educational and counseling programs these organizations include:
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- Council on Rehabilitation Education.
The school’s academic excellence is also attested to by continued recognition on surveys of higher learning institutions. Auburn appears on U.S. News & World Report rankings at No. 103 among universities nationwide, No. 75 for best education school, and at No. 8 for best online graduate education programs. Additionally, Forbes and The Princeton Review rank Auburn among the nation’s top schools for distance learning opportunities at undergraduate and graduate levels.
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Auburn University: Application Requirements
General requirements applicable to all Auburn admissions include:
- Providing official transcripts from previous educational institutions,
- Adhering to all deadlines,
- Sending appropriate application fees between $50 and $70 depending on residency and degree level requirements.
Prospective undergraduates and transfer students should submit a completed online application and have official ACT or SAT scores sent directly to AU by the testing agency. The written portion of either test is optional. GPA from previous educational programs and test scores are considered as part of a student’s total educational profile.
Admission requirements for graduate or post-graduate candidates vary by department so applicants are encouraged to check program websites for detailed instructions. Candidates will generally need to submit a completed online application linked from the department page and any official results for GRE, GMAT, PRAXIS, Test of English as a Foreign Language, or the International English Language Testing System exams as requested. Candidates may also need to provide copies of certifications in their field and letters of recommendation.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Auburn has been recognized as being a best educational value in the southeastern region. Tuition rates for residents are $358 and $447 per credit for undergraduate programs and graduate courses respectively. Non-residents pay $1,074 per undergraduate credit and $1,431 per graduate credit. Additionally, all students pay an $804 student services fee. To help offset costs, students can seek assistance from AU advisers to apply for a variety of loans, grants and scholarships. In addition to traditional Federal Student Aid programs that include federally subsidized direct loans based on need for undergraduates or unsubsidized ones available to students at any degree level, applicants can consider these options:
- Federal Parent PLUS loans
- Federal Graduate PLUS loans
- Perkins loans
- Stafford loans
- Pell grants
- The TEACH grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- The Federal Work Study program
- The Alabama Student Assistance program
- The Money Talks Graduate Work Study program
- The AU Founders scholarship
- The AU Presidential scholarship
- The AU General scholarship
- Departmental scholarships
- External scholarships provided through business, educational foundations or career organizations
Available Online Degrees
Auburn’s Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling in the College of Education provides a great example of programs that use traditional, online and hybrid formats in education and counseling careers. Program delivery for undergraduates primarily occurs through face-to-face instruction in on-campus settings, while graduates have additional options for degree completion through online programs. Distance learning formats allow students to earn the same caliber of education as their traditional degree counterparts by employing state-of-the-art technology using wireless technology, audio-video podcasts, RealMedia streaming, and real-time interactive sessions with instructors and fellow classmates. Master’s programs in early childhood education, collaborative teacher special education, and rehabilitation counseling may be taken at Auburn via distance learning formats.
The early childhood education master degree prepares students to work with high-risk children from birth through 8 years of age. The program requires completion of 30-60 credits depending on educational background and experience. The coursework is aligned with recommendations from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division of Early Childhood. Advanced studies cover such topics as:
- Normal childhood development
- Developmental delays
- Nature of disabilities and their affects on learning
- Expected skill acquisition
- Diagnostic educational assessments
- Developmentally appropriate instruction
- Research and evidence-based practices
- Professional ethics
- Writing individual education plans
- Collaboration with caregivers, families, colleagues and inter-agency providers
The Master of Education in Collaborative Teacher Special Education targets provision of evidence-based instruction and remediation to students in K-12 programs who exhibit difficulties learning difficulties due to disabilities. The degree can be specialized to earn certification for K-6, 6-12 or K-12 grade levels. Program requirements encompass a minimum of 30 hours for those with educational backgrounds and experience and up to 57 credits for those who need prerequisites in the field. Candidates learn advanced theories and practices to:
- Identify mild, moderate, severe and profound disabilities
- Conduct diagnostic evaluations and interpret results
- Prepare and implement individual education plans
- Use appropriate collaboration techniques and methods
- Develop appropriate curriculum
- Assess student progress
- Apply appropriate behavior management protocols
- Create transition programs
- Research specialization areas
- Collaborate with colleagues, caregivers, families, students and outside service providers
The 63-credit Master of Education in Rehabilitation Counseling focuses on training and counseling program for exceptional needs individuals. Graduates can work in a variety of community agencies as mental health technicians, vocational trainers, supported employment specialists or educational support personnel. Advanced studies address:
- Medical and psychosocial impacts of disabilities,
- Supportive technology devices that assist communication and mobility,
- Transition services for adults in rehabilitation,
- Substance abuse and other dependency issues,
- Counseling techniques for groups and individuals,
- Crisis intervention approaches,
- Collaboration with outside service agencies, families, caregivers and client.
These master’s degrees from AU provide graduates with the professional skills and competencies necessary to educate, rehabilitate and counsel individuals with special needs from preschool through adulthood across multiple school and community settings. The only choice that interested program candidates need to make is which Auburn University online graduate degree most closely matches personal career aspirations.
Counseling students who want to learn more about their chosen field can supplement college coursework with independent reading. Psychology and counseling professionals recommended the following books, which cover topics like achieving happiness, the impact of childhood trauma, how mindset can affect our lives, and attachment styles.
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