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Master's Degree in Exceptional Student Education and Reading

Why Earn Our Online Master of Education: Exceptional Student Education (ESE) and Reading Program at Saint Leo?

The Master’s degree in ESE and Reading is for teachers who wish to advance their education and earn a Master’s degree that enables them to work with students with disabilities at the elementary or secondary levels with content knowledge in literacy skills. It has been designed for practitioners by practitioners and focuses on current best practices in meeting the needs of students, including experiential hands-on experiences that are applicable to current classrooms.

Targeting High-Need Areas in Special Education

Nationwide, there is a significant shortage of special education teachers, creating a crucial need for qualified professionals to step in and make a lasting impact on students with diverse learning needs. This degree is built to target these high-need areas by offering content and level specifications relevant to the challenges faced by educators and schools across the country. Our mission is not just to prepare students for a career in special education, but to support their journey in becoming advocates and agents of change.

The program is aligned with the National Council for Exception Children (CEC) standards and National  Reading standards with a focus on instruction for diverse learners. Students will have the choice of elementary or secondary specialization with content courses in literacy that will meet multiple state certification requirements. 

Students take one course each 8-week term and can complete the MED in 18 months. 

Learning Experience:
Est. Time to Complete:
18 Months
Credit Hours:
30 hours
Jump to

Master of Education: Exceptional Student Education and Reading Program Details


  • EDU 602 - Foundations in Reading 3 credit hours
  • EDU 605 - Elementary Reading Assessment and Intervention 3 credit hours
  • EDU 620 - Special Education: An Introduction to Law, Ethics, Placement, and Diversity 3 credit hours
  • EDU 633 - Theories and Methods for Mild to Moderate Populations 3 credit hours
  • EDU 640 - Managing Students with Exceptionality 3 credit hours
  • EDU 645 - Methods to Integrate Reading and Writing 3 credit hours
  • EDU 646 - Assessment for ESE: Evaluation, Interpretation, and Placement 3 credit hours
  • EDU 653 - Collaborating in Inclusive Settings 3 credit hours
  • EDU 656 - Transition Planning for Students with Exceptionality 3 credit hours

Take either EDU-613 or EDU-546.

  • EDU 613 - Emergent Literacy 3 credit hours
  • EDU 546 - Reading in the Content Areas 3 credit hours

Total Credit Hours: 30

Learn Your Way: 

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  • What are the benefits of earning your 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

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Meeting Multiple Certification Requirements

One of the many benefits of earning a degree in Exceptional Student Education (ESE) & Reading at Saint Leo University is the program's dedication to meeting multiple certification requirements across many states. While certification varies based on individual state regulations and departments of education, our challenging coursework, real-world field experiences, and expert faculty guidance place students in a strong position to fulfill state-specific requirements and competencies. As a result, our graduates are equipped with highly transferable skills, allowing them to serve communities across the nation and transform lives in diverse classroom environments.

Connection between Coursework and Real-World Experience

Saint Leo University's approach to education is rooted in practical application and real-world experiences. Our Master’s degree in ESE & Reading emphasizes a "for practitioners, by practitioners" philosophy. Coursework is deliberately designed to be tied to the day-to-day responsibilities and experiences of special education teachers, ensuring that your education is inherently relevant and applicable to your future career.

By intertwining real work experience and course assignments, our students not only gain a comprehensive understanding of theory and best practices but also develop the skills and insights needed to excel in this rewarding profession. Adapting to the unique needs and challenges that special education teachers face, our enriched learning environment aims to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world.

Career Outlook

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  • 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.

College of Arts, Sciences, and Allied Services

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  • Saint Leo’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Allied Services offers students a holistic education that lays a strong foundation for critical and independent thinking. The curriculum is designed to help students broaden their horizons and build valuable skills sought by employers. From biology to sociology, the College offers 17 high-quality and flexible programs on campus, online, and through our education centers.

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