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Exceptional Student Education (ESOL)

The master of science in education degree program with a specialization in exceptional student education is a state-approved program in Florida for add-on certification for teachers, along with ESOL endorsement. It focuses on teaching students with disabilities. This specialization provides educators with the skills for assessing and teaching life skills and academic content to children and youths with disabilities across the spectrum. Course content is research based and infuses best practices in education and strategies for teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), while aligning directly with the Florida Department of Education’s certification requirements for exceptional student education and 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 (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 Test

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


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
TSOL 569 Methodology of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages 3
TSOL 515 Curriculum Development for TESOL 3
TSOL 562 Cross-Cultural Communication and Understanding 3
TSOL 567 Applied Linguistics 3
TSOL 547 Testing and Evaluation of ESOL 3
EDU 620 Teacher Education Simulation 0.5


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.

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 locations 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 Educational Media 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 Educational Media 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 with ESOL endorsement, meets all requirements of the Florida Department of Education exceptional student education (grades k–12) add-on certification.

Florida participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Interstate Agreement facilitating mobility of educational personnel with more than 50 other states and jurisdictions 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 on achieving certification/licensure through reciprocity.

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