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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 careers, and their students, 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.

Delivery Options

Coursework for this program is offered entirely online.

Who Should Apply

  • Certified teachers seeking their M.S. in ESE and/or categorical endorsements to current their current certification.
  • Professionals with related experience seeking an M.S. in ESE.
  • 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

The applied professional experience is the capstone in the completion of this 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 a portfolio detailing the rationale, process, and evaluation of the project. This course is one of the many practical applications included in the program.

  • 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. 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.

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.

Facebook Live Chat: Special Education Programs

Did you miss our chat with NSU's Fischler College special education expert Dr. Dana Fredebaugh?

Click on the image above to learn about our most popular programs in special education, the history of their inception, and professional opportunities open to those who complete our programs.

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