press release - KVCC Autism program

Public Relations | Press Releases


Release date 04-10-12


KVCC launches Autism degree program for Fall 2012


FAIRFIELD – Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) is launching a new two-year Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Studies degree program in the fall of 2012 in response to a rapid rise nationally in autism diagnosis among children.

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is in the final stages of the approval process and students are already being accepted into the program for the fall.

“KVCC has always adapted its program offerings to meet changing workforce needs, and the addition of a two-year autism degree is both timely and appropriate given the College’s experience in autism education and the significant increase in autism diagnosis nationwide,” KVCC President Barbara Woodlee said.

KVCC began offering an advanced certificate program in Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2008 and the new two-year degree will now replace that program.

One advantage of the new 62credit program is that unlike the advanced certificate option, students enrolled in the two-year program will beeligible for financial aid.

Graduates of the program are expected to find employment in a wide range of education, child-care, and health care settings. The degree is also expected to be attractive as an addition to other degrees in those fields.

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.

One out of 88 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, according to the latest estimate by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.

Previously the CDC estimated autism's prevalence at about an average of 1 in 110 U.S. children. The new estimate suggests autism is more common than previously thought - about 25 percent more common - and may affect more than one million children and teens in the U.S.

The rise of autism diagnosis has created a strong demand for educators and health care workers with the skills and education to deal with the condition.

To learn more about the program and enrollment options contact Dr. Martha Naber, Education Coordinator at KVCC. She can be reached at (207) 453-5198 or

Two courses for the degree will be offered during the summer semester at KVCC.  One will be offered statewide through Interactive Television (ITV) sites and one will be available online.

Registration for the summer and fall semesters at KVCC began March 26 for matriculated students at the College. Registration will open to all on April 17.

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