MARIO Assistant Level 1 Certification

3 Units
Credit Validation

Course Description

Credit Validation for MARIO Education Participants Only

This course offers assistants the opportunity to develop a sound understanding of the concept of neurodiversity and the evidence-based and sustainable approaches that support all learners. Participants will walk away with multiple high-impact resources that will immediately benefit both learners and educators. Participants will also develop an understanding of the evidence-based intervention, the MARIO Approach(TM), and explore how they can foster deep learning within a MARIO classroom as they consistently measure their impact on learner outcomes.

Course Details

Number of Units: 3.0 graduate level extension credit(s) in semester hours

Who Should Attend: This course provides continuing education for special education and general education assistants.


Participants gain the most from the course when they are either in training to work as an educational assistant/paraprofessional/paraeducator or are actively working in K-12 settings in an assistant role.


Course Options

Course Date Units Price

What You Will Learn

  • Understand what the term ‘neurodiversity’ means and either review, develop a deeper understanding of, or explore the range of neurodiversity they may encounter in their learners
  • Understand various ways to provide holistic support for all learners
  • Determine appropriate evidence-based strategies to best support learners in their specific context
  • Learn how to reflect on and iterate their practices in order to best support their learners and measure their impact
  • Learn how to effectively support the use of one-to-one learning conversations and conferences in a classroom context to empower learners
  • Identify a personal learning goal and track goal progress throughout the duration of the course, applying this learning to their unique context
  • Identify common strengths and challenges for individuals with high-incidence disabilities and explore common strategies to best support students
  • Explain the difference between accommodations, modifications, differentiation, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Explore different teacher-assistant support models
  • Consider how to best communicate with a learner’s home support system
  • Explore the concepts of Personalized Learning and Self-Directed Learning
  • Identify practical strategies to use when supporting learners that promote reflection and empowerment in areas including literacy, math, SEL, and Executive Functioning Skills development
  • Identify effective goal setting models, including SMART and HARD goals
  • Be able to embed effective one-to-one learning conversations in their context
  • Adapt and create tools that will measure the growth of themselves and their learners
  • Explore elements of Design Thinking


Professional development courses offered by the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional & Continuing Education are taught by faculty that possess a depth and breadth of academic and real-world professional experience.

Why USD?

The Professional and Continuing Education program nurtures key partnerships on the local, national, and international level. The goal is to better serve working professionals who seek to enhance or build their careers and help achieve their highest value and potential. Contact us today to learn more.

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Learning Method Information

Courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that allows you to structure your education to suit your schedule while keeping you on pace toward achieving your educational.

Credit Validation

The University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education offers graduate-level extension credit for work completed in trainings, workshops, conferences, induction, credentials, and other professional development programs not offered directly by USD. Complete one of the above and a member of our division will help you earn credit for your hard work and dedication to continuing your education.

Key Benefits of Credit Validation Courses

Make Your Work Count

Earn credit for your previous work in trainings, workshops, and conferences through a simple process.

Advance Faster

Save money by earning credit for work you completed and get one step closer to salary advancement.

Work Towards a Degree

Many receiving institutions may accept credits towards degree programs, giving you a head start in earning a graduate degree.