Master of Education Exceptional Student Education Concentration

Classrooms are made of diverse learners. As a K-12 teacher, your goal is to help all students overcome learning barriers and realize their full potential. With Saint Leo’s Exceptional Student Education program, you’ll learn how to effectively work with special needs students.

Saint Leo offers three Exceptional Student Education tracks:

  • Track A: This is a Florida State-approved program for those students who wish to become a teacher or whom are already a teacher leading to certification eligibility in the State of Florida in Exceptional Student Education (K12) with Reading and ESOL endorsements. This track is for those students who want to increase their knowledge in the area of special education. A practicum is required and an internship may be required if a teaching certificate is not already held.
  • Track B: This is a state-approved program for those students who are already a teacher with a Florida Professional teaching certificate, and Reading and ESOL Endorsements who want to increase their knowledge in the area of special education and seeking certification eligibility in the State of Florida in Exceptional Student Education (K12). A practicum is required and fieldwork is required in many courses.
  • Track C: This is a non state-approved program for those students who are already a teacher with ESE certification, and Reading and ESOL Endorsements and are seeking a masters' degree. A practicum is required and fieldwork is required in many courses.

Why choose Exceptional Student Education at Saint Leo?

Saint Leo has built a solid reputation in the educational community for our quality programs that produce tomorrow's leaders in the classroom. In 2011, Saint Leo’s Education department was named a national finalist for the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award. Our instructors are current practitioners in the field of school administration, and regular presenters at national and international conferences.

The Exceptional Student Education concentration consists of a coherent set of courses that are sequenced to assist you in mastering:

  • Etiology, theory and intervention for students with specific learning disabilities and emotional disturbance, and students who are cognitively impaired, developmentally delayed and/or physically impaired
  • Curriculum development theory, research and policy
  • Curricular needs of English language learners (ELLs) in the K-12 classroom
  • Testing and measurement theory
  • Collaborative and consultative models
  • Law, ethics, placement and diversity
  • Instructional design for ESE
  • Applied linguistics and cross-cultural communication
  • Behavior management, with a focus on positive behavioral support

Saint Leo also offers M.Ed. concentrations in Educational Leadership, Instructional Leadership and Reading, as well as a graduate certificate program in Reading.

Flexibility for the working professional

Exceptional Student Education courses are offered online and in traditional, blended formats. Since most classes require fieldwork, you can start applying what you learn immediately in a K-12 school. If you are not currently teaching in a K-12 setting, you are encouraged to volunteer once a week in a classroom.

Wherever you are on your journey, Saint Leo will meet you there. The M.Ed. Exceptional Student Education can be taken as a blended program that combines traditional, in-person classes—with a variety of delivery formats, including online options and video conferencing. Most students complete the degree within two years.

Contact your Graduate Admissions Counselor for more information on fitting a M.Ed. into you life.

Professional development opportunities

  • Florida Certification: The sequence of coursework allows you to master the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices, the Florida Professional Education Competencies and Skills for Certification, the ESOL Performance Standards and Competencies and Skills, the Reading Endorsement Competencies, and the Florida Exceptional Student Education Standards.
  • Field experience: In a supervised practicum that you arrange, you’ll complete an action research project in a K-12 classroom to improve outcomes for students with exceptionality. Gain skills in data analysis, school safety, school budgeting, school law, communication and building community partnerships.
  • 21st century classroom: Discover how to enhance learning with technologies such as iPads, the MimioVote™ assessment system and interactive SMART Boards.
  • Co-curricular activities: Participate in the Future Teachers Association and join Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society for Educators.

What can you do with a degree in Exceptional Student Education?

  • Exceptional Student Education Teacher
  • K-12 Teacher
  • Literacy Coach
  • Department Chair

Where are Saint Leo Education grads now?

Our students find success as certified teachers, principals and administrators in school districts around Florida and outside of the state, thanks to interstate agreements the Florida Department of Education negotiates. The majority teach in Florida school districts, including Pasco, Hillsborough and Marion.

Saint Leo graduates often assume leadership positions in their schools—as team leaders and department chairs—within three to four years of employment. Graduates consistently receive "Teacher of the Year" and "Administrator of the Year" awards in their districts.

Admission requirements

A special scholarship is available for M.Ed students. Contact Graduate Admissions for details.

Students who graduate from a Saint Leo state-approved undergraduate education program are eligible to complete the Exceptional Student Education program in one year, immediately following their bachelor’s program. For this option, apply in January of your senior year and, if admitted, begin the program in the Summer 1 term.

Take the next step in your career. Apply for Saint Leo's M.Ed. Exceptional Student Education today.

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