NCATE Accreditation

NCATE Accredited

Exceptional Student Education

The Fischler College of Education is no longer accepting new applicants for this program.

The FCE programs in Exceptional Student Education/Special Education (ESE) prepare professionals to assume positions as teachers, professors, administrators, and disability service providers. The MS program with a specialization in ESE addresses the academic and professional needs of individuals who: (a) are certified teachers or related services professionals who seek to engage in advanced, specialized study in the field, or (b) seek teacher certification (Florida) or licensure (Nevada) in the field of ESE.

Option B: Certification/Licensure and Initial Certification. Certified teachers who seek to pursue ESE certification in the State of Florida will follow the prescribed program of study as approved by the Florida Department of Education (36+ credit hours). Nevada students who seek to add ESE licensure will follow the prescribed program of study as approved by the Nevada Department of Education (48 credit hours).

Note: Completion of the MS degree program does not ensure certification; additional requirements to attain full certification are issued by each State Department of Education. Students are to refer to their respective State Departments of Education to determine specific certification requirements.

  • Completed admission application packet, including a $50 nonrefundable application fee made payable to Nova Southeastern University
  • Official transcript indicating conferral of a bachelor’s degree by a regionally accredited institution (2.5 minimum cumulative grade-point average required)
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary institutions
  • Valid professional teaching certificate or temporary teaching certificate with passing scores for CLAST or General Knowledge Skills
  1. Valid Teaching Certificate:Temporary or Professional
  2. If entering with Temporary Teaching Certificate, please provide
    • Passing CLAST scores (if taken prior to July 1, 2002), or
    • General Knowledge Test (GKT), or
    • GRE score of 300 (combined verbal and quantitative scales only).
  3. Subject Area Exam (SAE) in Exceptional Student Education K-12

Course content is research-based and infuses best practices in education and strategies for teaching English as a second language (ESOL), while aligning directly with the Florida Department of Education’s certification requirements for exceptional student education and ESOL endorsement.

PROGRAM OF STUDY: Florida State-Approved Program for Add-On Certification

REQUIRED COURSES

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDU 5000 Orientation to the Graduate Teacher Education Program 0
CUR 526 Educational Research for Practitioners 3
EDU 600 Accomplished Practices Seminar 0.5
ESE 600 Survey of Exceptionalities of Children and Youth 3
ESE 610 Speech and Language Development and Disabilities 3
ESE 620 Behavior Management of Exceptional Students 3
ESE 630 Educational and Psychological Assessment of Exceptional Students 3
ESE 640 Transition Skills and Services for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 650 Instructional Strategies for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 660 Curriculum and Instructional Materials for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 670 Inclusive Education for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 680 Teaching Social and Personal Skills to Exceptional Students 3
ESE 690 Consultation and Collaboration in Exceptional Student Education 3
ESE 699 Applied Professional Experience in Prekindergarten/Primary Education 3
EDU 620 Teacher Education Simulation 0.5

TOTAL CREDITS: 37

The applied professional experience is one of many practical applications included in the exceptional student education specialization. This capstone project is the final step in the completion of the program. Conducted in an appropriate educational setting, candidates will maintain a reflective journal and create a file of samples of their students’ work and the assessment instruments used to demonstrate achievement of the state professional and content standards. All applied professional experiences are accompanied by a portfolio detailing the rationale, process, and evaluation of the project.

Coursework for the exceptional student education specialization state approved in Florida is available online and at many of the NSU Campuses throughout the state of Florida. The online delivery option allows students to receive and submit coursework and interact with participants and professors via the Internet. The site-based delivery option allows students to take classes in the evenings or on weekends in a location near their homes. The distance delivery option allows busy professionals to complete degrees without having to leave their jobs or travel long distances.

Faculty members for the master of science in education are scholars and educators from Nova Southeastern University and other major universities and institutions throughout the country. In addition many are also highly respected professional practitioners, who are carefully selected on the basis of their subject expertise, teaching abilities, and professional involvement. Most importantly, they are united in their desire to not only educate, but to inspire students to use what they learn to motivate others.

Students with a Temporary Teaching Certificate must provide:

  • Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) – Passing scores on the following areas: 
    a. Professional Education Test (PEd)
    b. General Knowledge Test (GK) or CLAST (if taken prior to July 1, of 2002)
    c. Subject Area Exam (SAE) in Exceptional Student Education K-12
    d. Evidence of student teaching experience or have a minimum of one (1) year of full-time teaching experience in a K-12 school.

Students with a Professional Teaching Certificate must provide:

  • Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) – Passing scores on the following area: 
    a. Subject Area Exam (SAE) in Exceptional Student Education K-12
  • Satisfactory completion of all required coursework
  • Successful completion of the Supervised Teaching Internship, including the portfolio, demonstrating competence within the Educator Accomplished Practices
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher

All students must submit a Degree Application


The master of science in education degree program with a specialization in exceptional student education state approved in Florida meets all requirements of the Florida Department of Education exceptional student education (grades k–12) add-on certification.

Florida participates in the Interstate Agreement on Qualification of Educational Personnel with 38 other states for teacher certification and/or licensure. Graduates who wish to teach outside the state of Florida must contact the state’s department of education for information for attaining certification through reciprocity.