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Exceptional Student Education

Working with special needs students takes someone special. Someone who knows how to help them reach their full potential. Someone with heart. Someone with compassion. Someone with an edge.

That someone belongs in a program that provides the expertise that will directly guide their students and careers to success. When you get your M.S.in Exceptional Student Education at NSU, everyone wins.

As a Shark, you'll learn how to empower your students, empowering yourself in the process. You'll even get the option of concentrating on a specific disability category or a broader combination of courses.

Our graduates have built some of the most rewarding careers out there as special education teachers, school counselors, administrators, college professors and special needs service providers. Now it's your turn to be an advocate for those who need you most.

Two Ways to Dominate

NSU offers two program paths that will help you dominate in your career. Coursework is offered entirely online.

Florida Certification Track

This program track prepares certified teachers to work in programs serving students with disabilities (K-12) who seek an MS in ESE. This program track meets the educational eligibility criteria for certification in Exceptional Student Education (K-12) in the State of Florida. As a graduate, you will qualify for certification in the area of Exceptional Student Education with an ESOL endorsement. 

  • 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 (3.0 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 General Knowledge Test (GKT)

Additional Entrance Requirements

  • Valid Teaching Certificate (Temporary  or  Professional)

If entering with Temporary Teaching Certificate, please provide test scores:

  • General Knowledge Test (GKT), or
  • GRE score of 300 (combined verbal and quantitative scales only)

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

This program provides in-depth preparation for individuals interested in gaining knowledge on pedagogical practices for students with special needs.

While aligned directly with the Florida Department of Education’s add-on certification requirements for exceptional student education, completion of the MS degree program does not ensure certification or licensure. 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/licensure requirements.

REQUIRED COURSES

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDU 5000 Orientation to the M.S. and Ed.S. Program 0
CUR 0526 Educational Research for Practitioners 3
ESE 0600 Survey of Exceptionalities of Children and Youth 3
ESE 0610 Speech and Language Development and Disabilities 3
ESE 0620 Behavior Management of Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0630 Educational and Psychological Assessment of Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0640 Transition Skills and Services for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0650 Instructional Strategies for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0660 Curriculum and Instructional Materials for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0670 Inclusive Education for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0680 Teaching Social and Personal Skills to Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0690 Consultation and Collaboration in Exceptional Student Education 3
ESE 0699 Applied Professional Experience in Exceptional Student Education 3

Note: ESE courses above 600 will require waiver of some prerequisites.

TOTAL CREDITS: 36

  • Satisfactory completion of all required coursework
  • Successful completion of the Applied Professional Experience, including the portfolio, demonstrating competence with the Educator Accomplished Practices
  • Cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Completed Application for Degree
Students with a Temporary Teaching Certificate must provide:
  • Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) – Passing scores on the following areas: 
    • Professional Education Test (PED)
    • General Knowledge Test (GK)
    • Subject Area Exam (SAE) in Exceptional Student Education K-12
    • Evidence of student teaching experience, supervised teaching internship, or 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:
    • Subject Area Exam (SAE) in Exceptional Student Education K-12

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. 

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/licensure requirements.

Florida participates in the Interstate Agreement on Qualification of Educational Personnel with 38 other states for teacher certification and/or licensure. Graduates of the program who wish to teach in another U.S. state or country may require additional eligibility criteria to qualify for licensure and/or certification in those locations. We are unable to confirm the licensure and/or certification requirements of other states or countries. Therefore, if you intend to pursue such credentialing in another state or elsewhere, it is advised that you to contact the applicable state or country credentialing authority for specific requirements to determine if this program meets the applicable eligibility criteria. If you have additional questions in this regard, please contact an advisor  to assist you in your career planning.

Degree-Only Track

This program track is open to all, certifed teachers and non-certified professionals. It prepares teachers and professionals to work in programs serving students with disabilities (K-12) who seek an MS in ESE or wish to add an ESE categorical endorsement to current certification. For non-certified professionals, it will enhance your knowledge, skills, and dispositions concentrating a disability specific area. You'll also have an opportunity to study a combination of courses that best meet your individual career objectives and needs. This option is a degree-only program, not resulting in certification.

  • 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.

Non-certification, Customized Program Option

This program is intended to permit students to concentrate on a disability-specific area of study or to study a combination of courses that best meets individual career objectives and needs.

