The project is designed to address two identified gaps in service that persist in the field: (a) the need to increase the quality and diversity of special education teachers prepared to serve the increasing numbers of students identified with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); and (b) the need to increase the qualifications of special educators to implement evidence-based practices for comprehensive instructional programming for students with ASD. This project leads to teacher certification in Exceptional Education and endorsement in Autism. The project will increase the quantity and diversity of special educators through a multifaceted recruitment model targeting uncertified special education teachers from underrepresented populations. Qualifications of special educators will be increased by incorporating a Graduate Certificate in ASD into the university's existing Exceptional Education Master's program. Partnerships with local agencies and school districts will assist in the development of a strong mentorship program to provide enhanced support to beginning special education teachers of students with ASD and will also provide demonstration sites for field experience and supervised evidence-based practice.