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Master's Degree in Exceptional Student Education

Why Earn Your Education Degree at Saint Leo University?

Saint Leo University offers industry-leading online education masters programs. Raise your profile with the College of Education & Social Science's online MEd with a concentration in exceptional student education.

The online education masters programs are designed for general educators who wish to increase their understanding and experience in special education to expand areas of certification.

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.

Coursework is offered through a hybrid format, with classes offered fully online, and expectations for field work assignments to be completed in your own school setting.

Exceptional Student Education courses are offered fully online. To enhance the learning experience and meet requirements set by the Department of Education, a practicum and field experiences are required to complete the program.

Learning Experience:
Est. Time to Complete:
2 years
Credit Hours:
30 hours
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Master's in Education Program Details

The Exceptional Student Education concentration is for those who wish to increase their knowledge base in the area of special education. It has been designed to provide the knowledge base needed for general educators who wish to expand their areas of certification.

Candidates must pass the required Florida educational leadership certification examination to gain eligibility for degree conferral for the Florida State approved program. Students in the multistate program will take the test in their respective state after degree conferral.

Learn More: View Our Information Session

Learn Your Way: 
Online, On Campus, or Near You

  • Saint Leo students and instructor in classroom
  • What are the on-campus facilities like?

    Students who pursue their degrees at Saint Leo’s main campus near sunny Tampa Bay, Florida, join a community of enthusiastic learners just like them. 

    Education students enjoy plenty of engaging learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, as well as exciting departmental events.

    Learn about the On-Campus Experience

  • What are the benefits of earning your education degree online?

    Saint Leo University’s online learning experience provides a well-rounded education with the flexibility to tailor your course of study to meet your individual needs. We know our students have lives outside school, and we seek to meet them where they are. Online students can count on receiving excellent academics as well as opportunities for hands-on learning.

    Learn about the Online Experience

    Visit Online Admissions

  • Taking online classes has afforded me the opportunity to learn while maintaining a job. They give me some flexibility to study at times that work more cohesively with my schedule and allow me to utilize resources such as the library 24 hours a day.

    Bentley Streat | Hayes, VA

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Are education centers near you offering education degree programs?

You may also choose to pursue your degree through one of our education centers, which merge a traditional in-person education with the flexibility to match your lifestyle. Education centers offer eight-week academic terms as well as evening and weekend classes.

Explore Education Centers

Career Outlook

No matter which learning experience you choose, you will receive plenty of professional development opportunities, industry knowledge from expert professors, and support from the Saint Leo community. All this together means that you will be ready for a successful career or continued studies upon graduation.

What skills you will learn?

  • 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 University students in Psychology classroom
  • How will you gain real experience?

    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.

    21st century classroom

    Discover how to enhance learning with technologies such as iPads, the MimioVote™ assessment system and interactive SMART Boards. Participate in the Future Teachers Association and join Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society for Educators.

What can you do with a master's in education degree?

Our students find success as certified teachers, principals and administrators in school districts throughout Florida and outside of the state, thanks to interstate agreements the Florida Department of Education negotiates.

What are the top education degree jobs?

Career Growth Salary
High school teacher 8% (As fast as average) $62,870 per year
Elementary school teacher 7% (As fast as average) $60,660 per year
Education administrator 8% (As fast as average) $97,500 per year

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020.

Where are Saint Leo education graduates now? 

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.

College of Education & Social Services

  • Saint Leo University - Kirk Hall
  • Saint Leo University’s College of Education and Social Services couples a transformative liberal arts tradition with highly specialized training in the education and social services fields. Through close faculty mentorships, practical field internships, and applied learning experiences, we prepare students for careers in education, social work, criminal justice, and human services. Our faculty remain active in their respective fields as researchers and practitioners, giving students close access to a wealth of real-world knowledge and experience.

    With the ever-changing needs of today's students, we provide flexible degree programs. These include programs at University Campus and education centers with evening and weekend options, as well as online offerings. These degree programs are grooming the next generation of educators and social service specialists—a new breed of professionals with the talent and resolve to make a difference in the world.

    Explore the College of Education & Social Services