Exceptional Student Education

Degree:Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Major:Exceptional Student Education
Department:Building 85, Room 196
(850) 857-6306
College:Education and Professional Studies
CIP Code:13.1001
Semester Hours Required For Degree: 132

The B.A. degree program in Exceptional Student Education is designed to prepare students who plan to teach children and youth with exceptionalities. The Exceptional Student and Elementary Certification Specialization is a Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) approved specialization that leads directly to FLDOE certification in Exceptional Student Education (K-12) and Elementary Education (K-6) with ESOL and Reading Endorsements.

Students interested in teaching at the elementary level without certification for exceptional student education should review the Elementary Education Major section of this catalog.

Students interested in teaching at the middle or secondary level will complete their baccalaureate degrees in the discipline and are encouraged to earn the Professional Education Minor.  The Professional Education Minor is designed for content majors to complete the requirements for a temporary middle or secondary certification in Florida. Coursework meets the requirement of the Professional Training Option (PTO) and is consistent with the program requirements of Florida Department of Education.  For additional information review the Professional Education Minor section of this catalog

Responsibility for the teacher education programs at The University rests with the Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies, who is the head of the Professional Education Unit.

Requirements for teacher education programs may change due to legislative mandates. Therefore, the actual program requirements may differ from those listed in the catalog. Candidates must inquire with the Chair or an advisor in the Department of Teacher Education and Education Leadership (TEEL) to obtain the most current program requirements.  Students seeking initial certification must be degree-seeking.

Fingerprinting is required for any placement in a school (including the field experience associated with EDF 1005 Introduction to Education). The Student Affidavit and Fingerprinting Application are required before any student can be placed in a school for Field Experiences or Student Teaching. Forms are available from the local school districts.

Admission to Teacher Education

Students entering UWF or declaring a major in Teacher Education will automatically be placed in a pending status until they are fully admitted to the Teacher Education program. 

While in the pending status, students may not take 3000/4000 level education coursework, but should work closely with their advisor to plan an appropriate course of study in preparation for application to the program. To be admitted, students must meet the following requirements: 

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.50 in all previously attempted college work;
  • A passing score on the General Knowledge Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam;
  • Completion of EDF 1005 Introduction to Education with a grade of "C-" or higher.

The admission process requires students to complete the Application for Admission to Teacher Education (which includes a self-rating scale of their disposition towards teaching) and complete the orientation requirement.

Prospective teachers are expected to adhere to the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida and national standards of conduct associated with professional, accreditation, and state agencies.  Teacher candidates who are struggling to meet content and/or disposition standards and/or competencies may be referred to the Culture of Achievement through a System of Tiered support (CAST) process.  Any student who is referred to the CAST process and does not successfully complete the support/intervention process may be denied continued enrollment in any professional education program. 

All approvals for admission to teacher candidacy are provisional and subject to reevaluation as students progress through the program.  Students denied admission or removed from the program may appeal the decision to the Dean, College of Education Professional Studies

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Readmission to Teacher Education

Readmission into a teacher education program requires the student to meet standards for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and the University.  Readmitted students will be required to complete the degree plan in effect at the time of readmission and to meet the requirements for admission to teacher education in effect at the time of readmission.

Course work completed prior to readmission will be reviewed for compliance with current CAEP, FLDOE, and University requirements. Students will be required to retake courses that are not in compliance with these requirements.

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Admission to Student Teaching

The student teaching program, administered through the Department of Teacher Education and Education Leadership, consists of one semester of student teaching or two semesters of internship supervised by a highly qualified teacher who has completed Clinical Educator Training. The student teaching/internship experience is scheduled during the student’s senior year.

Requirements for admission to student teaching/internship include the following:

  • Full admission to teacher education;
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 in teacher education (major) courses. A grade below “C-” cannot be used to satisfy a program requirement;
  • Completion of specialization courses required in the major, if applicable, (see the section of this catalog related to the appropriate specialization for specific course requirements);
  • Passing results on the general knowledge, professional, and subject area tests of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination;
  • Recommendation of the student’s academic advisor and approval of the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Education Leadership

During the time a student is engaged in student teaching, any outside employment or additional academic work except senior seminar must be approved by the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Education Leadership

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Title II Reports

In compliance with the Higher Education Act, annual reports about teacher preparation in the state are available online. Select the appropriate year from the left column of the webpage and then click on Florida.

Program Requirements

Candidates for admission to the CAEP/FLDOE approved teacher education specialization must meet and complete admission requirements detailed above. In addition to general University requirements, students seeking the B.A. in Exceptional Student Education/Elementary Education must meet the following requirements.