The cum of 36 credit hours. Courses may be selected from options that carryustomized MS in ESE requires a minim the prefix of ESE, CBD, or EP (see course listings provided). Students will collaborate with an ESE faculty member and an Academic Advisor to develop the customized program of study. The finalized program represents a contract between FCE and the student; any changes or modifications to the program must be negotiated between the student and the ESE faculty member.

This customized program does not lead to certification; however, the completion of specific courses may meet individual state requirements for “add-on” endorsements and/or certification. Students are to refer to their respective State Departments of Education to determine specific certification/licensure and/or endorsement requirements.

 

REQUIRED COURSES

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDU 5000 Orientation to the M.S. and Ed.S. Program 0
CUR 0526 Educational Research for Practitioners 3
CBD 0501 Special Education Law 3
ESE 0630 Educational and Psychological Assessment of Exceptional Students 3

Customized (Selected) Courses: The remaining courses (minimum of 27 credits) are to be selected from the following categorical program options:

Note: Students may select from the full menu of courses available, including ESE courses offered as part of the certification programs. For the purposes of planning, disability specific courses are grouped by categorical area; additional ESE courses are listed following the categorical information. ESE courses above 0600 will require waiver of some prerequisites.

AUTISM

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EP 0650 Assessment, Diagnosis, and Nature of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
EP 0655 Nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Intervention Methods, Strategies, and Application 3
EP 0660 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
EP 0665 Language, Communication Development & Augmentative Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders 3

DEVELOPMENTAL/INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
CBD 0510 Characteristics and Needs of Students with Developmental Disabilities 3
CBD 0513 Methods for Teaching Students with Developmental Disabilities 3

EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
CBD 0512 Characteristics and Needs of Students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders 3
CBD 0515 Methods for Teaching Students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders 3
LEARNING DISABILITIES
Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
CBD 0511 Characteristics and Needs of Students with Learning Disabilities 3
CBD 0514 Methods for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities 3

PREKINDERGARTEN DISABILITIES

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EP 5265 Nature and Needs of Young Children with Disabilities 3
EP 5270 Assessing the Needs of Young Children with Disabilities 3
EP 5275 Intervention Strategies and Classroom Behavior Management of Young Children with Disabilities 3
EP 5280 Working with Families of Young Children with Disabilities and the Community 3

ADDITIONAL EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT EDUCATION COURSE OPTIONS

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
CBD 0503 Classroom Management 3
CBD 0505 Working with Families of Exceptional Learners 3
CBD 0516 Teaching Mathematics to Exceptional Learners 3
CBD 0517 Teaching Reading to Exceptional Learners 3
ESE 0600 Survey of Exceptionalities of Children and Youth 3
ESE 0610 Speech and Language Development and Disabilities 3
ESE 0620 Behavior Management of Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0640 Transition Skills and Services for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0660 Curriculum and Instructional Materials for Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0680 Teaching Social and Personal Skills to Exceptional Students 3
ESE 0600 Consultation and Collaboration in Exceptonal Student Education 3

Additional Endorsement

Students who seek an additional endorsement (add-on certification) in a content cognate area of study (e.g., TESOL or Reading) should refer to their respective State Department of Education to determine certification requirements. FCE requirements for content areas of specialization are published and can be located in the catalog. For additional information, contact your ESE faculty and/or Academic Advisor.

TOTAL CREDITS: 36

  • Satisfactory completion of all required coursework;
  • Successful completion of the Applied Professional Experience, including the portfolio, demonstrating competence with the Educator Accomplished Practices;
  • Cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher;
  • Completed application for degree.

This customized program does not lead to certification; however, the completion of specific courses may meet individual state requirements for “add-on” endorsements and/or certification. 

Graduates of the program who wish to teach in another U.S. state or country may require additional eligibility criteria to qualify for licensure and/or certification in those locations. We are unable to confirm the licensure and/or certification requirements of other states or countries. Therefore, if you intend to pursue such credentialing in another state or elsewhere, it is advised that you to contact the applicable state or country credentialing authority for specific requirements to determine if this program meets the applicable eligibility criteria. If you have additional questions in this regard, please contact an advisor  to assist you in your career planning.

Program Details

The applied professional experience is one of many practical applications included in the exceptional student education specialization. It is the final step in the completion of the program. Conducted in an appropriate educational setting, candidates will maintain reflective journals and create files 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 portfolios detailing the rationale, process, and evaluation of the project.

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